FBI v Facebook
The ACLU has demanded all court records be released regarding a secret backdoor the FBI tried to force Facebook to install in Facebook Messenger. A backdoor allows someone, in this case the government, the ability to peep on the communications of anyone and everyone.
Unlike the very public battle the FBI had with Apple in 2015 after the San Bernardino shooting, the FBI utilized the FISC or Foreign Intelligence Secret Court to try to legally muscle Facebook into destabilizing the encryption of their Messenger app.
Here’s the deal with encryption: If you build in a backdoor to get around it for one group, there’s no guarantee that backdoor won’t be discovered by someone you don’t want to see it.
Printers Hacked for YouTuber
This one has been popping up on my Twitter feed for a couple of days, so I figured I’d better mention it. If you have a printer in your house that allows you to print to it from anywhere via the internet may be vulnerable to an attack where a hacker wants to send you a message.
In this case, a “subscriber war” between two YouTubers has led to a hacker sending messages to about 50,000 printers. It was a relatively harmless prank but it highlights a vulnerability that should be locked down.
Social Home Security
I didn’t know this was a thing, but, apparently, Ring launched an app back in May that allows people to freely share their Ring video doorbell videos and talk with neighbors about security threats.
I downloaded the app to check it out, you can set a geographic area to receive notifications, and it allows you to see what your neighbors post, as well as news alerts. You don’t have to have a Ring doorbell to use the Neighbors app (Android | iOS).
Much of what I saw seemed a bit paranoid, but it’s an interesting idea to get neighbors talking in an effort to reduce crime.
I may be able to look past my personal bias against self-driving cars in light of this weekend’s events in California. A drunk man was stopped by police on the 101 in Palo Alto around 3:30 Friday morning. Scratch that, his car was stopped. He was asleep, likely, with Autopilot engaged, doing 70 miles an hour.
Once the cops figured out what was going on, one of them passed the Tesla and slowed down, forcing the car to stop. The man didn’t wake up until the officers knocked on his window.
He harmed no one, and did no property damage, which is pretty extraordinary.
Quick Update on Marriott Breach
I haven’t seen much coverage of this breach in the mainstream media, which is a shame. But the tech outlets seem to have it covered well.
Of the 500 million people whose data was stolen, 327 million of those people had passports associated with their data.
If you think yours was included with that, here’s a good article from Cnet on what to do.