Android users in exposure to Stagefright

Android users are being warned to switch off the MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) features on their phone following the discovery of the Stagefright exploit that has left up to 95 percent of all Android devices open to attack by hackers.

Simon Mullis, global technical leader at FireEye, told V3 that the flaw is very serious and that individuals and businesses must be aware of the threat.

“The sheer range and number of devices and therefore end-users affected, and the fact that no user interaction is required to become compromised, make this a very serious set of vulnerabilities indeed,” he said.

“Stagefright represents significant risk to the individual end-user. The contents of your phone are ripe for abuse (think photos, camera, contacts etc). It represents a more significant risk to organisations that allow BYOD free-run on their networks.”

Mullis added that, given patches are unlikely to arrive any time soon, users should switch off MMS to reduce the risk.

“The final straw is that it’s estimated that this has been around for five years. You can be sure that phone makers are hurriedly releasing patches for this as soon as they can. In the meantime, maybe you should switch off all MMS,” he said.

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Irresistible Tech forces Test Europe

Facebook and Google have challenged the authority of the European Commission and the jurisdiction limits of EU countries this week in an interesting step which would seem to bring giant US tech  megacorps into conflict with the bureaucratic of the European Union machinery.

Facebook may not prevent its users from using fake names, a German privacy watchdog said on Tuesday (28 July), in the latest privacy setback for the US company in Europe.The Hamburg data protection authority, which is responsible for policing Facebook in Germany, said the social network firm could not unilaterally change users’ chosen usernames to their real names, nor could it ask them for official ID.

Read the full  story at www.euractiv.com/sections/infosociety/german-regulator-orders-facebook-allow-pseudonyms-316682

Meanwhile Google has rejected the French data protection authority’s demand that it censor search results worldwide in order to comply with the European Court of Justice’s so-called right to be forgotten ruling. The company’s rejection of the ruling could see its French subsidiary facing daily fines, although no explicit sanction has yet been declared.

More at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jul/30/google-rejects-france-expand-right-to-be-forgotten-worldwide

More failed and over-cost IT projects for Central Government

Frustrated Cabinet Office to probe Atos deals

The government has committed to review £500m worth of contracts with controversial outsourcing company Atos, following a major IT failure.

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GCHQ admits £1bn spend on cyber security ‘hasn’t worked’

GCHQ is losing the cyber security war, according to director of cyber security at CESG (Communications-Electronics Security Group) Alex Dewedney, who admitted that, despite a £1bn spend over the past five years, “the bottom line is it hasn’t worked”.

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