Security Issues, Hacks

Report: The Number of Google Play Apps Containing Malware Quadrupled in Two Years

February 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The number of malicious apps has quadrupled in past two years on Google Play, according to a new report from online security services firm RiskIQ. The number of apps that were found to contain malicious code was 11,000 in 2011. That number jumped to 42,000 in 2013, the firm claims. Of course that number correlates to the growth of apps available on Google Play, which went from hosting 250,000 to 1,000,000 apps in the same two year time period.

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Kickstarter Hacked, But No Credit Card Data Stolen

February 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Over the weekend Kickstarter revealed that it had been hacked earlier in the week and that, while financial information was not stolen from the site, other user information may have been compromised. The country's largest and most prominent crowd-funding site told users that attackers made off with usernames, e-mail addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and encrypted passwords.

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PSA: Today is 'The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance'

February 11, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Today is the day that advocacy groups and businesses have designated as a day of protest online against the NSA's unfettered surveillance and data collection practices. Led by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the collective are calling on websites and internet users to show their support by displaying special banners online and to contact their elected official in D.C. to let them know that the mass surveillance being conducted by the NSA needs to come to an end.

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Retail Industry Leaders Association to Push for Data Privacy Online Taxes in D.C. This Year

February 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) said in a new report that it would push hard for the passage of an national Internet sales tax law and for better data privacy regulations this year. In its annual policy agenda, the trade group highlighted the issues it deemed to be of grave importance this year. A federal law to deal with online sales tax is at the top of the list. The group, which represents traditional retailers, believes that having a national sales tax collection law will levy the playing field so that online-only retailers don't have an advantage.

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Patriot Act Author Wants Section 215 Fixed or He'll Fight Against Reauthorization Next Year

February 5, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The lead author of the Patriot Act said on Tuesday that he will spearhead an effort to reject reauthorization of the law (which is set to expire next year) if the White House doesn't make some serious changes to Section 215 of the law, which has led to the NSA and other government agencies collecting and storing all kinds of information on American citizens.

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EFF: Feb. 11 is 'The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance'

February 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is calling on everyone on the Internet to make something extraordinary happen: end mass surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA).

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ProPublica's Leaky Apps and NSA Spying FAQ

January 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Following its report yesterday that the NSA and other spy agencies were exploiting "leaky apps" such as Rovio's Angry Birds to gather information on users around the world, ProPublica has released this handy FAQ to better explain exactly how the whole process works and what consumers can do to moderately protect their privacy.

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Rovio: We Do Not Share User Data With Governments

January 28, 2014 - James Fudge

Angry Birds maker Rovio issued a statement today (which they passed along to GamePolitics this morning following a request for comment yesterday) in response to a report from ProPublica that spy agencies were gathering information on users of its popular game. The company said in a statement that it does not share data about its users with government agencies such as the NSA or the UK's GCHQ.

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Report: Spy Agencies Collect Troves of Data From 'Leaky Apps' Like 'Angry Birds'

January 27, 2014 - James Fudge

It sounds far-fetched when someone says that playing something as innocent as Angry Birds is helping spy agencies gather information about you, but that is just what happens when users launch what this Pro Publica investigation claims is a "leaky app."

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RNC Renounces NSA Surveillance at Winter Meeting

January 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Republican National Committee passed a resolution today renouncing what it is calling "unconstitutional National Security Agency surveillance programs." This is quite a shift in position for the party which defended the ramping up of these programs after the 911 attacks. The resolution was affirmed by a voice vote at the GOP’s winter meeting.

The RNC called upon Republican lawmakers "to immediately take action to halt current unconstitutional surveillance programs and provide a full public accounting of the NSA’s data collection programs."

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Daniel Ellsberg v. Ambassador R. James Woolsey in the Great Snowden Debate

January 22, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The great debate about the fate of the former NSA contractor who leaked documents detailing the agency's spying programs on the Internet, mobile phones and even in video games rages on. Some believe that Edward Snowden is a patriot and a whistleblower who deserves a full presidential pardon, while others believe that he should be get the maximum penalty under the law for treason and espionage.

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Wikileaks Founder Says President Obama's NSA Speech Contained 'a Lot of Lies'

January 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said that President Barack Obama's speech on reforming the National Security Agency contained a lot of lies and that the president spent a lot of time saying nothing. Assange made his comments during an interview on CNN after the speech aired.

"We heard a lot of lies in this speech by Obama," Assange said. "I think it’s embarrassing for a head of state to go on like that for 45 minutes and say almost nothing."

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Beware of the Trojan-Injected Minecraft Pocket Edition

January 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

App store scammers are selling a modified version of Mojang's popular mobile world builder Minecraft: Pocket Edition for Android devices that contains a Trojan, according to anti-virus outfit F-Secure. The fake version of the game, which seems to be aimed at European customers, costs 2.50 Euros - a price too hard for some customers to resist because the real version costs 5.49 Euros.

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NSA 'Would Welcome' Public Advocate in FISA Court

January 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Outgoing National Security Agency deputy director John C. Inglis tells National Public Radio that the spy agency would welcome the creation of a public advocate position to take part in Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court deliberations as a check against NSA requests. Inglis, who is retiring after being the number 2 man in the agency for seven years says that an advocate for the constitutionality of requests to be included would be fine as long as it doesn't impede the expediency of the NSA's activities.

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How DERP Was Able to Take Down Origin, League of Legends

January 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Ars Technica offers some interesting insights into why the recent distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that took out EA's Origin service, Blizzard's Battle.net, and League of Legends were particularly potent. According to the report the DDoS attacks used an unheard of method to amplify the amount of data being sent in order to grind many popular online games to a halt.

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Proposed State Laws Throw Road Blocks in Front of NSA Surveillance Efforts

January 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Several states (or at least a handful of state lawmakers) have decided to fight against the federal government's surveillance activities in their own way. In California, two state senators have introduced a bill in Sacramento that would forbid state agencies from cooperating with the National Security Agency to collect "any electronic data or metadata... not based on a warrant." The bill sponsored by state senators Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) and Joel Anderson (R-San Diego), is the first state-level proposal to compel non-cooperation with the federal agency.

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Survey: A Quarter of British and Canadian Companies Plan to Move Data Out of U.S. Due to NSA Spying Activities

January 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A quarter of British and Canadian technology firms surveyed say that they want their data taken out of the United States because of the NSA's unfettered spying activities. The survey was conducted by cloud provider Peer1, which has infrastructure in the U.S., Canada and Britain.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 81

December 31, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

After a two week hiatus (thanks mostly to the holidays and Andrew's self-imposed exile to a small town in Kentucky) we return with Super Podcast Action Committee Episode 81! On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the Killer Instinct DRM that popped up during a recent competition at a NYC college, the EFF's annual Wish List, and investors suing EA over the shaky Battlefield 4 launch. Download Episode 81 now: SuperPAC Episode 81 (1 hour, 17 minutes) 88.4 MB.

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Report: Cisco Looking Into NSA Hardware Backdoors

December 30, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Cisco Systems, one of the companies mentioned in a Der Spiegel report on the NSA's catalog of backdoors into various networks and technologies, said that it is investigating if the NSA has in some way compromised the networking hardware equipment it provides to companies throughout the world.

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NSA Catalog Offers Spies Backdoors for America's Biggest Networks, Technology

December 30, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

According to an article published by Germany’s Der Spiegel newspaper on Sunday, the National Security Agency (NSA) has a catalog of "backdoors" that allows spies to infiltrate equipment from major computing and security vendors including firewalls from Juniper Networks, hard drives from Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor and Samsung, networking gear from Cisco and Huawei, and unspecified equipment from Dell.

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RSA Denies Allegations About NSA Deal

December 27, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Earlier this week we reported that Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer of Finland-based antivirus provider F-Secure, had publicly canceled a talk (entitled, "Governments as Malware Authors") at the upcoming RSA Conference USA 2014 in protest of news that the RSA received $10 million to make an NSA-favored random number generator the default setting in its BSAFE crypto tool.

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Respected Security Researcher Cancels Talk at RSA Conference USA 2014 Over RSA-NSA Deal

December 24, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer of Finland-based antivirus provider F-Secure, has publicly canceled a talk (entitled, "Governments as Malware Authors") at the upcoming RSA Conference USA 2014 in protest of news that the RSA received $10 million to make an NSA-favored random number generator the default setting in its BSAFE crypto tool.

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Google Online Rights Petition Surpasses Required 100K Signature Milestone

December 23, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Google passed along a note letting us know that its petition on the White House web site has surpassed 107,000 signatures. The "We The People" petition calls for the White House and lawmakers to give the stuff we store online the same legal protections (Fourth Amendment) as the stuff we store offline. The petition only needed 100,000 signatures to ellicit a response from the White House at some point in the future, so it is good that it has passed this particular milestone.

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Verizon Plans to Publish Regular Reports on Data Requests from Law Enforcement, Government Agencies in 2014

December 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Verizon says that it wants to disclose all of the various requests it received from law enforcement and intelligence agencies this year, but it has to negotiate with the U.S. government. The company's announcement follows a request by shareholders last month to disclose its dealings with the NSA.

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PSA: Credit Card Info Stolen From Target

December 19, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

If you shopped at U.S. retailer Target on Black Friday, you may want to pay close attention to the following story from the BBC.

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UN Approves Resolution on Privacy Rights in the Digital Age

December 19, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

This week 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly unanimously approved a UN privacy resolution called "The right to privacy in the digital age." The resolution was introduced by Brazil and Germany and sponsored by more than 50 member states. The goal of the resolution is to uphold the right to privacy for everyone around the world. No doubt the resolution is in response to spying activities being conducted by the United States and the United Kingdom.

Here's an excerpt from the resolution:

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Tech Execs Press White House on NSA Surveillance Reforms

December 18, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

At a meeting with President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden yesterday, executives from America's top technology companies urged the administration to reform the National Security Agency spying programs because they are "damaging their reputations" abroad and could ultimately "harm the broader economy."

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Stephen Colbert Jabs at NSA for Snooping on Second Life Players

December 17, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Last night on Comedy Central's the Colbert Report, host Stephen Colbert spent a bit of time picking on the idea of the National Security Agency snooping around Second Life. Recently reports revealed that new documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden showed that the NSA was lurking in World of Warcraft, on Xbox Live, and in Second Life (of all places) to keep tabs on terrorists who they believed might be organizing attacks in these virtual worlds. Stephen Colbert poked fun at the recent revelation, showing clips from the game while cracking jokes like this one:

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President Obama Meeting With Tech Executives to Talk About Surveillance

December 17, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

United States President Barack Obama is expected to meet with Microsoft executive vice president Brad Smith, Zynga co-founder Mark Pincus, and executives from Facebook, Apple, Comcast, Netflix, and Google. The President will discuss the roll-out of the HealthCare.gov web site and how the government can partner with technology companies in the future (something that probably should have been discussed prior to the website's less-than-stellar launch earlier this year), and about surveillance issues.

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NSA Will Continue Bulk Spying Despite Lawmakers Efforts

December 12, 2013 - GamePolitics staff

An interesting report on Ars Technica reveals that the National Security Agency would continue bulk spying activities even if Congress passes a law forbidding them to do so. In fact, the agency would likely take the fight to court - though which court that would be remains uncertain.

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Andrew EisenOh, may as well. Zip, I challenge you to cite three specific examples from the TvW videos (use direct quotes and time stamps) and explain how/why they ring hollow or are over exaggerated.08/29/2014 - 11:56am
Andrew EisenZip - Bullies on both sides? What both sides? And of course bullies are worse than people who aren't bullies.08/29/2014 - 11:23am
Neeneko(2) yes, male tropes also have problems and gender studies looks at those too. But this highlights a privilage problem, the idea that if male issues are not brought up too female issues should not be discussed.08/29/2014 - 10:42am
Neeneko@ZippyDSMlee - jumping back (1) one can acknowledge systemic problems without requiring every male be a Neanderthal.08/29/2014 - 10:42am
MaskedPixelanteI don't like the new 3DS, mostly because it means there's a good chance future 3DS games won't be compatible with the current models.08/29/2014 - 9:30am
ConsterI don't get why Amazon decided to buy this "Twitch" fellow, really. It took him ages to beat Pokemon.08/29/2014 - 8:31am
ZippyDSMleeIt goes without saying that we need to et rid of the bullies on both sides that are far worse than Sarkeesian or Quin will ever be.08/29/2014 - 8:24am
ZippyDSMleeI'm talking more about the genreal movement and how silly it is, as for Sarkeesian half of what she is says rings hollw while the other half tend to be over exsagerated.08/29/2014 - 8:22am
Avalongod@Papa, agreed. I think people are reluctant to get involved if they're not the target. But I think we need to take responsibility as a community to confront harassing behavior, whether on gender or race.08/29/2014 - 7:23am
E. Zachary KnightSo Nintendo has given gamers what they want and have fractured the 3DS user base at the same time. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/224476/Nintendo_reveals_the_New_Nintendo_3DS.php08/29/2014 - 7:12am
Papa MidnightI could say the same about race. I certainly enjoyed being on the receiving end of this while playing StarCraft II this past week: http://i.imgur.com/mIZA1QB.png (and this is actually mild compared to what I usually see). Report players? What a joke...08/29/2014 - 12:29am
AvalongodWhether you approve of Sarkeesian's view or not, no woman deserves to be the target of that kind of harassment and it won't stop until men tell each other it's not appropriate under any circumstance.08/28/2014 - 8:44pm
AvalongodI'm guessing the twitter account was a troll, but come on, I'm sorry, it's just disgusting someone is saying those things to Sarkeesian whether serious or a joke.08/28/2014 - 8:43pm
ZippyDSMleesocial movement that is bringing most of these issue to the spot light to be nothing but trend mongering white knighting bullies who are not much better than the hateful moronic bullies on the other side.08/28/2014 - 5:20pm
ZippyDSMleereflects the world we live in while the rest is the worst stuff that should be focused on. Leaving whats reflected in the same boat as everything else that's exaggerated and skewed by media/fiction and happliy consumed by current society. I find the socia08/28/2014 - 5:20pm
ZippyDSMleemales live off the power fantasy but once you realize as a male you will never reach what fiction or media calls perfect it demoralizes you just the same. And I would not call female negative stereotypes rampant and out of control not when 70-80% of it re08/28/2014 - 5:19pm
ZippyDSMleeNot saying that there is not a difference in the treatment of males and females in media, but males are begin painted as near perfect superhumans with cliched flaws it dose as much damage to the psyche as how females are treated. Sure you could claim that08/28/2014 - 5:19pm
ZippyDSMleeNeeneko:As I said if you do not 100% belive it then you are a Neanderthal. Theres more gray to everything than black and white.08/28/2014 - 1:27pm
NeenekoMeh, the "PCism" is just trotted out when people do not know their place and dare to complain about things the speakers think are fine. How dare people complain about how they are treated/portrayed, it is not like it bother us, our feelings matter!08/28/2014 - 1:13pm
ZippyDSMleeNeeneko I do not think its against feminism but rather against PCisim’s and that most things are offensive since if you do not believe that you are a Neanderthal that beats women,ect..08/28/2014 - 12:48pm
 

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