Around the IT Industry 3/4-3/8

by Modis on March 8, 2013

Galaxy S III Bug Allows Access to Personal Data on Locked Phones

Similar to the recent iOS 6.1 bug that allowed people to access the contact information on locked iPhones, a new bug has been discovered in the Samsung Galaxy S III that allows users to bypass the lockscreen and access the phone’s functions and stored information.  The bug is fairly easy to execute by using the phone’s “emergency call” feature, and Samsung has not yet commented on the issue at this time.

Yahoo Mail Accounts Being Hacked Relentlessly

Yahoo Mail users have had their accounts hacked periodically for the last several months and, while Yahoo claims to have plugged two separate security holes responsible for the attacks, the problem continues even now.  The attacks involve an innocuous e-mail (usually sent from one of the user’s personal contacts) with a link in it which, when clicked, results in the account being hijacked.  From there, hackers use the compromised account to spam similar e-mails to all of the user’s contacts to perpetuate the issue.  Yahoo has issued a statement on the issue, claiming that they are “aggressively investigating reports” of compromised accounts.

Microsoft Will Allow Office 2013 Licenses to Transfer to New PCs

In response to the outrage over Microsoft’s recent decision to tie Office 2013 retail licenses to the PC they were installed on, the software giant has reversed its decision and will allow the license to be carried over once every 90 days to a new PC, though the previous PC must then be “deactivated” so that the license can only be in use on one computer at a time.

Bill Planned to Reverse the Ban on Phone Unlocking

While US lawmakers recently passed legislation that prevented users from unlocking cellular phones for transferring to other carriers, the White House and other legislators have begun to respond to a public outcry via online petition to reverse that legislation.  Senator Amy Klobuchar (D – MN) has vowed to introduce a bill that will do just that and give users the freedom to do with their electronics as they please, citing that “consumers should be free to choose the phone and service that best fits their needs and their budgets.”

Google Says the FBI is Secretly Spying on Customers

For the first time ever, a company has released data chronicling the volume of National Security Letter (NSL) requests submitted to them by the FBI.  Google published data that shows, over a period of several years, a range of numbers to suggest the number of NSLs and users or accounts targeted by these letters.  While the exact numbers cannot be given due to the built-in “gag order” these letters come with, the data suggests that over a thousand users have been targeted each year since 2009.  The data disclosed to the FBI as a result of these letters can include subscriber information, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, website browsing history, and more so long as the FBI says the information is relevant to an investigation.

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