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Found 13 results

  1. Google this week released Chrome 83, picking up after skipping a version because of the COVID-19 pandemic, auto-upgrading eligible users to DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) and enabling tab groups for everyone. The search firm paid at least $76,000 in bounties to bug researchers who reported some of the 38 vulnerabilities patched in Chrome 83. Five were marked "High," the second-most serious in Google's four-level threat ranking, with three of those marked as "use after free" flaws. The first vulnerability listed, a use-after-free bug in Chrome's reader mode, earned researcher Woojin Oh a $20,000 reward Read More @ https://www.computerworld.com/article/3211427/whats-in-the-latest-chrome-update.html
  2. London (CNN Business)Google (GOOGL) is publicly releasing the data it's already collecting about people's movements during the coronavirus pandemic. The company said it plans to publish a series of "Community Mobility Reports" to show the types of places people are visiting across 131 countries and regions. The first report was published on Friday.Google said in a blog post it hopes tracking movement trends over time and by geography could help shape and inform governments' and public health officials' response to the coronavirus pandemic.The coronavirus is creating an 'enormous stress test' of America's internetThe reports, which contain data from two to three days earlier, intend to spot trends in how people are behaving and responding to social distancing. Broken down by country and then by region, the reports will show if people are headed to retail and grocery stores, pharmacies, parks, workplaces and more. It'll also show how busy these places were before the pandemic.The reports will be available for the duration of the pandemic, Google said.The company said the findings are "created with aggregated, anonymized sets of data from users who have turned on the location history setting, which is off by default" in Google's services.It added that it would not release information that could be used to identify its users, such as individual location or contacts."In addition to other resources public health officials might have, we hope these reports will help support decisions about how to manage the COVID-19 pandemic," Google said in a blog post. "This information could help officials understand changes in essential trips that can shape recommendations on business hours or inform delivery service offerings."The news comes as much of the world's population is living under restrictions and lockdowns to curb the spread of Covid-19, which has killed more than 54,000 people globally and sickened more than one million, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.Zoom, the video conferencing app everyone is using, faces questions over privacyBut Google's move to release location data highlights concerns around privacy. According to Mark Skilton, director of the Artificial Intelligence Innovation Network at Warwick Business School in the UK, Google's decision to use public data "raises a key conflict between the need for mass surveillance to effectively combat the spread of coronavirus and the issues of confidentiality, privacy, and consent concerning any data obtained.""Covid-19 is an emergency on such a huge scale that, if anonymity is managed appropriately, internet giants and social media platforms could play a responsible part in helping to build collective crowd intelligence for social good, rather than profit," Skilton said.In March, Google confirmed to CNN it was exploring ways to use aggregated, anonymized data to help in the coronavirus effort, as first reported by the Washington Post. Facebook (FB) also confirmed at the time it is working on similar efforts.Source: CNN
  3. Google is not working with the US government in building a nationwide website to help people determine whether and how to get a novel coronavirus test, despite what President Donald Trump said in the course of issuing an emergency declaration for the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, a much smaller trial website made by another division of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is going up. It will only be able to direct people to testing facilities in the Bay Area. More than an hour after Trump’s press conference, a Google communications Twitter account passed along the following statement from Verily, which is a different company inside the Alphabet corporate umbrella: Carolyn Wang, communications lead for Verily, told The Verge that the “triage website” was initially only going to be made available to health care workers instead of the general public. Now that it has been announced the way it was, however, anybody will be able to visit it, she said. But the tool will only be able to direct people to “pilot sites” for testing in the Bay Area, though Wang says Verily hopes to expand it beyond California “over time.” The triage site should be put live within a few days, and it will be hosted at Project Baseline, the Verily website where people can sign up to take part in clinical trials. That’s a seemingly odd place for the triage tool to live, but Wang says that Project Baseline already has certain necessary tools like an informed consent agreement, so it makes sense to put it there. “Google is going to develop a website — it’s going to be very quickly done, unlike websites of the past — to determine if a test is warranted and to facilitate testing at a nearby convenient location,” Trump said at the press conference. “We have many, many locations behind us, by the way. We cover this country and large parts of the world, by the way. We’re not gonna be talking about the world right now, but we cover very, very strongly our country. Stores in virtually every location. Google has 1,700 engineers working on this right now. They have made tremendous progress.” As for the 1,700 Google engineers Trump referenced in the press conference, that appears to be related to a call for volunteers Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai put out in a company-wide memo earlier this week. In all, the difference between the reality of what is being built and what was promised during the press conference is very large.
  4. Google is canceling its I/O developer event this year, amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Google I/O was due to take place between May 12th to 14th this year, and the cancellation comes just days after Google scrapped its Cloud Next event in San Francisco in favor of a “digital-first” event. “Due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in accordance with health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities, we have decided to cancel the physical Google I/O event at Shoreline Amphitheatre,” explains a Google spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. GOOGLE I/O IS A BIG NEWS EVENT FOR THE COMPANYGoogle typically uses I/O as its biggest news event of the year to introduce new changes to Android, Google-powered hardware, and even updates to services like Google Maps. Google says it’s now exploring “other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with and continue to build our developer community.” Google says attendees will be refunded in full by March 13th, and those who purchased tickets for this year’s event will be automatically granted the option of buying a Google I/O 2021 ticket. Google’s cancelation of I/O is the latest in a line of tech events to be scrapped due to coronavirus concerns. Mobile World Congress was canceled last month, followed by Facebook’s F8 developer conference, the Game Developer Conference, and lots more. source: theverge
  5. A new subscription service from Google Photos will print and mail you a selection of your photos each month, 9to5Google reports. The service’s $7.99 monthly fee gets you 10 automatically-selected 4 x 6-inch prints, which are picked from the photos you’ve taken over the last 30 days. Google is currently trialing the service in the US, and you can sign up from a promotional banner that’s appearing for some Google Photos users. Google has been offering physical photo prints for a little while now, but the interesting thing here is that its algorithms will pick which of your photos get printed, rather than relying on you placing individual orders. 9to5Google reports that you have the option of prioritizing photos with “people and pets,” “landscapes,” or “a little bit of everything.” You also have the option of editing your selection before they’re printed each month. THERE ARE THREE OPTIONS FOR WHICH PHOTOS GET SELECTEDThis curation comes at a cost. At this price the photos work out at $0.79 per print, which is more than double the starting price of $0.25 Google charges for photos printed using its Walmart or CVS partnerships. However, the subscription service is definitely less effort than picking individual photos to print yourself. Physical photos are one of those things that it’s easy to miss out on entirely if you take most of your photos on a smartphone or digital camera and forget to ever get them printed. Personally, the struggle for me is remembering to take photos in the first place, but knowing that I’m going to get charged at the end of each month could be exactly the kind of incentive I need to get snapping.
  6. Google is working on another communications application, this one for workplaces, that will combine several different platforms it already operates, according to a new report from The Information. This new product is designed to unify different Google services the company sells to businesses, including parts of its G Suite like corporate-grade Gmail and Google Drive. It would also bundle together the various, somewhat confusing variants of Hangouts. Once a consumer-focused communications platform, Hangouts is now geared toward enterprise customers. It has since been split into Hangouts Meet, a video chat app, and Hangouts Chat, a real-time text-based successor to Gchat. But that means Google may be introducing yet another communications platform, or something similar, into an already confounding ecosystem of existing services. https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/28/21112596/google-messaging-communications-app-hangouts-chat-meet-g-suite
  7. Google has seemingly taken another step to sanitize the browsing environment for users. Allegedly, the tech giant is now planning to regularize advertisements for optimal loading. Consequently, in the days to come, Google Chrome will block heavy ads for seamless browsing. Chrome To Block Heavy AdsAs evident from the Chrome commit, Google has made plans to block heavy ads from loading. It will supposedly filter out those ads that consume more resources. This will, in turn, facilitate users for smooth browsing experience. First caught up by 9to5Google, the report reveals about some ongoing work towards achieving fast and smooth browsing. As mentioned in Chrome commit by John Delaney, Google is working on implementing ‘Heavy Ad Intervention’. The idea is to unload ad iframes that Google identifies for higher resource consumption. https://latesthackingnews.com/2019/07/06/google-chrome-will-block-heavy-ads-from-loading-in-future/
  8. Maps just got a lot more useful for commuters. The company today announced a pair of updates for its mapping application — one that will offer live traffic delays for buses in the cities where it didn’t already provide real-time updates, and another that will tell you how crowded your bus, train, or subway car will be. The latter is perhaps the more interesting of the two, as it represents a new prediction technique Google has been perfecting for over half a year. Starting in October, the company began to ask Google Maps users to rate their journey if they had traveled during peak commuting hours of 6 am to 10 am. Google asked about how many seats were available or if it was standing room only, in order to identify which lines had the highest number of crowdedness reports. Over time, it was able to model this data into a new prediction capability designed to tell transit riders how packed their bus or train would be. It also used this data to create rankings of the most crowded routes and stops around the world. Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo dominated the rankings for the most-crowded transit lines, as each city had 3 lines in the top 10. Meanwhile, New York’s L train is the only one in the U.S. to rank in the top 10. This isn’t the first time Google has used its massive Maps footprint to make predictions about crowds. The company had already introduced similar features for predicting the size of the crowd at restaurants and other retail locations. In addition, Google today expanded its ability to alert bus riders to delays. In December 2017, the company began offering real-time information provided by local transit agencies to transit riders. But this data wasn’t available in all cities. To address the problem, Google is launching live traffic delays in those markets where the information has been lacking — like Atlanta, GA. To make its predictions, Google is combining the bus route details with the data it’s collecting from users who have consented to anonymized data sharing. This is the same data collection mechanism it uses to predict the crowds at local businesses today. Essentially, the company is turning Google Maps into a powerful tool to understand the movement of people in the world. But many users may not know they’ve been opted into this data-sharing by default. In fact, they probably will think the transit data is coming from the city — not from the app installed on their phone and millions of others. In any event, users will now be able to see the bus delays, how long the delay will be, and adjusted travel times based on these live conditions. Google says the new features are rolling out on Google Maps in nearly 200 cities worldwide on both Android and iOS today.
  9. The first home delivery drone service has been launched in Australia, after years of test flights. Wing, owned by Google's parent company Alphabet, will deliver takeaway food, coffee and medicines by drone to about 100 homes in Canberra. It has been testing its drones in Australia since 2014 but many residents had complained about the noise. Wing said the feedback obtained during its trials had been "valuable" and it hoped to "continue the dialogue". Australia's aviation authority gave Wing permission to launch a commercial service after examining its safety record and operational plans. It judged that the company posed no risk to residents or other aircraft. Image copyrightWINGImage captionWing deliveries are lowered on stringWing's drones deliver small packages which are lowered into the customer's garden on a length of string. However, the approval has several conditions attached. The drones will only be allowed to fly during the day and not before 08:00 AEST at the weekend. They will not be allowed to fly over crowds or main roads. Skip Youtube post by Mack and Marty MonkeyWarning: Third party content may contain advertsReportEnd of Youtube post by Mack and Marty Monkey Trials of the drones had attracted complaints from residents in Bonython, Canberra, who said they were noisy and intrusive. The Bonython Against Drones campaign said the devices could be heard from "a long way off, both coming and leaving". "When they do a delivery drop they hover over the site and it sounds like an extremely loud, squealing vacuum cleaner," the group said on its website. In response, Wing said it had developed a quieter drone. The aviation authority says Wing must use this quieter drone for its commercial service.
  10. Google revealed that it took down 2.3 billion bad ads in 2018, including 58.8 million phishing ads for violation of its policies. Google introduced 31 new ads policies in 2018, aiming at protecting users from scams and other fraudulent activities (i.e. third-party tech support, ticket resellers, and crypto-currency). Some of the policies added by Google in 2018 include the ban of ads from for-profit bail bond providers that were abused for taking advantage of vulnerable communities. “In all, we introduced 31 new ads policies in 2018 to address abuses in areas including third-partytech support, ticket resellers, cryptocurrency and local services such as garage door repairmen, bail bonds and addiction treatment facilities.” reads the press release published by Google. “We took down 2.3 billion bad ads in 2018 for violations of both new and existing policies, including nearly 207,000 ads for ticket resellers, over 531,000 ads for bail bonds and approximately 58.8 million phishing ads. Overall, that’s more than six million bad ads, every day.” Malicious ads that Google took down in 2018 include nearly 207,000 ads for ticket resellers and over 531,000 ads for bail bonds. Google announced it will launch next month a new policy manager in Google Ads that will give tips to advertisers to avoid common policy mistakes. Google also revealed it was able to identify threat actors behind bad ads with the help of improved machine learning technology, it terminated nearly one million bad advertiser accounts. “When we take action at the account level, it helps to address the root cause of bad ads and better protect our users,” continues Google. In 2017, Google launched new technology for more granular analysis of ads, one year later the company launched 330 detection classifiers to help us better detect “badness” at the page level (nearly three times the number of classifiers launched in 2017 by the tech giant). “So while we terminated nearly 734,000 publishers and app developers from our ad network, and removed ads completely from nearly 1.5 million apps, we were also able to take more granular action by taking ads off of nearly 28 million pages” Google adds. Last year, Google introduced a new policy specifically created for election ads in the U.S. ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. The company aimed at preventing misinformation and fake news, it verified nearly 143,000 election ads, similar tools are being launched ahead of elections in the EU and India. Google removed ads from approximately 1.2 million pages, more than 22,000 apps, and nearly 15,000 sites last year. Ads from almost 74,000 pages were removed for violating their “dangerous or derogatory” content policy. 190,000 ads were taken down for violating this policy. In 2018, Google helped the FBI, along with the cyber-security firm White Ops, to take down a sophisticated ad fraud scheme called ‘3ve’ that allowed its operators to earn tens of millions of dollars. 3ve infected over 1.7 million computers to carry out advertising frauds. https://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/82519/cyber-crime/bad-ads-google.html
  11. Revised proposals attempt to address worries over Manifest v3 API changes. Google has proposed changes to its Chrome Extension renovation plan that answer some but not all of the concerns its Manifest v3 technical specification. The initial changes, announced in October last year, set off alarm bells last month when a critical mass of Chrome plugin developers finally realized what Google intended. The Manifest v3 changes represent an attempt to address real issues for users of the Chrome browser, specifically the security and performance implications of third-party code that has access to sensitive data. But the fixes Google initially suggested have broad implications. The Manifest v3 specification would break content and ad blockers, privacy extensions, and a host of other browser add-on code that relies on the ability to intercept requested web content before it gets rendered in the browser. Much of the angst arises from planned changes to the webRequest API, through which Chrome extensions handle incoming web content; Google wants to limit the API and replace it with a neutered version, the declarativeNetRequest API. The trouble is that as initially outlined, declarativeNetRequest is far too limited to accommodate current use cases. If implemented, existing extensions like uBlock Origin will have to be rewritten and won't have the same functionality regardless. Other technical changes have been floated that represent potential problems for existing code, like changes to background pages, but declarativeNetRequest represents the major sticking point. On Friday, Google software engineer Devlin Cronin published an update on Google's plans, insisting that there's too much abuse to maintain the status quo. "Users need to have greater control over the data their extensions can access," he wrote in a message posted to the Chromium Extensions discussion group. At the same time, he reiterated Google's interest in input from the developer community and offered evidence that Google is listening by outlining a less awful version of the declarativeNetRequest API. The tweaked spec will include support for dynamic rules – which content blockers formulate based on incoming content rather than declaring them ahead of time. "We agree that this is valuable in creating sophisticated content blocking extensions, and will be adding support for declarative rules that can be added or removed at runtime to the declarativeNetRequest API," Cronin said. The API will also be able to handle more than 30,000 rules, though how many isn't clear. Cronin insists the number cannot be unbounded to ensure adequate performance. And it will include expanded matching capabilities – necessary for effective filtering – and some request modification capabilities, like the ability to strip cookies. "We are also investigating other conditions and actions that may make sense to add, such as matching based on top-level domain," said Cronin. Other potential issues, like the difficulty of using ServiceWorkers as a replacement for persistent background pages to handle resource-intensive background processes like decryption and DOM parsing, are also being evaluated. "We won’t launch Manifest V3 until it is ready, and there will be a migration period in which we can continue to address feedback and issues," said Cronin. "We will not remove support for Manifest V2 until we are confident in the platform.nge By Thomas Claburn in San Francisco 16 Feb 2019 at 01:48
  12. Update (Feb 6): We have updated the post to clarify a protocol used in the design is centered around private set intersection.Google helps keep your account safe from hijacking with a defense in depth strategy that spans prevention, detection, and mitigation. As part of this, we regularly reset the passwords of Google accounts affected by third-party data breaches in the event of password reuse. This strategy has helped us protect over 110 million users in the last two years alone. Without these safety measures, users would be at ten times the risk of account hijacking.We want to help you stay safe not just on Google, but elsewhere on the web as well. This is where the new Password Checkup Chrome extension can help. Whenever you sign in to a site, Password Checkup will trigger a warning if the username and password you use is one of over 4 billion credentials that Google knows to be unsafe.Password Checkup was designed jointly with cryptography experts at Stanford University to ensure that Google never learns your username or password, and that any breach data stays safe from wider exposure. Since Password Checkup is an early experiment, we’re sharing the technical details behind our privacy preserving protocol to be transparent about how we keep your data secure. https://security.googleblog.com/2019/02/protect-your-accounts-from-data.html
  13. During its incessant web crawling, Google's search engine constantly encounters credentials dumped by hackers or left exposed by the careless. And because it can, the ad confectionery copies and encrypts these spilled usernames and passwords. Armed with this info, the Chocolate Factory directed its software engineers, in conjunction with crypto boffins from Stanford University, to create a Chrome browser extension called Password Checkup that allows Chrome users to check to see whether their passwords can be found online. The hope is that users thus warned will get the hint and change the compromised secret. Mozilla's rival browser Firefox implemented a similar service last year called Firefox Monitor that checks a third-party database of exposed credentials called HaveIBeenPwned.com. Users of password management app 1Password also have access to an extension that checks stored credentials against exposed ones using the same service. Google's Password Checkup extension takes a similar approach with its internal dataset of 4bn identifiers. Your password is safe - trust usMembers of Google's security and anti-abuse research team – Jennifer Pullman, Kurt Thomas, and Elie Bursztein – claim that "Google never learns your username or password" even through it collects the data. "At a high level, Password Checkup needs to query Google about the breach status of a username and password without revealing the information queried," the trio explain in a blog post today. "At the same time, we need to ensure that no information about other unsafe usernames or passwords leaks in the process, and that brute force guessing is not an option." The company's supposed ignorance of these secrets arises from repeated hashing and privacy techniques like single-party private information retrieval (PIR) and 1-out-of-N oblivious transfer. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/02/05/google_leaked_passwords_chrome_extension/
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