*New ‘Snowden’ Film Drags Data Privacy Back Into The Spotlight

By David Jonker   …..

Whether you agree with his actions or not, this new film about Edward Snowden is a “must see” for those concerned about Internet Security and data privacy.

What is there left to say about Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee who leaked thousands of confidential NSA documents to the media in 2013? His actions drove to the fore serious questions about data privacy and security. Three years on, and with a star-studded film now bringing his thrilling personal story to the big screen, both sides continue trying to untangle the question, “who is protecting whom?”

Snowden caused us to question whether governments are sincerely trying to protect us by secretly collecting our data, or if renegades like himself are keeping us safe by exposing their schemes. No matter where you stand, there is no denying that big data is opening up new questions about surveillance, freedom, privacy and protection in our digital present and future.

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*How to fix the MBR if Ransomware Bricks your computer

By Ian Paul   …..

A nasty new form of ransomware is wreaking havoc on computers. Hackers that encrypt your files and demand money from you in the form of bitcoin is bad enough, but a few versions also overwrite your Windows PC’s master boot record (MBR).

The master boot record is a key part of your PC’s startup system. It contains information about the computer’s disk partitions and helps load the operating system. Without a properly functioning MBR, your PC simply won’t work.

Ransomware that overwrites the MBR isn’t all that new, with examples of it dating back to at least 2012.

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*NSA & British GCHQ Hacked SIM Card Maker to Steal Encryption Keys to Spy on Cellphones

The National Security Agency and its British counterpart, the GCHQ, hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe.

The secret operation targeted the Dutch company Gemalto. Its clients include AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and some 450 wireless network providers around the world. It produces two billion SIM cards a year. According to The Intercept, the stolen encryption keys give intelligence agencies the ability to monitor mobile communications without seeking or receiving approval from telecom companies and foreign governments.

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*Microsoft Has Begun To Block Non-Microsoft Web Browsers

The present browser war is regularly and increasingly getting fierce. Tech giant Microsoft seems to have now found a new way to control the web browsers that run on Windows Operating System.

It’s been discovered that Microsoft is blocking other browsers whenever they are in accounts covered by the Microsoft Family Service filters.

Microsoft is seeking to make Edge the default browser for Windows users, thereby eliminating the competition and gaining market share. But the success of this measure has been down and Edge continues struggle in gaining user’s acceptance.

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*FBI Official Explains What To Do In A Ransomware Attack

Businesses or consumers hit by ransomware should refuse to pay the ransom and immediately contact the FBI or file a complaint on www.ic3.gov, the federal government’s website for filing and sharing information about cybercrime, an FBI official said today.

Will Bales, supervisory special agent for the FBI’s Cyber Division, said any information, whether it’s a Bitcoin wallet address, transaction data, the hashtag of the malware, or any email correspondence, can help advance an FBI ransomware investigation.

“People have to remember that ransomware does not affect just one person or one business,” Bales said. “It will more than likely move on and affect somebody else. And for those who pay the ransom, it only encourages them to extort the next person.”

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*Wells Fargo fined $185Mill for fake accounts; 5,300 were fired

by Kevin McCoy

Wells Fargo Bank, one of the nation’s largest banks, has been hit with $185 million in civil penalties for secretly opening millions of unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts that harmed customers, federal and state officials said Thursday.

Employees of Wells Fargo (WFC) boosted sales figures by covertly opening the accounts and funding them by transferring money from customers’ authorized accounts without permission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Los Angeles city officials said.

An analysis by the San Francisco-headquartered bank found that its employees opened more than two million deposit and credit card accounts that were not authorized by consumers, the officials said. Many of the transfers ran up fees or other charges for the customers, even as they helped employees make incentive goals.

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*Windows 10 Uses Your Computer to Update Other People’s PCs. Here’s How to Stop It.

from: The Verdict   …..

One of Windows 10’s new features is its optimized update delivery system. If Microsoft’s servers are busy, Windows 10 can grab updates for the operating system and for Windows Store apps from other computers — either on your local network or over the Internet.

The catch, however, is that if ‘peer-to-peer file-sharing’ is turned on (which it is, by default), your computer also turns into an update-sharing hub, feeding updates to other devices both on and off your network.

Peer-to-peer file-sharing opens up some security concerns, even if it’s only for Windows updates. According to Microsoft, Delivery Optimization uses the same security measures as Windows Update and the Windows Store to ensure no privacy breaches occur.

There’s also a very nasty side effect to this however : Windows 10’s P2P sharing eating into your upload bandwidth and slowing down your network connection. If your PC is feeding updates to other computers over the Internet, it might be eating through your data limit or tying up your bandwidth. Delivery Optimization won’t run if you’re using a metered connection, but you may still want to turn it off just in case. Here’s how to do that.

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