Low-end smartphones sold to Americans with low-income via a government-subsidized program contain unremovable malware, security firm Malware bytes said today in a report.
The smartphone model is Unimax (UMX) U686CL, a low-end Android-based smartphone made in China and sold by Assurance Wireless, a cell phone service provider part of the Virgin Mobile group.
The telco sells cell phones part of Lifeline, a government program that subsidizes phone service for low-income Americans.
“In late 2019, we saw several complaints in our support system from users with a government-issued phone reporting that some of its pre-installed apps were malicious,” Malwarebytes said in a report published today.
The company said it purchased a UMX U686CL smartphone and analyzed it to confirm the reports it was receiving.
For starters, Malwarebytes said it found that one of the phone’s components, an app named Wireless Update, contained the Adups malware.
The Adups malware was discovered in 2017 by Kryptowire, and it’s a malicious firmware component created by a Chinese company of the same name.
Microsoft has been warning us that this day would come. And now, it’s almost here. Windows 7 end of life lands on January 14, 2020. After that deadline, Windows users running older versions of the desktop operating system will face a difficult choice – cough-up for a hefty bill to upgrade to Windows 10, or brace themselves for some dangerous risks on their home PC.
By ending support for the ageing Windows 7 operating system, which was first launched back in July 2009, Microsoft will stop rolling-out updates with new features, security updates or protections against malware. That means any issues with the software – or any new vulnerabilities discovered by cybercriminals – can be leveraged from indefinitely. Less serious, perhaps – but this also means any annoying bugs or glitches that crop-up will also be immortalised in the operating system.
If you’d like to benefit from the latest security protections and anti-virus solutions from Microsoft, you’ll have to update your machine to an operating system the Redmond-based company does support – namely, Windows 10. Although Microsoft has offered free upgrades to users running official versions of its operating systems in the past, that’s not possible at the moment.
In April 1997, Wired magazine published a feature with the grand and regrettable title “Birth of a Digital Nation.” It was a good time to make sweeping, sunny pronouncements about the future of the United States and technology. The US stood alone astride the globe. Its stock market was booming. Microsoft was about to become the world’s most valuable company, a first for a tech firm. A computer built by IBM was about to beat the world chess champion at his own game.
And yet, the journalist Jon Katz argued, the country was on the verge of something even greater than prosperity and progress — something that would change the course of world history. Led by the Digital Nation, “a new social class” of “young, educated, affluent” urbanites whose “business, social and cultural lives increasingly revolve around” the internet, a revolution was at hand, which would produce unprecedented levels of civic engagement and freedom.sent them berserk.
Though challenged at the edges, this sense lingered. As late as 2012, even as the vast platforms that now control the internet had assumed their current shapes, the bestselling author Steven Johnson argued the glass was half full in his book Future Perfect — that “peer progressives,” enlightened digital natives, would end entrenched social and political problems through crowdsourcing.
Looking back from the shaky edge of a new decade, it’s clear that the past 10 years saw many Americans snap out of this dream, shaken awake by a brutal series of shocks and dislocations from the very changes that were supposed to “create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace.” When they opened their eyes, they did indeed see that the Digital Nation had been born. Only it hadn’t set them free. They were being ruled by it. It hadn’t tamed politics. It sent them berserk.
And it hadn’t brought people closer together.
Microsoft and Google warn that a new bug discovered in Internet Explorer for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 can totally take over your PC.
If you haven’t moved beyond Internet Explorer, here’s another reason to do so: Google and Microsoft have discovered a new IE vulnerability that can take over your entire PC.
Microsoft published CVE-2019-1367 on Monday, a scripting engine memory corruption vulnerability that exists within basically every version of Internet Explorer for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. (Discovery of the bug was credited to Clément Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, and reported earlier by The Register.) The vulnerability “corrupt[s] memory in such a way that an attacker could execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user,” according to Microsoft.
The alert goes on explain what this means for users. “An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user,” Microsoft says. “If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could take control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.”
In other words, if an attacker is able to convince you to click on an affected webpage, that attacker can do whatever they want to your PC and your stored data.
Computers think they know who you are. Artificial intelligence algorithms can recognize objects from images, even faces. But we rarely get a peek under the hood of facial recognition algorithms. Now, with ImageNet Roulette, we can watch an AI jump to conclusions. Some of its guesses are funny, others…racist.
ImageNet Roulette was designed as part of an art and technology museum exhibit called Training Humans to show us the messy insides of the facial recognition algorithms that we might otherwise assume are straightforward and unbiased. It uses data from one of the large, standard databases used in AI research. Upload a photo, and the algorithm will show you what it thinks you are. My first selfie was labeled “nonsmoker.” Another was just labeled “face.” Our editor-in-chief was labeled a “psycholinguist.”
Source: See How AI Stereotypes You
Austrian and Chinese scientists have succeeded in teleporting three-dimensional quantum states for the first time. High-dimensional teleportation could play an important role in future quantum computers.
With this, the international research team has also made an important step towards practical applications such as a future quantum internet, since high-dimensional quantum systems can transport larger amounts of information than qubits. “This result could help to connect quantum computers with information capacities beyond qubits”, says Anton Zeilinger, quantum physicist at the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the University of Vienna, about the innovative potential of the new method.
The participating Chinese researchers also see great opportunities in multidimensional quantum teleportation.
Early this year, we posted on a rumour that Windows Lite may come without support for Microsoft’s Live Tile system. Later, we reported another evidence indicating that Live Tiles may soon disappear on Windows 10 Start Menu. Today, the death of Live Tiles was almost confirmed, thanks to the new internal build which Microsoft released accidentally. […]
Fernando Corbató, whose work on computer time-sharing in the 1960s helped pave the way for the personal computer, as well as the computer password, died on Friday at a nursing home in Newburyport, Mass. He was 93.
His wife, Emily Corbató, said the cause was complications of diabetes. At his death he was a professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Corbató, who spent his entire career at M.I.T., oversaw a project in the early 1960s called the Compatible Time-Sharing System, or C.T.S.S., which allowed multiple users in different locations to access a single computer simultaneously through telephone lines.
At the time, computing was done in large batches, and users typically had to wait until the next day to get the results of a computation.
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Americans are becoming increasingly sedentary, spending almost a third of their waking hours sitting down, and computer use is partly to blame, a new study found.
Over almost a decade, average daily sitting time increased by roughly an hour, to about eight hours for U.S. teens and almost 6 1/2 hours for adults, according to the researchers. That includes school and work hours, but leisure-time computer use among all ages increased too.
By 2016, at least half of American kids and adults spent an hour or more of leisure time daily using computers. The biggest increase was among the oldest adults: 15% of retirement-aged adults reported using computers that often in 2003-04, soaring to more than half in 2015-16.