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US Police asks Google for geodata and search history of users

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New law enforcement tools are alarming for human rights defenders.

Geographic Zones and Keyword Orders are new law enforcement tools that are worrying privacy experts.

Lawyers and privacy experts argue that “Geofencing Orders” and “Keyword Orders” are akin to a general warrant made illegal under the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. Unlike other types of search warrants, which are designed to search for information about potential criminals, these warrants do not apply to a specific person.

In other words, with a “reverse search warrant,” law enforcement is still looking for a suspect and asking tech companies to provide them with a list of people to investigate. For a Geofencing Warrant, anyone who is in a specific location at a specific time becomes a suspect and is subject to further investigation, which could mean providing the police with even more user data. In terms of keyword search warrants – another relatively new mechanism for obtaining user information – anyone searching for a specific phrase or address becomes a suspect.

For example, according to The Guardian, in January 2020, an alarming email from Google arrived in Zachary McCoy’s inbox. According to the letter, the police requested user data, and McCoy had seven days left to go to court and block their disclosure.

As McCoy later learned, the request was made in the course of a burglary investigation in a nearby house a year earlier. The evidence that made him a suspect was the whereabouts of the man on the bike ride – the police obtained this information from Google using a so-called “geofencing warrant.” McCoy just ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time and ended up under investigation.

Geofencing orders are increasingly becoming the preferred tool of law enforcement. It received 11,554 requests for “geofencing orders” from law enforcement in 2020, according to Google, up from 8396 in 2019 and 982 in 2018.

This trend is alarming for privacy experts and human rights defenders. They are concerned that this surge in inquiries signals a new era in which law enforcement is finding increasingly creative ways to get user information from tech companies. Experts fear that the police will use this relatively uncontrolled mechanism in the context of new and controversial laws.

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Components

Unique behavior of Ryzen 7000 processors. The notorious patches from the Specter vulnerability improve the performance of new CPUs

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Unique behavior of Ryzen 7000 processors The notorious patches from

Recently, various vulnerabilities in processors have been talked about much less often, and users no longer worry about performance degradation due to patches. As it turns out, Ryzen 7000 processors generally benefit from such patches!

Unique behavior of Ryzen 7000 processors. The notorious patches from the Specter vulnerability improve the performance of new CPUs

At least this is true for Linux, since it was in this OS that the author tested the Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X. It turned out that when working out of the box, the CPUs show better performance than when loading a special version of Linux with a deactivated patch from the Specter V2 vulnerability.

Unique behavior of Ryzen 7000 processors. The notorious patches from the Specter vulnerability improve the performance of new CPUs

Of course, such results do not appear everywhere, and during normal work they are unlikely to be critical. In particular, in total, according to the results of 190 tests, the difference was only 3%.

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Gaming

PlayStation 5 has been hacked. You can install games, but you can’t run them yet

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PlayStation 5 has been hacked You can install games but

Nearly two years after the PlayStation 5 went on sale, modders have found a way to jailbreak the console, albeit with some restrictions.

IGN notes that the modder, known as SpecterDev, disclosed an apparent jailbreak that is described as an experimental IPV6 kernel exploit exploiting a WebKit vulnerability.

The jailbreak will only work on PS5 systems with firmware 4.03 or later. If you’ve updated your PS5 since October last year, you won’t be able to try the exploit. But even if you need firmware, an attempt to install a jailbreak works only in a third of cases.

PlayStation 5 has been hacked.  You can install games, but you can't run them yet

As for what you can do with a jailbroken PS5 right now, you’ll get access to the system’s debug menu. You can also install games from outside the PlayStation Store, but you cannot run third-party software.

Modder Lance McDonald tested the jailbreak and was able to install the PT demo, the famous teaser of the canceled Silent Hills game. However, he was unable to start playing the game. Although the exploit offers read/write access to the PS5, there is currently no way to execute the downloaded files. In any case, PT is not backwards compatible with PS5.

It is currently unlikely that this jailbreak will be widely used anytime soon due to its limitations and the fact that Sony can ban modder accounts. On top of that, there is a risk of locking the console at that time. However, it may give other hackers and modders a foundation to build more robust jailbreak tools.

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Security

Hacker Hacked Fast Company’s Apple News Account and Spread Racist Messages

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Hacker Hacked Fast Companys Apple News Account and Spread Racist

An unknown hacker was able to access the business publication Fast Company’s Apple News account and sent out a series of obscene and racist messages via push notifications. Subscribers are the victims.

Hacker Hacked Fast Company's Apple News Account and Spread Racist Messages

Fast Company confirmed the hack, and so did Apple. The incident is currently under investigation.

Fast Company’s Apple News account was hacked Tuesday night. After that, two push notifications with obscene and racist content were sent with a minute interval. The messages are disgusting and do not match Fast Company content. We are investigating the incident and have also paused feed updates and closed FastCompany.com until we are confident the situation has been resolved.“, – noted in the publication.

Shortly before the shutdown, the hacker himself posted an entire article on the Fast Company website, where he described in detail how he managed to bypass the protection. It turned out that the accounts on the site were protected by the same password, this also applies to the account of the site administrator. Having gained access to them, the hacker was able to get to the authentication tokens and log in to Apple News.

At the same time, in addition to hooliganism, no financial losses or manipulations were recorded.

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