If you have bought a Lenovo laptop this or last year and haven’t heard yet, one of the most successful PC makers has been caught installing adware on a number of machines with reports starting from mid-2014.
Basically, a software called Superfish is injecting third party ads on Google searches. Not only that, it also injects its own certificate, allowing to snoop on secure connections and decrypt them. Just take a look at this screenshot:
In an effort to protects its users and reduce the number of malicious add-ons, the open source organization has announced its plans to enforce extension signing, which means that starting from Q2, 2015, developers will have to get a signature verification from Mozilla. The extension signing warnings will first appear on Firefox 39.
Forms a new privacy initiative called Polaris.
In an effort to protect its user’s privacy, Mozilla has announced a new strategic initiative with the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) and the Tor Project, which they hope will support and advise Polaris projects that should benefit everyone.
As a result, two new experiments have been announced as well (under Polaris belt), focusing on anti-censorship technology, cross site tracking protection and anonymity. In addition to that, Mozilla will also start hosting Tor middle relays, which will make the whole Tor network more responsive.
BrowserStack, a paid service with over 25,000 customers (including eBay, Adobe and other giants) that allows you to test your web sites on more than 700 different web browser configurations, has been compromised.
The customers has since received the following email:
Back in April, everyone was talking about “that Heartbleed thing”, now, it looks like the search giant has found a new exploit in the now 18 year’s old SSL 3.0 protocol, which is still supported in a lot of web browser and can also be used as a fallback in case newer protocols fail to connect.
How to fix it? Well, the server administrators could disable SSL 3.0 completely but that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon. As far as other solutions go, Google says that it can’t be fixed and there are no reasonable workarounds.
On a slightly positive note, it was discovered (and not fully revealed) by Google so no one knows how widespread it exactly is. So here you have it folks, an exploit that can’t be fixed.
More money, more security.
After squashing more than 700 Chrome security bugs and paying a total of $1.25 in rewards, the search giant has decided to encourage hackers even more.
Starting from July 1, 2014 (yes, they are going backwards as a special treat even though they announced it recently), Google is upping the maximum reward range from $5000 to $15,000, which is triple of what they used to pay (although there were always few exceptions such as last month’s $30,000 pay for what they call to be “a very impressive report”.
Aims to block even more malware.
Back in 2013, Google has announced a Safe Browsing filter, which improves user experience by automatically blocking malicious downloads. Now, the search giant has announced additional steps to combat deceptive software.
Starting next week, Google Chrome will also protect users from programs that are disguised as a helpful download, for example: the ones that change your home page or adjust other web browser settings.
Good bye, ActiveX.
In an effort to improve the overall browser security and reduce user frustration, the software giant has announced that it will start blocking outdated ActiveX controls starting August 12, 2014.
According to Microsoft, “Java exploits represented 84.6% to 98.5% of exploit kit-related detections each month in 2013” and “to help avoid this situation with ActiveX controls, an update to Internet Explorer on August 12, 2014 will introduce a new security feature, called out-of-date ActiveX control blocking.”
Say hello to BoringSSL.
After the recent Heartbleed bug paranoia, it looks like Google took a pretty significant step to minimize such risks in the future. According to the report, the search giant is replacing OpenSSL with its own BoringSSL (yes, they did call it like that) in an effort to streamline security patches and improve overall user security.
Silent mode for everything.
Recently, Opera followed other browsers and revealed a new build, which would automatically update your software to the latest version. Now, it looks like Norwegian browser maker has decided to go an extra mile and silence even more tasks, starting with the latest Developer build (23.0.1522.0), Opera will now scan your PC for other web browser installations / profiles and silently import all data (on the first run) without your permission, including: passwords, cookies, history and bookmarks.