Technology

Considering the security implications of CloudFlare’s partnership with Baidu

Earlier this year, Citizen Lab revealed an attack tool that redirected Internet traffic in mainland China to take down websites like GitHub or GreatFire. The tool was dubbed “the Great Cannon” because it appears to share locations with “the Great Firewall” that separates mainland China from the global Internet. The Great Cannon was the first thing I thought about when news recently broke about CloudFlare’s partnership with Baidu. Both companies were touting their ability to reduce page loading times and…

Technology

Obama promises to promote net neutrality, broadband

U.S. President Barack Obama promised to push for net neutrality rules and for more transparency in the government’s surveillance programs during his State of the Union address late Tuesday. In a speech largely focused on the U.S. economy and aiding the middle class, Obama also promised to push for the deployment of next generation broadband networks, as he outlined in a preview to the State of the Union a week ago. The president has called on the U.S. Federal Communications…

HardwareTechnology

Windows 7 exits mainstream support: What you need to know

Yet another end is nigh for Windows 7. After months of buildup—Microsoft killed standalone software sales of the operating system in October 2013, and Windows 7 consumer PCs stopped being manufactured in October 2014—the venerable OS is finally exiting “mainstream support” on January 13, 2015. And for months now, the Web has been flooded with a wave of confused or downright fearmongering headlines and articles implying that Windows 7 is following Windows XP into the graveyard. It's not. The confusion here stems…

Science

Google criticized for not attacking security flaw in older devices

The alarm bell is once again ringing over Android security. A Forbes report cites security experts dinging Google over the company’s decision to no longer issue security updates for WebView in devices running Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) or lower. WebView is a key component of the Android OS that lets apps show web content inside of an app instead of kicking you over to a browser. It may be used in RSS readers or other applications that connect you to…

Technology

Unlike Google, Bing gives no rankings boost for encrypted websites

Microsoft's Bing has no plans to rank websites higher if they use HTTPS encryption, unlike rival Google. Instead, Bing prefers to “give searchers content they want,” said Vincent Wehren, the lead program manager for Bing Webmaster Tools. Search Engine Land reported on Wehren's remarks from the Search Marketing Expo this week. HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, which is a way of encrypting communications over a network. In exchange for a slightly slower connection, HTTPS provides an added layer of security,…

Technology

Android L will turn on encryption by default

The pre-release window for Android L continues to be full of surprises. The new Android OS, due out before the end of the year, is set to encrypt device data by default, a first for the Android universe—but it'll probably be a while before default encryption comes to every Android user. Savvy Android users already know how to keep their phones and tablets safe with encryption. Beginning with Android Honeycomb in early 2011, Google has offered access to optional full-disk encryption via the…

Technology

Home Depot breach put 56 million payment cards at risk, company says

The breach of Home Depot’s payment systems may have compromised 56 million payment cards as a result of malware that has since been eliminated, the company said Thursday. Attackers used unique, custom-built malware to evade detection, the company said in an update on its investigation. The malware was present between April and September of this year, the firm said in a statement. Terminals identified with malware have been taken out of service. The retailer confirmed in September that its payment systems…