Mozilla blames 'interlocking complex systems' and confusion for Firefox's May add-on outage

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2019 03:00:00 -0700

Mozilla has issued multiple after-action reports analyzing the major mix-up in May that crippled most Firefox add-ons. The reports also made recommendations for preventing similar incidents in the future.

The fiasco started just after 8 p.m. ET on Friday, May 3, when a certificate used to digitally sign Firefox extensions expired. Because Mozilla had neglected to renew the certificate, Firefox assumed add-ons could not be trusted – that they were potentially malicious – and disabled any already installed. Add-ons could not be added to the browser for the same reason.

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5 smart questions that'll smother most Android security scares

Credit to Author: JR Raphael| Date: Thu, 25 Jul 2019 03:00:00 -0700

I haven’t looked at today’s tech news too closely just yet, but I have a sneaking suspicion some evil-sounding virtual gremlin or other is probably on the brink of invading my smartphone, stealing my secrets, and setting me up for a lifetime of dread and despair.

He might even be covertly eating all the salty snacks from my kitchen this very second. ALL THE SALTY SNACKS, DAMN IT!

I don’t have to scan the headlines too closely to know there’s a decent chance of all of this happening — because all of this happens practically every other week here in the Android world. A solid few to several times a month, it seems, some hilariously named and made-to-seem-scary new piece of malware (ViperRat! Desert Scorpion! Ooga-Booga-Meanie-Monster!) is making its way onto our phones and into our lives. Or so we’re told, rather convincingly and repeatedly. (All right, so I may have made Ooga-Booga-Meanie-Monster up just now, but c’mon: It’s probably only a matter of time til we see something using that name.)

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Slack tweaks desktop app to be faster, more efficient

Credit to Author: Matthew Finnegan| Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2019 09:50:00 -0700

Slack has overhauled its desktop software, adding offline access and tweaking the software for faster load times.

Recent efforts to improve the desktop app were highlighted at Slack Frontiers last year and the coming update – which the company says will launch 33% faster than before – will be available to users “over the next few weeks.”

Calls made to team mates via the app should be a speedier too, up to 10 times quicker, Slack said. “That could mean the difference between showing up to a meeting on time or not,” the company said in a blog post Monday. “These moments saved can quickly add up, giving you more time to focus on the tasks at hand.”

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Mozilla takes swipe at Chrome with 'Track THIS' project

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2019 04:28:00 -0700

Mozilla this week touted Firefox’s anti-ad tracking talents by urging users of other browsers to load 100 tabs to trick those trackers into offering goods and services suitable for someone in the 1%, an end-times devotee and other archetypes.

Tagged as “Track THIS,” the only-semi-tongue-in-cheek project lets users select from four personas – including “hypebeast,” “filthy rich,” “doomsday prepper,” and “influencer” – for illustrative purposes. Track THIS then opens 100 tabs “to fool trackers into thinking you’re someone else.”

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Mozilla makes anti-tracking the Firefox default

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Thu, 06 Jun 2019 12:43:00 -0700

Mozilla this week began to switch on an aggressive anti-tracking technology in Firefox that it has touted since 2015.

With a June 4 update to Firefox 67, Mozilla turned on Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) by default for new users. Existing customers simply updating their browsers may enable ETP themselves. The default-of-on will be extended to those users “in the coming months,” Mozilla said, apparently activating it in stages as a last-step quality control.

Mozilla also used the update to Firefox 67.0.1 to trumpet other privacy- and security-centric enhancements, including an add-on that brings its Lockwise password manager to the desktop browser and an improved Facebook Container, an extension designed to keep the social network behemoth from tracking users elsewhere on the web.

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WWDC: What you need to know about Sign In with Apple

Credit to Author: Jonny Evans| Date: Tue, 04 Jun 2019 11:32:00 -0700

There’s lots of interest in Apple’s new Sign In with Apple system, a highly secure, private way to sign in to apps and websites. Here’s what you need to know:

What is Sign In with Apple?

Apple has noticed that sign-in systems for services, apps, and websites rely on services that use your action of signing in to place cookies on your computer and track what you do.

Apple’s focus on privacy means it is attempting to restrict such practices, which is why it has developed the new system as a more private way to sign into these apps and services.

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Why Microsoft is building a Bitcoin-based ID verification system

Credit to Author: Lucas Mearian| Date: Tue, 14 May 2019 03:00:00 -0700

After more than a year in development, Microsoft has chosen Bitcoin as the blockchain platform for a decentralized identification (DID) verification system that will allow users to have secure access to an online persona via an encrypted database hub.

The implications of the new ID network could include the elimination of passwords. A company would be able to verify the background of a new employee and onboard them with the click of a single virtual button, or a banking customer could verify their identity for a loan without exposing personally identifiable information – again with a click of a button.

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How blockchain is becoming the 5G of the payment industry

Credit to Author: Lucas Mearian| Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2019 03:00:00 -0700

As more blockchain-based payment networks and fiat-backed digital currencies – including one from the largest U.S. bank – emerge, experts and analysts are predicting a sea change for the financial services industry.

“I think you’re starting to see a growing consensus,” said Matt Savare, a partner who works in the technology group of New Jersey-based law firm of Lowenstein Sandler LLP. “I do quite a bit of FinTech and I can tell you my clients… the banks, are inherently conservative – at least the large ones. But once they see other banks adopt new technologies, you see it snowball. Other banks will often join on in pretty quick fashion.”

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How blockchain is becomming the 5G of the payment industry

Credit to Author: Lucas Mearian| Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2019 03:00:00 -0700

As more blockchain-based payment networks and fiat-backed digital currencies – including one from the largest U.S. bank – emerge, experts and analysts are predicting a sea change for the financial services industry.

“I think you’re starting to see a growing consensus,” said Matt Savare, a partner who works in the technology group of New Jersey-based law firm of Lowenstein Sandler LLP. “I do quite a bit of FinTech and I can tell you my clients… the banks, are inherently conservative – at least the large ones. But once they see other banks adopt new technologies, you see it snowball. Other banks will often join on in pretty quick fashion.”

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Microsoft CEO supports Apple on privacy

Credit to Author: Jonny Evans| Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2019 06:00:00 -0800

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella seems to agree with Apple CEO Tim Cook when it comes to privacy, calling this a “fundamental human right”.

Microsoft CEO: Privacy a ‘human right’

Despite the lack of a successful smartphone franchise, Microsoft is still very much part of today’s industry with a range of services across the mobile ecosystem. That’s probably why Nadella is such an active attendee at Mobile World Congress 2019.

What’s really interesting about what he said during a speech at the show is the extent to which his thinking aligns with what Apple is doing around privacy, for example:

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Mozilla to harden Firefox defenses with site isolation, a la Chrome

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2019 11:13:00 -0800

Mozilla plans to boost Firefox’s defensive skills by mimicking the “Site Isolation” technology introduced to Google’s Chrome last year.

Dubbed “Project Fission,” the effort will more granularly separate sites and their individual components than is currently the case in Firefox. The goal: Isolate malicious sites and attack code so individual sites cannot wreak havoc in the browser at large, or pillage the browser, the device or the device’s memory of critical information, such as authentication credentials and encryption keys.

“We aim to build a browser which isn’t just secure against known security vulnerabilities, but also has layers of built-in defense against potential future vulnerabilities,” Nika Layzel, the project tech lead of the Fission team, wrote in a post last week to a Firefox development mailing list. “To accomplish this, we need to revamp the architecture of Firefox and support full Site Isolation.” Layzel also published the note as the first newsletter from the Fission engineering group.

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