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MALWAREBYTES: Stalkerware-type app developers fined by NY Attorney General


iamjanco

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While I'm not a fan of our current state government ('nuff said), I did find the article rather interesting ( Source ):

 

Quote

 

A wealth of personal information


As far as the apps in question go, the release [PDF] explains what they can get up to without the device owner’s knowledge. This is a long extract, but it’s important to get a feel for just how much the device owner gives up privacy without knowing about it:

 

"Once installed on a Target Device, the Spyware App will copy information from the Target Device and transmit it to Respondents’ servers, where the information is made available for viewing by the purchaser of the Spyware App. Information copied and transmitted by Respondents’ Spyware Apps includes: call logs (including phone number, date, and call duration); text messages (including message content, date, and recipient); camera images and videos (including the image or video itself and date taken); location (including current latitude and longitude of the device); Gmail data (including an excerpt/snippet of the email message content, email subject, sender and recipient email address, and date); WhatsApp messages (including message text, sender, and date); Skype data (including message content, sender, and date); Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter data (including direct message content, date, and sender); and Google Chrome data (including browser history with URL and dates visited). "

 

 

The linked long pdf document (44 pages) mentioned in the quoted text above also is somewhat intriguing. 

 

Lastly, I probably ought to mention that I run the following three anti-spam/anti-malware extensions in my browsers just for the s&g's. Doing so also kills Youtube ads, which helps speed up getting to the meat of a matter: Bitdefender, AdBlockPlus, and Malware bytes (of course,  😉  ).  I do have to disable Malwarebytes on EHW and a few other sites though, because not doing so results in excessively long site loading times.

 

 

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We really need new national data privacy laws. We have enhanced data privacy laws in my state, but we need it to be more and everywhere. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I didn't finish reading the entire pdf, but I especially like how they talk about how  snooping can cause relationship problems and suggest that spyware is better...

 

I wouldn't be upset at someone looking through my phone, but I sure as hell would be if they installed spyware.

 

I think it's worth noting that the developers didn't hack phones to install their software. 

 

Users did it for them.  In cybersecurity it's pretty much a given, if they have physical access to the device, they can bypass security.

 

I know a guy who used to pass out drunk.  His wife used his fingerprints to unlock his phone, then programmed one of hers to be accepted.  He was cheating on her, and she used his phone to impersonate him and talk a lot of crap to the other women.

 

I don't see what "notifying users" will accomplish.  Nothing stops the user who installs it from clicking past notifications.  They would have to be reoccurring notifications but it doesn't look like the ruling took that into account.

 

If anything this judgement was way to light.  They should have seized servers and contacted the phone of compromised victims and ask if they wanted to press charges.  There's a conspiracy between the provider and user for sure, and it's likely the money trail isn't too hard to follow.

 

Aaron's law never passed, why do these guys get off so easily?

 

Maybe because it mirrors what the U.S. government already does....

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On 13/02/2023 at 15:40, iamjanco said:

While I'm not a fan of our current state government ('nuff said), I did find the article rather interesting ( Source😞

 

 

The linked long pdf document (44 pages) mentioned in the quoted text above also is somewhat intriguing. 

 

Lastly, I probably ought to mention that I run the following three anti-spam/anti-malware extensions in my browsers just for the s&g's. Doing so also kills Youtube ads, which helps speed up getting to the meat of a matter: Bitdefender, AdBlockPlus, and Malware bytes (of course,  😉  ).  I do have to disable Malwarebytes on EHW and a few other sites though, because not doing so results in excessively long site loading times.

 

 

 

Any reason for AdBlockPlus over uBlock origin?

 

I'm on Bitdefender/uBlock Origin/pi-hole. Side note, never got YouTube adblocking to work. ever.

 

On 14/02/2023 at 04:16, UltraMega said:

We really need new national data privacy laws. We have enhanced data privacy laws in my state, but we need it to be more and everywhere. 

 

Yeah, something akin to GDPR would be a nice start imo. It's about time more people start caring about this stuff, but the people I talk to about it just.. well, don't.

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15 minutes ago, maddangerous said:

 

Any reason for AdBlockPlus over uBlock origin?

 

I'm on Bitdefender/uBlock Origin/pi-hole. Side note, never got YouTube adblocking to work. ever.

 

Not really, no reason. But the combo I'm using seems to be very effective against Youtube ads, at least far as Chrome on 64 bit Win 10 goes.

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Just now, iamjanco said:

 

Not really, no reason. But the combo I'm using seems to be very effective against Youtube ads, at least far as Chrome on 64 bit Win 10 goes.

 

Word. Were YouTube ads blocked out of the box on that combo?

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16 minutes ago, maddangerous said:

 

Word. Were YouTube ads blocked out of the box on that combo?

 

Pretty much. I don't get any ads these days on Youtube, as well as a few other sites that were problematic (e.g., Yahoo, which I follow because I'm interested in how today's media attempts to pervert its readers' thoughts -- I'm also into social psychology and sociology 8^)

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3 minutes ago, iamjanco said:

 

Pretty much. I don't get any ads these days on Youtube, as well as a few other sites that were problematic (e.g., Yahoo, which I follow because I'm interested in how today's media attempts to pervert its readers' thoughts -- I'm also into social psychology and sociology 8^)

 

Interesting. ok, maybe I'll check out ABP then.

 

RE: Yahoo.. what now?

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I'd rather not get into a discussion about why I follow Yahoo, especially here. Let's just say there was a time in the past when I was a somewhat proactive stuck-in-the-middle-with-you activist who was followed by people in various high places (literally & rhetorically).

 

These days I mostly just share music I like to listen to 😉

 

 

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7 minutes ago, iamjanco said:

Let's just say there was a time in the past when I was [...] followed by people in various high places (literally & rhetorically).

 

what's higher than space 

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I use Ublock Origin, Https Everywhere, NoScript, PrivacyBadger, CanvasBlocker and Ghostery in Firefox, on Linux. I frequently have to do captchas and some sites think I'm a bot.

 

Phone I use Firefox and most of the same addons but not NoScript because its a pain to use on mobile.

 

I haven't gotten any malware, randomware or any crap like that since like 2008 but back then many of these addons weren't available.

 

NoScript gets my highest recommendation especially on desktop, it lets you selectively choose which scripts/outside scripts are being loaded in. For EHW everything is safe, but try going to OCN with it enabled and you'll see it has scripts from Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, Google, and others.

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On 06/03/2023 at 08:18, maddangerous said:

 

Any reason for AdBlockPlus over uBlock origin?

 

I'm on Bitdefender/uBlock Origin/pi-hole. Side note, never got YouTube adblocking to work. ever.

 

Ublock Origin > AdBlockPlus.  Adblock plus sold out years ago and they allow certain advertisements through.  Youtube doesn't play any advertisements for me.  I'm running it on Firefox, and I have configured Ublock's dashboard to pretty much include every list available.  Whenever I see an annoying ad, I purge/refresh my lists.  If that doesn't work I pull out the element picker and remove the advertisement that way.  It blocks all youtube ads on windows, linux, and android.  I use the firefox browser for my phone instead of the youtube app.  Though I have heard good things about newpipe. 

 

Twich.tv advertisements on the other hand....  My best attempts to block have left me staring at a black screen for the duration of the advertisement.  I consider that an improvement to seeing the same advertisement 12 times in an hour. 

Maybe one of these days I'll try and put pihole on an OpenWRT router.

 

On 06/03/2023 at 12:12, neurotix said:

NoScript gets my highest recommendation especially on desktop, it lets you selectively choose which scripts/outside scripts are being loaded in. For EHW everything is safe, but try going to OCN with it enabled and you'll see it has scripts from Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, Google, and others.

+1 for NoScript.  It's a real pain to get used to, especially on new websites, but it's easily one of the best ways to control what content you see. 

 

On 06/03/2023 at 12:12, neurotix said:

I use Ublock Origin, Https Everywhere, NoScript, PrivacyBadger, CanvasBlocker and Ghostery in Firefox, on Linux. I frequently have to do captchas and some sites think I'm a bot.

At a certain point I think it becomes easier for websites to identify you.  I used to use Waterfox, but quit because it's a lot easier to be identified because so few people use it.  I also ran into websites that refused to run because my browser was "incompatible" and needed to be upgraded....  It's literally a clone of Firefox with the telemetry ripped out.

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