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Facebook Is Planning To launch It’s Own Satellite ‘ATHENA’

A high altitude platform station (HAPS) system, Aquila's mission, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, was to connect the world and help people who do not have online access all the opportunities of the Internet.

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Facebook is working on launching Athena, its own Internet satellite, early in 2019, the WIRED reported. Pixabay

 As part of its plan to connect billions of people who are still offline, Facebook is working on launching Athena, its own Internet satellite, early in 2019, the WIRED reported.

According to an application Facebook appears to have filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the name PointView Tech LLC, the project is designed to “efficiently provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas throughout the world,” the report said on Friday.

Facebook, however, is not alone in aiming to increase Internet accessibility through satellites in low Earth orbit. Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Softbank-backed OneWeb are two other prominent names who have similar ambitions.

Facebook also confirmed that Athena is their project, according to the report in the WIRED.

“While we have nothing to share about specific projects at this time, we believe satellite technology will be an important enabler of the next generation of broadband infrastructure, making it possible to bring broadband connectivity to rural regions where Internet connectivity is lacking or non-existent,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying in a statement.

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The project is designed to “efficiently provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas throughout the world,” the report said on Friday. Pixabay

While Facebook had long expressed its cherished goal of connecting billions of underserved people around the world, it has not had much success with two earlier projects.

In June, Facebook announced it decided to abandon its plan to develop high-flying solar-powered drones called Aquila that was aimed to deliver Internet to nearly four billion people in remote parts of the world.

A high altitude platform station (HAPS) system, Aquila’s mission, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, was to connect the world and help people who do not have online access all the opportunities of the Internet.

Facebook began Aquila project in 2014. In 2017, the solar-powered drone successfully completed the second full-scale test flight.

The social network also discontinued in 2017 a small helicopter drone project that could temporarily replace cellular services in emergency situations, The Verge reported.

Also Read-Facebook’s Helicopter Drone Project Got Grounded: Report

The idea was to send a helicopter equipped with telecommunications equipment hundreds of metres up in the air to be able to tether to fibre and power lines in places where wireless capacity was compromised due to disaster or other factors. (IANS)

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FB, Instagram on Google Play Store Vulnerable: Check Point

The revelations come amid a snooping controversy that hit WhatsApp after Israeli spyware Pegasus exploited vulnerability in the messaging platform, affecting 1,400 select users globally, including over 100 in India

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Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. VOA

Check Point Research on Thursday said it found the latest versions of some of the most famous apps in the world on Google’s Play Store, including Facebook and Instagram, to have vulnerabilities that were believed to have been patched earlier.

The research shows that threat actors can still execute code on the latest versions of mobile applications on Play Store, despite the updates those mobile apps have pushed to people.

In short, threat actors can gain administrative control over the mobile applications studied by Check Point Research.

Theoretically, hackers can steal and alter posts on Facebook, extract location data from Instagram and read SMS messages in WeChat, said the research.

In a month-long study, Check Point Research cross-examined the latest versions of these high-profile mobile for three known remote control execution (RCE) vulnerabilities dating from 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Each vulnerability was assigned two signatures. Then, Check Point Research ran its static engine to examine hundreds of mobile applications in Google’s Play Store to see if old, vulnerable code was present in the latest version of the application.

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An iPhone displays the app for Facebook in New Orleans, Aug. 11, 2019. VOA

Check Point Research found vulnerable code, which was claimed to patched, present in the latest versions of popular mobile application.

For now, Check Point urges people to install an antivirus-app that monitors vulnerable apps on the phone.

“Mobile app stores and security researchers do proactively scan apps for malware patterns, but devote less attention to long-known critical vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, this means there’s not much the end user can do to keep his mobile device fully secure,” said the research.

Also Read: Google Announces to Pay $1 Million for Finding Bugs in Pixel Phones

Check Point Research said it informed the applications as well as Google about the vulnerabilities.

The revelations come amid a snooping controversy that hit WhatsApp after Israeli spyware Pegasus exploited vulnerability in the messaging platform, affecting 1,400 select users globally, including over 100 in India. (IANS)