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Tech Giant Google Removing 100 Apps From Chinese Developer

DO Global was a subsidiary of Baidu until it was spun out earlier in 2018. Baidu retains a 34 per cent stake in the company

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The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

Suspecting malicious cyber attacks and data breach possibilities, Google is removing apps from a Chinese Android app developer – DO Global – which holds roughly 100 apps in the Play Store with over 600 million installs and is partly owned by Internet major Baidu.

46 apps from DO Global have already been removed from the Play Store and the company intends to ban DO Global overall with more app removals that would follow, BuzzFeed News reported on Friday.

“We actively investigate malicious behaviour, and when we find violations, we take action, including the removal of a developer’s ability to monetise their app with AdMob or publish on Play,” the report quoted a Google spokesperson as saying on Friday.

The search engine giant is further extending the ban to the Internet giant’s ad products apprearing on Android as well.

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A man using a mobile phone walks past Google offices in New York, Dec. 17, 2018. VOA

“DO Global apps no longer offer ad inventory for purchase via Google’s AdMob network,” the report said.

The Chinese company claims to have more than 250 million monthly active users for its apps and the reach of nearly 800 million users through its ad platform on Android.

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“Their removal from the Play Store marks one of the biggest bans, if not the biggest, Google has ever instituted against an app developer,” the report noted.

DO Global was a subsidiary of Baidu until it was spun out earlier in 2018. Baidu retains a 34 per cent stake in the company. (IANS)

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Many Security Flaws in Apple Safari Browser: Google

Google discovers security flaws in Apple Safari browser

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Google security researchers discovered several security flaws in a privacy software in Apple web browser Safari. Pixabay

Google security researchers discovered several security flaws in a privacy software in Apple web browser Safari that could have helped third-party vendors track users’ browsing habits.

According to a report in the Financial Times which cited a soon-to-be published paper from Google’s ‘Project Zero’ team, the vulnerabilities were found in an anti-tracking feature known as ‘Intelligent Tracking Prevention’.

Once disclosed by Google researchers to Apple in August last year, the Cupertino-based iPhone maker immediately patched the flaws.

Apple launched the ‘Intelligent Tracking Prevention’ tool in 2017 to, in fact, protect Safari users from being tracked around the web by advertisers and other third-party cookies.

According to Google researchers, the vulnerabilities left personal data of Safari users exposed. They also found a flaw that allowed hackers to “create a persistent fingerprint that will follow the user around the web”.

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This is the third time Google researchers have found flaws in the Apple ecosystem. Pixabay

Apple confirmed it patched the issues.

This is the third time Google researchers have found flaws in the Apple ecosystem.

In September, Apple slammed Google for creating a false impression about its iPhones being at hacking risk owing to security flaws that allegedly let several malicious websites break into its iOS operating system.

Researchers at ‘Project Zero’ team had discovered several hacked websites that allegedly used security flaws in iPhones to attack users who visited these websites — compromising their personal files, messages, and real-time location data.

In a statement, Apple said the so-called sophisticated attack was narrowly focused, not a broad-based exploit of iPhones “en masse” as described.

According to Google, the websites delivered their malware indiscriminately and were operational for years.

Apple said that it fixed the vulnerabilities in question — working extremely quickly to resolve the issue just 10 days after it learnt about it.

In July last year, the ‘Project Zero’ team found six critical flaws in Apple iMessage that can compromise the user’s phone without even interacting with them. These security vulnerabilities fell into the ‘interactionless’ category.

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Two members of ‘Project Zero’, Google’s elite bug-hunting team, published details and demo proof-of-concept code for five of six ‘interactionless’ security bugs that impact the iOS operating system and can be exploited via the iMessage client. All the six security bugs were patched with the iPhone maker’s iOS 12.4 release. (IANS)