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Think Twice! Laptops and PCs’ are most Hackable Gifts’ says a New Report

Intel Security suggested consumers to use only secured Wi-Fi, keep their softwares up-to-date and use a strong password to secure their devices

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(Representational Image) FILE - In this April 29, 2015 file photo, visitors use a laptop computer at a display booth as a security guard stands nearby at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing. A coalition of international business groups has appealed to China in a letter dated Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016 to change proposed cybersecurity rules they warn will harm trade and isolate the country. VOA
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Nov 24, 2016: If you are planning to gift a laptop or PC to your kids or relatives this holiday season, be warned that these are the most hackable connected devices on earth, a new report said on Thursday.

Laptops and PCs are followed by smartphones and tablets, media players and streaming sticks, smart home automation and devices and drones, the ‘McAfee Most Hackable Holiday Gifts’ report by Intel Security revealed.

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“Holiday season brings new gifts and while 85 per cent of consumers start using connected devices within the first day of receiving it, only 45 per cent claim they take the proper security measures,” noted the findings, adding that half of the customers are uncertain whether they are taking proper steps to secure their devices.

Eighty per cent of consumers are likely to shop online this holiday season and sixty four per cent of consumers plan to purchase either a smartphone or tablet.

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“Unsurprisingly, connected devices remain high on holiday wish lists this year. What is alarming is that consumers remain unaware of what behaviours pose a security risk when it comes to new devices,” said Gary Davis, Chief Consumer Security Evangelist at Intel Security.

Intel Security suggested consumers to use only secured Wi-Fi, keep their softwares up-to-date and use a strong password to secure their devices. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons
Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?