Apple Tracks You More Than You Think

A WIRED investigation found that Corellium, a cybersecurity startup, offered its software to hacker-tool makers in several repressive countries. Unreported 507-page document detailing Corellium’s offer to test its products to NSO Group, a controversial cybersecurity firm, and a Chinese firm with government links, is believed to have been prepared in Apple. Corellium, a phone-virtualization company that can find security flaws in iOS and Android, responded by publishing a blog explaining how it vets potential customers.

We looked at the US shortage in bomb-sniffing dog as millions celebrated Thanksgiving across the US. Experts believe the pandemic has caused a decline in the number of dogs in the country, with 85 to 90% of them coming from overseas. This is creating national security concerns.

Another national security news: US lawmakers call for tighter rules regarding autonomous vehicles (AVs). These vehicles are capable of gathering massive amounts of real-time information about their surroundings. China is a major concern. August Pfluger, a Republican congressman, stated that AV technology has allowed a foreign country to spy on American soil. He also mentioned that Chinese companies could transfer crucial data to the People’s Republic of China.

We also examined how hidden data in PDF files allowed researchers to reveal names that were redacted . This information has been exposed in court filings, national security files and responses to Freedom of Information Act request. We also heard about the cautionary tale of a person who lost $17,000 in crypto–and how to avoid that fate.

Part five of the series “The Hunt for the Dark Web’s Biggest Kingpin” was published. It chronicles the fall of AlphaBay (the world’s largest dark-web market). This installment sees investigators from Thailand track down Alexandre Cazes (AlphaBay’s mastermind) and uncover that he has a fortune of over $20 million.

There’s more! Every week, we highlight news that we haven’t covered in depth. To read the complete stories, click on the headlines. Stay safe out there.

Apple’s privacy policy regarding analytics services on its devices claims that the data collected is not used to identify you. A new analysis of these tools, published by Gizmodo claims that a permanent ID number is created within the service. This number is tied to your full name and phone number as well as your birth date and email address.

These findings seem to contradict Apple’s privacy promises. Gizmodo’s and questions regarding the report were not answered by Apple. Apple has promoted a proprivacy stance in recent years. It has used it to gain an advantage over its competitors and has placed ads claiming that the data on iPhones of users stays on their devices. Experts have been questioning some Apple’s practices. (At the time, Apple is growing its advertising business. Mysk researchers published separate research in November that claimed Apple collects information about people who use its products via its own apps, , even though they have turned tracking off.

The UK government approved Julian Assange‘s extradition to the United States in June. As Assange is still waiting for an appeal in this case, the website that he built is crumbling. WikiLeaks once hosted more than 10,000,000 leaked documents. According to the Daily Dot analysis, less than 3,000 files are currently available. Apart from the drop-in files, the website has technical problems. It is often inaccessible, it is difficult to search its content and some parts of its navigation are gone.

Meta’s Pixel (formerly the Facebook Pixel) is a small piece of code that websites can use to track visitors. This tool is very useful for advertisers. The tracking tool is used by millions of websites. Meta receives the data. The Markup reported this week that the Pixel is being used by major US tax websites and sending financial information back to Meta. Names, income information and tax filing status were some of the data that was transferred. Following the investigation, some tax websites have stopped using Meta’s Pixel. Dale Hogan, a spokesperson for Meta, stated that advertisers should not send sensitive information about individuals through its tools.

Finally, a major victory for scammers was achieved by an international operation to take down the iSpoof site. This website allowed people to disguise their phone numbers and use fake caller IDs when calling. People using iSpoof were contacting as many as 20 people per day, and they used fake identities to trick people into giving their money. One victim was cheated out of PS3 million (3.6 million), reports state. The notice on the website now states that it was seized by both the FBI and United States Secret Service. The operation saw the arrest of 142 people, including the alleged administrator. He was also detained in the UK. The operation involved police from five countries, including the United States, Ukraine, France and Germany.


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