main

Tech News

Phishing scam targets iPhone users with a fake call to ‘Apple Care’

July 30, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Shutterstock / ymgerman

As more and more people use their mobile devices for everyday computing tasks, it makes sense that there would be more attacks. The latest phishing attempt, discovered over at Ars Technica, involves a false webpage that initiates a call on your iPhone. According to the site, when they made the call, they were connected to a fake representative who said he was “Lance Roger from Apple Care.” The person quickly hung up as the reporter tried to stall and get more detail on the scam.

Sean Gallagher at Ars Technica reports that he received an email that was formatted to look like an official iCloud security warning from Apple. The message had a link to a webpage in southern India, which then forwarded him to yet another webpage made to look like the official Apple support site. This secondary page then used JavaScript to start a dialog box on his phone to start a phone call. According to Gallagher, it will also initiate a FaceTime session on an iOS device. Gallagher has sent the details along to both Apple and Google’s security response teams. We’ve reached out to Apple for comment and will update this post when we hear back.

Tech News

Facebook removes fake pages in Latin America ahead of elections

June 26, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

ISHARA S. KODIKARA via Getty Images

Facebook has taken down more than 10,000 allegedly fake Pages, Groups and accounts sourcing from Mexico and Latin America for violating the platform’s community standards. Specifically, they “broke our policies on coordinated harm and inauthentic behavior, as well as attacks based on race, gender or sexual orientation,” according to a blog post written by Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy.

The post categorized this sweep as part of the platform’s mission to regularly eliminate “bad actors,” comparing it to the 837 million pieces of spam, 2.5 million pieces of hate speech and 583 million fake accounts it disabled in Q1 2018. Much of that was taken down before they were reported, which Facebook credited to the machine learning and AI that have become a strong component of its efforts to proactively clean out harmful content across the platform.

While this was more of a spring cleaning, Facebook’s post noted that combing the site for harmful content would be critical in the run-up to elections in Mexico and elsewhere. The company has been emphasizing the more rigorous screening it’ll undertake to resist foreign interference like the millions of ads and post flooding the platform from Russian actors leading up to the 2016 US presidential election.

Gaming News

Russian State TV Photoshops an Awkward Smile on Kim Jong Un's Face

June 4, 2018 — by Kotaku.com0

qtoyvlle3l75gz1tsudu.jpg

Screenshot from the Kremlin backed TV network Channel One on June 3, 2018 (left) Photo from Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs showing Kim Jong Un and Sergey Lavrov on May 31, 2018 (right)Screenshot: YouTube and Twitter

Russia’s Channel One aired a segment yesterday about Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s recent meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. But one part of the news broadcast was pretty weird. Take a look at Kim’s face in the screenshot on the left. Kim has been photoshopped to look like he’s smiling. And it’s not even a very good photoshop job.

The strange photoshopped image aired on “News of the Week” with Dmitry Kiselyov on Channel One, a popular TV news channel that’s backed by the Kremlin. Channel One is a bit like America’s PBS, if PBS made veiled death threats against “traitors.”

First spotted by Fake_MIDRF, a pro-Ukraine Twitter account that spots fakes in Russian media, you can really see the difference in the photo posted to Twitter by Russia’s Foreign Ministry, and the photo that was played on Russian TV, which is available on YouTube.

It’s unclear why Channel One would bother photoshopping the image, since they also aired plenty of positive footage showing Lavrov’s meeting in North Korea. But this isn’t the first time that Channel One has aired fake news footage. The same channel was ridiculed back in February for running video game footage during a news segment about the war in Syria.

Advertisement

President Trump is scheduled to meet with Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12th, and old alliances die hard. North Korea wants to be recognized as a real player on the world stage, and they’re getting precisely that. But countries like Russia and China don’t want North Korea to get too cozy with the U.S., not that there’s much likelihood of that anytime soon.

You can watch a short clip of yesterday’s show here.

[embedded content]

Russia wants it citizens to believe that countries like North Korea, an old friend from the Soviet-era days, would never abandon it to strike an alliance with western global powers—even if state-run media have to photoshop an awkward smile on Kim’s face to do it. But in the end it simply makes Russian media look less trustworthy when they’re caught manipulating photos.

Advertisement

It’s fake news, as the American president might say. Though with President Trump’s constant lies, American media can’t cast too many stones. Major news outlets are reluctant to call President Trump’s lies precisely that—lies. So he’ll continue to bulldoze the truth, even without the help of fancy photoshop jobs. (Or, not so fancy, in the case of Channel One’s fake smile.)

Long story short? Everything’s bad and nothing matters anymore, least of all the concept of objective truth.

[Fake_MIDRF via Scott Rose]

Advertisement

Tech News

Amazon needs to get a handle on its counterfeit problem

May 31, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

amazon-ed-960x640.jpg

Chances are you wouldn’t suspect whatever you’re buying from Amazon, whether that be clothing, sunglasses or a handbag, is fake. And, for the most part, that tends to true. But that doesn’t mean you should trust that every product is legit. In fact, right now if you search for “Yeezys,” a highly coveted pair of Adidas shoes, you’ll get over a thousand results that are clearly fake. Two dead giveaways are design flaws and the low price — trust me Adidas doesn’t sell them for $20. The worst part is that some of them bear the seemingly trustworthy Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) label. But all that really means is that the company is acting as the middleman between you and the actual seller.

When Amazon is questioned about it, it tends to downplay the issue and shift the blame to third-party sellers. Legally, Amazon has no need to take down counterfeit products, since it often uses its Fulfilled by Amazon service as a shield against any sort of liability. With FBA, Amazon takes care of the entire transaction between sellers and customers. It stores, ships and processes payments, but the only thing it doesn’t do is claim to be the owner — and that’s what keeps it from being held accountable.

Counterfeit goods aren’t something you generally have to worry about when you’re shopping in person at most traditional and established stores. While Amazon has made efforts to combat this issue, like requiring sellers to get permission from certain brands to list their products, there are still thousands of fakes clearly being sold on the site. That’s the main reason the high-fashion industry refuses to work with Amazon.

The Counterfeit Report (TCR), an advocacy group that works with brands to detect fake goods, has found around 58,000 counterfeit products on Amazon since May 2016. That’s a small slice of the 560 million items on the site, but even a single counterfeit is probably too many for most customers. Craig Crosby, The Counterfeit Report’s publisher and CEO, said that as Amazon’s sales keeps increasing, so does the fake goods problem. All told, the group managed to have 35,000 items taken down, but TCR says that the total number of fakes on Amazon could be much higher than 58,000 since that only accounts for brands it represents.

Crosby added that manufacturers often have to police sites like Amazon for repeated counterfeit listings, which can become a tedious task. Back in 2016, footwear designer Birkenstock said it would stop doing business with Amazon, citing an increase in counterfeit goods on the site and “a constant stream of unidentifiable unauthorized resellers.” Birkenstock CEO David Kahan said that policing “this activity internally and in partnership with Amazon.com has proven impossible.”

That same year, Apple filed a lawsuit against Mobile Star LLC for making counterfeit Apple chargers and cables and passing them off as authentic goods on Amazon. As part of the suit, Apple