Archive - October 2017

Overusing a new WhatsApp feature might be a risky business

WhatsApp has recently announced that it introduced a new feature called Live Location Sharing. Just to align with other apps who provide a similar feature, product manager of WhatsApp has attested that it had to be introduced in order to satisfy users’ needs. “Whether you are sharing a commute, or letting loved ones know you are safe, or meeting up with friends, these are experiences that are very common to us all.” Zafir Khan, Product Manager at WhatsApp.

Here is how WhatsApp Live Location sharing works:

  • Go to a conversation in WhatsApp (it can be an individual or group conversation).
  • Click the “attach” (paper clip) button from the message field and choose “Location”.
  • Apart from the static Location feature (the only Location option available so far) you’ll also see “Share Live Location”.

Read More

A sad, censored internet world – a potential risk of the EU copyright law

Clearly, the internet world and online content are constantly changing.  Apparently, the European Commission believes it has become a far greater and wider world than anyone can bear so the organization found its way to make it just a little smaller. One specific article from the EU copyright law has become a cause for concern for many worldwide organizations and ministers.

This is what Article 13 says:

“Information society service providers that store and provide to the public access to large amounts of works or other subject-matter uploaded by their users shall, in cooperation with rightholders, take measures to ensure the functioning of agreements concluded with rightholders for the use of their works or other subject-matter or to prevent the availability on their services of works or other subject-matter identified by rightholders through the cooperation with the service providers. Those measures such as the use of effective content recognition technologies shall be appropriate and proportionate. “

This change contradicts a former EU policy, passed in 2000, which states that websites should act as “mere conduit”, which means simply offering a platform for online users. The policy does not indicate the fact that website owners should be held responsible for material posted to their sites.

Where would the implementation of Article 13 lead to?

Limitations on freedom of speech and expression

Based on Article 13, internet service providers will have to implement upload filters for all online content such as music, movies, and any text such as news and information.  At a first glance, this largely affects big companies like YouTube or Wikipedia, but at large, it affects all online users simply because the freedom of expression is reduced. This also means the worldwide digital content will be drastically diminished.

Read More

WiFi breach makes devices vulnerable to hacks, but there is a solution

Much to everyone’s concern, there have been discovered serious weaknesses in WPA2, a protocol that secures all modern protected Wi-Fi networks. An attacker within range of a victim can exploit these weaknesses using key reinstallation attacks (KRACKs), notes krackattacks.com.

The “Krack” attack works by exploiting the “handshake” that a WiFi network and a device give to each other when the latter wants to join. Usually, the two decide on an encryption key for all future traffic, meaning that each device will only be able to read data if it has that key.

“Note that if your device supports Wi-Fi, it is most likely affected,” wrote security researcher Mathy Vanhoef, whose work was noted by the US government.

Read More

CyberGhost was awarded the badge of Excellent Service

We, at CyberGhost, have just become prouder of our achievements, as we have just been awarded a badge of Excellent Service by vpnMentor. Pride is just a small part because we are also very grateful to have received this badge thanks to our countless positive customer reviews.

According to vpnMentor, CyberGhost has reached a 4.5 rating out of 5 in customer reviews, which means we have managed to satisfy plenty of users with our top-class privacy and data protection features. So, we want to thank all Ghosties worldwide for trusting our app and for using it to secure their digital lifestyle.

Read More

Why U.S. Justice Department’s call on responsible encryption is not an option

U.S. Justice Department official Rod Rosenstein held a speech on Tuesday at the U.S. Naval Academy in which he criticized technology companies for helping out criminals and terrorists accomplish their plans through encryption software.

Directly pointing to Silicon Valley companies, he supported the idea of responsible encryption after mentioning several terrorism cases from the past. Tech companies refused to collaborate with the FBI despite the fact that the organization presented proper warrants that would have allowed them to access company databases.

Sure, this would have meant collecting only the data concerning terrorist suspects, but the reaction of companies is by far understandable. Once “inside” the system, law enforcement officers could easily break in and collect other important information as well, not related to terrorist suspects.

Responsible encryption or forced monitoring?

Many people (security specialists or not) fear that Rosenstein’s call for responsible encryption, while presenting strong arguments, is rather just another attempt to create a back door and legally monitor peoples’ lives online.

Saying that encryption methods are bad because they don’t help governments catch terrorists is just like saying that bulletproof vests should be banned simply because some criminals wear them when they are trying to escape the police. Yet, bulletproof vests have been a lifesaver for police officers, detectives and other law enforcement professionals.

Read More

Qatar blocks VoIP apps such as WhatsApp and Skype; here’s how to access them

If you are traveling to Qatar these days or maybe are a resident who wishes to communicate more easily with his/her business partners or remote family, recent news points out to a new block on standard Voice over IP (VoIP) apps, such as Skype, Facetime, Duo, Viber, and WhatsApp.

Legally speaking, there are no laws or rules that prohibit VoIP services in Qatar, unlike in the UAE for example. However, it appears that according to the website of Qatar’s Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA), no person or business can sell VoIP calls or services without a license. And currently, only Ooredoo and Vodafone, Qatar’s sole two ISPs, are licensed to do this.

Read More

© 2017 CyberGhost