Security

Zhao Jing recently suffered an unexpected parting of the ways with his alter ego. The Chinese political journalist and blogger is better known as Michael Anti, the name under which he writes. The pseudonymous character was deemed “real” enough for Harvard university to award Mr Zhao a fellowship in that name.But Facebook decided earlier this year that Michael Anti did not exist. Under rules that require the social network’s members to use their real names, he had to go. No matter that the fictitious Mr Anti had more than 1,000 Facebook “friends”, his account was suspended without notice.

 

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Facebook has approached Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC to build a handset  with the social network integrated into its operating system, according to AllThingsDigital. Code-named “Buffy” – after the television vampire slayer – the phone is planned to run on a modified version of Android that Facebook has tweaked heavily to deeply integrate its services. 

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Malware targeted towards phones running on the Android operating system continues to be on the rise, TechCrunch reports. According to McAfee’s security report for the third quarter, the amount of malware targeted at Android devices jumped nearly 37 per cent since last quarter. This follows a 76 percent rise in Android malware in the second quarter. 

Joseph Menn

The FBI must work more closely with the major US intelligence agencies in order to combat  threats in cyberspace, its director said on Thursday, likening the government response to that against terrorism. 

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Facebook is pursuing legal action after it claimed it had identified the perpetrator of a virus which saw the site flooded with pornographic and violent images, TNW reports. The social network said in a statement:

In addition to the engineering teams that build tools to block spam we also have a dedicated enforcement team that has already identified those responsible and is working with our legal team to ensure appropriate consequences follow.

 

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Facebook users are becoming increasingly concerned over a hack that turns their newsfeeds into a stream of hardcore pornography and gory pictures, ZDNet reports. The source of the hack is yet to be discovered, however Gawker speculates that an Anonymous ‘Guy Fawkes Virus’ could be to blame. 

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A possible security flaw in Apple’s iOS mobile operating system could allow third-party applications add unapproved features,  Forbes reports. Accuvant security researcher Charlie Miller has found a flaw in iOS that lets applications download unsigned code that is able to change functionality after it has been installed – that could include accessing user contacts and photos, along with activating hardware features like the vibration motor and speakers. 

Joseph Menn

The two-day London Cyber Conference wrapped up Thursday with a remarkable lack of unity for such a carefully staged, invite-only event for world political and technology leaders

Maija Palmer

London cyberspace conferenceThe London Cyberspace conference is an elegant metaphor for why government involvement in the internet should be limited as much as possible.

Even its name is already out of date, as quaint as calling it the “information super-highway” these days.  A roomful of young people, convened as a “Youth Forum” on the fringes of the conference, were asked if anyone used the word “cyber” any more. No one raised their hands. 

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Magazine publishers are already claiming Apple’s Newsstand service, which was launched with iOS5 last week, is boosting sales and orders, PaidContent says. Exact Editions reports that downloads of its sample editions have jumped by 14 times in the past few days, while Future Publishing says that it has ‘sold more digital editions in the past four days through Apple’s Newsstand than in a normal month’.