Security News

Shoppers don’t want to hand over their data

Plus, GoDaddy suffers a data breach and Amazon is taken to task for its Covid-19 protocols

A new poll commissioned by e-commerce search specialist Empathy.co revealed that most shoppers distrust online stores and choose not to share personal data with them. In the survey conducted by Censuswide, 4,000 British consumers were asked about their online shopping preferences. About 22% claimed to always use guest checkouts so they would not have to share any sensitive data by creating an account. When asked if they’re extra careful when providing personal data and accepting legal notices, 42% said yes, while another 40% agreed they do not like being asked for unnecessary or sensitive data. “The number of security breaches that have happened over the years is huge,” commented Avast Security Evangelist Luis Corrons. “So minimizing the information shared online is a sensible and wise approach.” For more on this story, see Infosecurity Magazine

GoDaddy data breach impacts 1.2 million users 

Web hosting company GoDaddy reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that an unauthorized third-party had access to GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress hosting environment for about two months. GoDaddy said it detected the unauthorized access on November 17, but by that time the hacker had already accessed the email addresses and customer numbers of up to 1.2 million active and inactive GoDaddy customers. “We are sincerely sorry for this incident and the concern it causes for our customers,” GoDaddy wrote in its report. For more, see The Record.

Australia consider classifying social media platforms as publishers

A new bill being promoted by Australia’s prime minister would classify social media platforms as publishers, thereby making them liable for any defamation complaints. The bill is meant to trigger complaint systems to be set in place on all of Australia’s major social media platforms. The proposed complaint systems would allow victims of defamatory comments to request the personal information of the alleged defamer. The social media platform would then have to inform the alleged defamer that they are the subject of a complaint and ask for consent to share their personal information. The entire bill is Australia’s attempt to institute anti-trolling legislation. To learn more, see ZDNet

Malware on Google Play downloaded 300,000 times

Researchers have found that 12 apps downloaded more than 300,000 times from Google Play were actually scams that infected devices with malware. The malware was designed to log keystrokes, take screenshots, steal banking passwords, and steal two-factor authentication codes. According to Ars Technica, the 12 apps ranged from QR scanners to fitness trainers. They fooled Google security by initially functioning like authentic apps. They did what they were supposed to do, but soon they would prompt the user to update, and that’s when the malware would get downloaded. Google reports that all 12 apps have been removed from the shop. For more, see CNET

NY AG pressures Amazon to improve Covid-19 protections

New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking a court order to require Amazon to appoint a monitor to oversee health and safety measures at its Staten Island warehouse after more than a year of worker protests. The Staten Island warehouse employs about 5,000 workers, and James alleges Amazon’s contact tracing program fails to identify employees who came into contact with others who tested positive for Covid-19. The AG is also asking the company to reinstate worker Christian Smalls, who was fired after leading public protests against Amazon last year, accusing the company of failing to keep employees from contracting the virus at work. For more on this story, see The Verge

This week’s ‘must-read’ on The Avast Blog

While George Orwell may not have predicted the surveillance society of 2021, the similarities are too close for comfort. 2021 is a reminder: The threat of Big Brother still looms. But we have the power to stop it.