Google Removes Over 500 Ad-Fraud Chrome Extensions

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Google Removes Over 500 Ad-Fraud Chrome Extensions
Number 1049
Broadcast Date FEBRUARY 14, 2020
Episode Length 6:29
Hosts Rich Stroffolino

Google removed over 500 Chrome extensions that were part of an ad-fraud scheme, Xiaomi announced the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro flagship phones, and component shortages reportedly cause Sony to delay setting the launch price of the PS5.


Security researcher Jamila Kaya and Duo Security identified 71 Chrome extensions to Google that were part of a malvertising and ad-fraud scheme. Those extensions had been installed over 1.7 million times, and Google later identified 430 additional extensions as part of the scheme, all of which have now been removed by Google. Each plugin would initially connect to a domain with the same name as the plugin to check for instructions. From there, browsers would be redirected to hard-coded control servers to receive locations to upload data, advertisement feed lists, and domains for future redirects. User data and updated plugin configurations were subsequently uploaded to the servers. Duo Security published a list of the 71 extensions it found, while Google stated the total number of extensions it removed.
Xiaomi announced its latest flagship phones, originally slated for announcement at MWC, the Xiaomi Mi 10 and Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro. Both devices feature the Snapdragon 865 SoC, with 5G and WiFi 6. The Mi 10 Pro comes with a 90Hz 6.67-inch AMOLED Full HD curved display and 4 cameras on the back, a 108MP main camera with optical image stabilization, a 10x hybrid zoom lens, a 12MP 2x telephoto, and a 20MP wide angle, with support for 8K video on the main camera. Inside are either 8GB or 12GB of LPDDR5 memory, with UFS 3.0 storage in either 256 or 512GB. There's a 4500mAh battery with support for 50W wired fast charging, 30W wireless charging, and the ability to output 10W charging to other devices. Pricing starts at 4,999 yuan (roughly $716 US), shipping February 18th. The Mi 10 features the same screen and main camera, but includes a time of flight sensor, 2MP macro, and a 13MP ultrawide. The phone includes a 4,780 mAh battery, with support for 30W wired and wireless charging. Pricing starts at 3,999 yuan for a Mi 10 with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage, available February 14th.
A judge has ordered a temporary block on the $10B Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, Pentagon cloud contract which was awarded to Microsoft last October. Last month, Amazon filed a motion asking the court to pause Microsoft’s work, claiming the evaluation process contained “unmistakable bias” and has since asked the court for permission to depose President Donald Trump, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and former Defense Secretary James Mattis.
US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is the latest US legislator to propose a national law on digital privacy. Her bill proposes a new federal agency to enforce consumer privacy rights online. It would not preempt state laws, meaning it would not create a national standard for privacy in the US. It's similar to proposals from US Representatives Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren as well as from US Senator Maria Cantwell. A bipartisan proposal from Representatives Jan Schakowsky and Cathy McMorris Rodgers does not include state preemption.
The US filed a superseding indictment against Huawei and its CFO Meng Wanzhou charging them with conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and conspiring to steal trade secrets. It also contained new allegations regarding violation of sanctions against North Korea and Iran. Among the allegations are using confidentiality agreements with US companies to obtain things like router source code and then misappropriate that property, aka use it in Huawei's own routers. The indictment lists other concrete examples like distributing confidential slide decks to its engineers and a person taking pictures of the interior of devices after hours at a trade show in Chicago. Other charges involve lying to federal investigators and hiding employment status with Huawei.
Uber is testing an option to book a ride by phone in Arizona by dialing 1-833-USE-UBER. An operator will give you a price estimate and order a car based on your details, then text you information about the car and driver. Uber stores your payment data the same way it would through the app.
Facebook's experimental projects group, NPE Team, launched its fourth app called Hobbi, a photo and video sharing app to document personal projects. This lets users organize photos into themed collections, tracking progress over time, with the ability to share video highlight reels externally once a project is complete. The app itself is not a social network. Hobbi is currently available on iOS in the US, Columbia, Belgium, Spain, and Ukraine.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, WhatsApp head Will Cathcart stated that the messaging service now has over 2 billion daily active users, up from 1.5 billion in May 2018. Cathcart reiterated WhatsApp's commitment to end-to-end encryption, and said its engineers were focused on developing private messaging, payments, and customer-service tools for businesses.
Sources tell Bloomberg that Sony has not set final pricing or set an initial production target for the upcoming PlayStation 5, due to DRAM and NAND flash scarcity pushing the cost per unit to around $450. The company is reportedly waiting on Microsoft to announce pricing for the Xbox Series X before finalizing their number. The DRAM shortage is also reportedly impacting other Sony products, with features for an upcoming mirrorless camera cancelled as a result. Sources also say Sony plans to release an updated Playstation VR headset some time after the release of the PS5.
YouTube notified YouTube TV subscribers that signed up for the service through Apple's App Store that the ability to subscribe through Apple in-app purchases would be discontinued as of March 13th. Subscriptions through Apple will be automatically cancelled after that date. Apple takes 30% of a subscription price paid through the app store for the first 12 months, reduced to 15% after that. The YouTube TV apps will still be available across Apple devices.


Preceded by:
"Mobile World Congress Cancelled Over Coronavirus Concerns"
Google Removes Over 500 Ad-Fraud Chrome Extensions
Followed by:
"Week in Review for the Week of 2/10/20"