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Android phones can be security keys now

first_img Mobile Security 2 Share your voice A physical security key on top of an Android phone. Josh Miller/CNET Security keys are an effective way to keep your accounts secure from hackers, but they suffer from a major challenge: They’re inconvenient.Not a lot of people want to buy and carry an extra key or Bluetooth fob just for logging in — which is why most two-factor authentication is done through text messages, even though it’s less secure. Up to 90% of Gmail users don’t even use 2FA, a Google software engineer revealed in 2018. Convenience is a big hurdle, and Google is hoping to solve that by making your phone the security key. It’ll have the same functionalities as a physical security key but won’t require you to carry an extra device to keep your accounts safe. That means that like a security key, your phone will warn you if an imposter website is trying to steal your password. Unlike using SMS or authenticator codes for logging in, security keys have to verify that the website you’re logging in on is legitimate. The updated security feature is coming only to Android devices versions 7 and up, which account for about 50% of all active users, according to Google’s distribution board. For now, it’s working only on Google’s Chrome browser and with Google accounts, but the company expects to expand availability. “This is a natural evolution of the standard. Just as some security keys only worked with Chrome initially and moved to other browsers, we’re seeing the same thing happening here,” said Christiaan Brand, a Google product manager for identity and security. You can set up the security key on your phone by going to your settings on Google and selecting 2-Step Verification. From there, you need to click on Add a Security Key and choose your phone as a device. School of phishPhishing attacks are common and often hard to spot, fooling even seasoned politicians. Security keys help prevent hackers from getting into your accounts because even if your password were stolen, an attacker would have to have the physical key to log in. “We’re solving the problem of someone thousands of miles away trying to steal your password,” said Sam Srinivas, Google Cloud’s product management director. “With this, someone has to be within 100 feet of you to try to attack you.” When Google first released its own Titan Key, it cost $50 for a set, and Brand said the company was hoping to eventually drive the cost down to less than $10. 07-titan-keyLast year, Google released its own Titan Security Key in both a USB and Bluetooth version. Sarah Tew/CNET By turning Android devices into security keys, Google is essentially giving them out for free. That much coverage could make it easier for more people to start using security keys, said Conor Gilsenan, a security researcher at All Things Auth.Over Christmas, the security expert said, he bought his family members security keys, but it took more than two hours to set up all these devices. “This is such a big deal,” Gilsenan said. “Being able to utilize the phone that you already have removes an entire barrier to better forms of two-factor authentication for the average internet user.”Brand said the phone security keys meet the FIDO authentication standard, which means any websites allowing for that standard will work with your phone as a security key. That includes websites like Facebook, Twitter and GitHub. Convenience is keyBrand is hoping the launch will convince other pages to accept phones as security keys.The technology works by connecting your phone and your computer’s Bluetooth when you’re logging in on a Google account. You’ll be prompted with a message on your phone to verify the log-in once they’re connected. While they’re using Bluetooth to communicate, the two devices don’t have to pair with each other, Brand said.”We devised a new standard on top of Bluetooth to make sure that these don’t need to pair,” he explained.There have been criticisms of using Bluetooth in security keys, because the wireless protocol could be open to security vulnerabilities. When Google announced its Bluetooth security fob last year, Yubico CEO Stina Ehrensvard released a statement saying Bluetooth didn’t have the same security standards as NFC and USB.Brand said Google had the capability to let your phone function as a security key through a USB cable but decided against it. “We’ve done user studies, and asking a user to have a cable ready that’ll fit both their devices almost takes away all the convenience of using their phone,” he said. Still, even with all the convenience of phones, Brand and Srinivas recommend having a second, backup USB key. That way, if you ever lose your phone or the battery’s dead, you can still log in. Now that half of all Android devices can function as security keys, the new challenge will be getting people to actually use them that way. Security keys have a lower adoption rate than 2FA as a whole, but the convenience will likely draw more people to better protect their accounts. “You don’t have to plug it in, and you don’t have to buy a new device, since you already have the phone,” Gilsenan said. “The bigger challenge is communicating to people that they actually need 2FA.” Tags Comments Googlelast_img read more

This black hole spits out jet beams like a weird spinning top

first_img Tags “This is one of the most extraordinary black hole systems I’ve ever come across,” explained Associate Professor James Miller-Jones, lead author of a study recently published in Nature.”Like many black holes, it’s feeding on a nearby star, pulling gas away from the star and forming a disk of material that encircles the black hole and spirals towards it under gravity.”What’s different in V404 Cygni is that we think the disk of material and the black hole are misaligned.”This appears to be causing the inner part of the disk to wobble like a spinning top and fire jets out in different directions as it changes orientation.” Think of the black hole in V404 Cygni as a gigantic, light consuming Beyblade that’s starting to run out of juice. It’s no longer spinning straight, it’s wobbling all over the place.You can read more about the ground breaking discovery here, at ICRAR’s official website. Post a comment 14 genius Stephen Hawking quotes that will make you question your place in the universe (pictures) Trippy. ICRAR The year 2019 has been a big one for black holes. To begin with, we saw one for the first time. We also discovered 83 of them at the edge of our universe. No big deal.Now recent research is uncovering more about the insanely dense, spacetime bending bad boys of the universe. Get this: while most black holes are thought to “spin” (thanks to the space dust and gas in orbital motion around the black hole) scientists have discovered a black hole that does things a little differently.V404 Cygni is a binary system in the constellation of Cygnus. At its center is a black hole that is currently in the process of absorbing a low mass nearby star. Astronomers from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in Perth, Western Australia noticed that the black hole in V404 Cygni was spitting out bright jet beams of matter into space. That’s relatively normal, what wasn’t normal was the direction the matter was being sprayed. As a result of the way black holes normally spin, the matter tends to spray out in the same direction. This time it was being sprayed out at different angles. The jets appear to be rapidly rotating.You can see this visualized in the below animation. The conclusion: this black hole is spinning a little differently than the rest. 0 Share your voice 14 Photos Sci-Techlast_img read more

Google blocks Chinese app TikTok in India after court order

first_imgTikTok, which allows users to create and share short videos with special effects, has become hugely popular in India.ReutersGoogle has blocked access to the hugely popular video app TikTok in India to comply with a state court’s directive to prohibit its downloads, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.The move comes hours after a court in southern Tamil Nadu state refused a request by China’s Bytedance Technology to suspend a ban on its TikTok app, putting its future in one of its key markets in doubt.The state court had on April 3 asked the federal government to ban TikTok, saying it encouraged pornography and made child users vulnerable to sexual predators. Its ruling came after an individual launched public interest litigation calling for a ban.The government had sent a letter to Apple and Google to abide by the state court’s order, according to an IT ministry official.The app was still available on Apple’s platforms late on Tuesday but was no longer available on Google’s Play store in India.Google said in a statement it does not comment on individual apps but adheres to local laws. Apple did not respond to requests for comment, while TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Google’s move.TikTok, which allows users to create and share short videos with special effects, has become hugely popular in India but has been criticized by some politicians who say its content is inappropriate.It had been downloaded more than 240 million times in India, app analytics firm Sensor Tower said in February. More than 30 million users in India installed it in January 2019, 12 times more than in the same month last year.Jokes, clips and footage related to India’s thriving movie industry dominate the app’s platform, along with memes and videos in which youngsters, some scantily clad, lip-sync and dance to popular music.Bytedance challenged the state court’s ban order in India’s Supreme Court last week, saying it went against freedom of speech rights in India.The top court had referred the case back to the state court, where a judge on Tuesday rejected Bytedance’s request to put the ban order on hold, K. Neelamegam, a lawyer arguing against Bytedance in the case, said.TikTok earlier said in a statement that it had faith in the Indian judicial system and was optimistic about an outcome that would be well received by millions of its users. It did not comment further on the judge’s decision.The company, however, welcomed the decision to appoint a senior lawyer to assist the court in upcoming proceedings.The state court has requested written submissions from Bytedance in the case and has scheduled its next hearing for April 24.Salman Waris, a technology lawyer at TechLegis Advocates & Solicitors, said the legal action against Bytedance could set a precedent of Indian courts intervening to regulate content on social media and other digital platforms.In its Supreme Court filing, Bytedance argued that a very minuscule proportion of TikTok content was considered inappropriate or obscene.The company employs more than 250 people in India and had plans for more investment as it expands the business, it said.last_img read more

ArduSat1 and ArduSatX CubeSats launched into space

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: ArduSat-1 and ArduSat-X CubeSats launched into space (2013, August 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-08-ardusat-ardusat-x-cubesats-space.html (Phys.org) —Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has successfully launched an H-2B cargo rocket into space—a portion of which is bound for a rendezvous with the International Space Station. After it docks, two CubeSats—ArduSat-1 and ArduSat-X—held in its cargo module will be deployed into an orbit above the Earth. Talking humanoid robot launches on Japan rocket © 2013 Phys.orgcenter_img The two tiny cube-shaped satellites will be pulled from the same cargo module that holds Kirobo—a talking humanoid type robot designed to study whether astronauts might benefit from an electronic companion. The small satellites usher in a new low cost era in space technology—each will offer the possibility of non-professionals running real-time experiments aboard a real orbiting satellite.Both of the miniature satellites are loaded with technology, including cameras, ozone and CO2 sensors, a Geiger counter and temperature gauges. They also have an onboard computer running Arduino, an open-source platform that allows for controlling instruments aboard the craft. Arduino was chosen because it is an already established platform used by educational institutions and hobbyists alike.Both craft have a set list of objectives to fulfill before time runs out—both will plummet to the Earth at some point in time between three and seven months. Once its initial objectives have been fulfilled, the satellite will be made available to other projects run by customers on the ground. $125 will get a user three days worth of satellite time while $250 will get a whole week. Since each satellite is capable of running 16 experiments simultaneously, there will be plenty of opportunities for schools and other organizations to take advantage of this unique opportunity.Shortly after docking with the ISS, ArduSat-1 and ArduSat-X will be pulled from the cargo module by a robotic arm which will then release them into space. The two CubeSats were partly built in Australia and were also partly funded via a Kickstarter project. The aerospace company responsible for their creation is Nanosatisfi LLC—their stated goal is to “democratize access to space.” They deployment of the two CubeSats is just the beginning they have told reporters. They hope to send up hundreds or even thousands of tiny satellites allowing almost anyone with a desire to perform experiments in space, a platform for doing so. Explore further CAD Drawing of ArduSat. Credit: Peter Platzer / Wikipedia.last_img read more