Whatsapp bug allows viewing of encrypted messages

Whatsapp’s messaging app supposedly ensures strong end-to-end encryption, with the idea being that only the people involved in a conversation will ever be able to read the messages. But as it turns out, a programming bug — that Whatsapp has known about for some time and has not fixed — theoretically allows Whatsapp to snoop on any encrypted messages sent over the platform. The Guardian  first reported on the bug , which was found by Tobias Boelter, a security researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. The security flaw is related to how Whatsapp handles offline messages, and appears to be the result of a decision by Whatsapp to favor a seamless user experience over total security. End-to-end encryption relies on both users having two parts of a secure key, used to encrypt and then decrypt the message. But to make sure that messages are always sent, even when the recipient is offline, Whatsapp appears to have compromised that system. According to  The Guardian , “WhatsApp has the ability to force the generation of new encryption keys for offline users, unbeknown to the sender and recipient of the messages, and to make the sender re-encrypt messages with new keys and send them again for any messages that have not been marked as delivered.” In theory, that would allow WhatsApp — or any government agency with the appropriate court order — to snoop on supposedly secure messages. There is no evidence that this has been done, and since the security bug relies on proactive involvement by WhatsApp, it seems unlikely that illegal hackers could use this bug to spy on users. Still, it’s a blow for WhatsApp’s supposedly tight security. Professor Kirstie Ball, a privacy advocate, told the  Guardian  that   “it is a huge threat to freedom of speech, for it to be able to look at what you’re saying if it wants to. Consumers will say, I’ve got nothing to hide, but you don’t know what information is looked for and what connections are being made.” Separately, a  Buzzfeed  investigation yesterday highlighted a danger associated with Signal, another secure messaging app that has grown in popularity in recent months.  Buzzfeed  pointed out that once you sign up for Signal with your phone number, the fact that you are using Signal is visible to anyone else who has your phone number. Since Signal is an app expressly designed for privacy advocates and whistleblowers, that might show guilt by association.
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Snapchat finally fixed one of the app’s biggest problems

Snapchat is one of the most popular apps on the planet, and the second most active social media platform to boot, which is why it’s so shocking that it took this long for the app to fix its absolutely horrid navigation controls. For years it’s been an huge headache to swipe, tap, and re-swipe the Snapchat screen to switch between the app’s various features and functions, but that’s finally coming to an end thanks to an update that begins rolling out today.  As TechCrunch reports , the update doesn’t completely overhaul the way you switch between snaps, chat, stories, and other parts of the app, but it adds a universal search feature that will probably become your new defacto directory. It brings together all your conversations, groups, friends, and friend requests into one place, and the realtime search instantly produces results even as you’re still typing in a friend or group name. The tool also makes it a lot easier to find Snapchat users you want to follow, by bringing up lists of suggested friends as you search. The list is populated with contacts from your address book, so there’s a good chance the people it flags are ones you’re going to want to connect with anyway. It doesn’t completely solve the mishmash of features that Snapchat has crammed into the app over the years, but it definitely makes it faster and easier to find what you’re looking for. The update is currently rolling out to select Android users and will be pushed to all other Android users as well as iOS snappers “soon.”
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Sony Entertainment CEO exiting for a top role at Snap

Lynton, CEO Sony Entertainment and CEO and chairman Sony Pictures Entertainment, speaks during an investors' conference at the company's headquarters in TokyoBy Lisa Richwine LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Sony Entertainment Chief Executive Michael Lynton will step down to become chairman of the board of messaging app owner Snap Inc, a move that puts an experienced Hollywood executive in a prominent role as the technology company prepares for an initial public offering. Lynton will give up his current position at Sony's movie and television unit on Feb. 2 but remain as co-CEO for six months to help find a successor, Japanese conglomerate Sony Corp said in a statement on Friday. Lynton was an early investor in the company co-founded by 26-year-old CEO Evan Spiegel, and has served on its board for nearly four years.

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Sony Entertainment CEO exiting for top role at Snap

Lynton, CEO Sony Entertainment and CEO and chairman Sony Pictures Entertainment, speaks during an investors' conference at the company's headquarters in TokyoBy Lisa Richwine LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Sony Entertainment Chief Executive Michael Lynton will step down to become chairman of messaging app owner Snap Inc, a move that puts an experienced Hollywood executive in a prominent role as the technology company prepares for an initial public offering. Lynton will give up his current role at Sony's movie and television unit on Feb. 2 but remain as co-CEO for six months to help find a successor, Sony Corp said in a statement on Friday. Lynton was an early investor in the company co-founded by Evan Spiegel, who is CEO.

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Sony Entertainment CEO Lynton to step down; to become Snap Inc chairman

Lynton, CEO Sony Entertainment and CEO and chairman Sony Pictures Entertainment, speaks during an investors' conference at the company's headquarters in Tokyo(Reuters) – Sony Corp said on Friday Michael Lynton would step down as chief executive of its movie and music businesses, Sony Entertainment, effective Feb. 2. Lynton will join as chairman of Snap Inc, the parent of popular messaging app Snapchat. (http://bit.ly/2jG9IWI) Snap – in which Lynton is an early investor – is expected to go public early this year, vying for a $25 billion valuation. Lynton, who has been with Sony for 13 years, will stay on as co-CEO of Sony Entertainment for the next six months. (Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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Wal-Mart’s leadership expands exec roles in online push

A clown sits inside a bus seen in front of a Wal-Mart store in Mexico City(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Friday announced a management shuffle that integrates the running of its physical outlets and online operations, and extends broader authority to the former head of online retailer Jet.com, which Wal-Mart bought for $3.3 billion last year. It was the second time Wal-Mart has shuffled its e-commerce decks after it acquired Jet.com in August and appointed Marc Lore to run its e-commerce business. In November, Wal-Mart announced a number of management changes and said Jet.com co-founder Nate Faust would lead fulfillment operations for both Jet.com and Wal-Mart.com.

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