Tag Archive hacking

ByCOS Webmaster

Mayday! NASA Warns Employees of Personal Information Breach

Another day, another data breach. This time it’s the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)NASA today confirmed a data breach that may have compromised personal information of some of its current and former employees after at least one of the agency’s servers was hacked.In an internal memo sent to all employees on Tuesday, NASA said the unknown hackers managed to gain access to one of its servers storing the personally identifiable information (PII), including social security numbers, of current and former employees.

The agency said NASA discovered the breach on October 23 when its cyber security personnel began investigating a possible breach of two of its servers holding employee records.

After discovering the intrusion, NASA has since secured its servers and informed that the agency is working with its federal cyber security partners “to examine the servers to determine the scope of the potential data ex-filtration and identify potentially affected individuals.” However, NASA said this process “will take time.”

It should be noted that no space missions were jeopardized by the cyber incident, the agency said.

According to the agency, any NASA Civil Service employee who joined, left, or transferred within the agency from July 2006 to October 2018 may have had their personal data compromised. NASA currently employs roughly 17,300 people.

The agency said all the affected employees would be notified once identified, and offered identity theft protection services and related resources to all affected employees, past and present.

“NASA is continuing its efforts to secure all servers, and is reviewing its processes and procedures to ensure that the latest security practices are being followed throughout the agency.”

This is not the first time when the agency’s servers have been compromised. NASA suffered a massive security breach in 2016 when a hacking group released 276GB of sensitive data including flight logs and credentials of thousands of its employees.

At that time, the hackers even attempted to crash a $222 million drone into the Pacific Ocean by gaining control over the drone by rerouting the flight path.

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ByCOS Webmaster

New Android API Lets Developers Push Updates Within their Apps

You might have read somewhere online today that Google is granting Android app developers powers to forcefully install app updates…but it is not true.

Instead, the tech giant is providing a new feature that will help users to have up-to-date Android apps all the time and yes, it’s optional.

Along with the launch of a number of new tools and features at its Android Dev Summit 2018, Google has also launched the a new API, called “In-app Updates,” which aims to help developers ensure that users are running the latest and greatest version of their app.

“We’ve heard that you’d like more controls to ensure that users are running the latest and greatest version of your app. To address this, we’re launching an In-app Updates API,” Google said.

How Does Android’s New In-app Updates API Work?

It should be noted that the Android’s new In-app Updates API doesn’t force or lock out users from the app if they chose not to update it.

Instead, the API has been designed to aggressively inform users about the latest available updates and give them a smooth in-app installation experience without closing the app or opening the Google Play Store.

As explained by Aurash Mahbod, Google’s director of engineering, in the above video, the In-app Updates API gives Android developers two ways to push a new update to their users, as explained below:

1) Immediate in-app update (for critical patches) — App developers can display a full-screen message to their users informing them of a new update, which users can choose to download (if they want) and install immediately right then and there, within the app itself, before they can use the app.

For obvious or whatever other reasons, users can deny to update immediately and continue using the app, in case they are not connected to Wi-Fi or are low on the battery.

2) Flexible in-app update (for regular updates) — Using this option, Android app developers can display a small “available update” notification to users, giving them an option to accept it and then keep using the app while the new version app is downloaded in the background.

Once the app is downloaded, it will get installed the next time the user re-opens the app.

Flexible update also gives users the “Not Now” option, which users can select in case they don’t want to install the update.

The concept is good and definitely not new, as many applications already have custom mechanisms to determine if users are running an outdated version, then prompt them to install the latest version from the Play Store. However, the new API makes this whole process standard, smooth and easy, giving users a great new experience.

Android In-app Updates API

Aurash also said the company is currently testing the In-App Updates API in Google Chrome for Android and is making the new API available to developers who are early access partners. It will be available to all developers soon.

Google also says that Android developers will have the ability to completely customize the update flow so that it feels like part of your app, which indicates that all apps will not have the same in-app update experience.

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