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How does spyware get into smartphones

With TikTok and the other malware apps, the app is not innocent at first and then happens to get compromised, says a IT security expert. The developer of the app built back doors, spy functions and other things into the app from the outset and took great care to ensure that no one would notice. The popular Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat are only the tip of the iceberg. WeChat is a universal app that combines messaging with payment functions and other social media applications. It is very popular in China. Among IT experts, there is little doubt that all the data flowing through it is gathered completely by the Chinese regime. Many apps seem innocuous and harmless to start with. At first, there is only a small back door that an attacker can use later. "Even if you look at the app now, and it is only doing harmless things, the Chinese manufacturer is often able to extend the functionality at runtime," says Strobel. "All of a sudden, the app does completely different things without having been updated somewhere from the app store."

 

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Smart City

Google's Sidewalk Labs's plans to build a smart city "from the internet up" in a disused waterfront area of Toronto. It does contain too much "tech for tech's sake", an independent panel has said. It also accused the company of being too vague about what it planned to do. Some of the planned innovations were "irrelevant or unnecessary", it added, and did not seem to put citizens first. Sidewalk Labs has said it has consulted thousands of Torontonians and they are at the core of its development plans.But the panel of 15 people, including academics, urban technology and legal experts, "felt that the plan did not appear to put the citizen at the center of the design process for digital innovations, as was promised in the beginning and is necessary for legitimacy". "Some of the solutions felt like 'tech for tech's sake' - applying a complex technological solution to a situation that mostly doesn't need it," it said.

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Google shutting down URL shortening service

Google announced that it is shutting down its URL shortening service, goo.gl. The company says that new and anonymous users won’t be able to create links through the goo.gl console as of April 13th, but existing users will be able to use it for another year, after which it will be discontinued completely.




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URL shortening

URL shortening is a technique on the World Wide Web in which a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) may be made substantially shorter in length and still direct to the required page. This is achieved by using a redirect on a domain name that is short, which links to the web page that has a long URL. For example, the URL "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/URL_shortening" can be shortened to "http://bajaurl.com/1tjXqrr".
This is especially convenient for messaging technologies that limit the number of characters that may be used in a message, such as SMS, and for reducing the amount of typing required if the reader is copying a URL from a print source. In November 2009, the shortened links of the URL shortening service Bitly were accessed 2.1 billion times.

Other uses of URL shortening are to "beautify" a link, track clicks, or disguise the underlying address.