Older Than the Mini Jack – This Week in Tech 686

Facebook breach, Elon’s costly tweet, Google turns 20, and more.

–How to tell if your Facebook account is one of the 50 million that were hacked this week
–Why the founder of Instagram left Facebook
–“Funding secured” tweet costs Elon Musk his chairmanship and $40 million
–Google turns 20 –More leaks from Google’s upcoming October 9th event
–Amazon gives $1 million to Wikimedia
–FCC fines robo-caller $37.5 million
–Did you register to vote on Snapchat?
–Web creator Tim Berners-Lee has a plan to fix the Internet

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This Week in Tech 649: Aging in Place

Florence Ion, Jason Hiner, and Larry Magid join Leo talk about CES and much more. Voice assistants are everywhere and IoT devices are getting smarter. Innovations in Sleep Tech that will improve your health. Elon Musk’s Hyperloop is moving forward. Facebook is changing the Newsfeed feature and you might be shocked how. Some new brands might be popping up on Instagram feed and Stephen Colbert’s app, Scripto, is being used by nearly everyone in late night new comedy.

Facebook pays $10,000 to 10-year-old for finding Instagram flaw that allowed comments to be deleted

By | TechSpot

You have to be at least 13 years old to have an account on Instagram, but this didn’t stop one 10-year-old Finnish boy from exposing a vulnerability in the Facebook-owned photo-sharing application and winning $10,000 for his work.

Helsinki-based Jani (his parents didn’t reveal his last name) discovered that he could erase any written content on Instagram by altering code on its servers. Facebook told Forbes that he verified this by deleting a comment the company posted on a test account.

The Facebook spokesperson added that the problem came from a private application program interface not properly checking that the person deleting the comment was the same one who posted it.

“I tested whether the comments section of Instagram can handle harmful code. Turns out it can’t. I noticed that I can delete other people’s comments from there,” Jani told Helskini-based newspaper Iltalehti. “I could have deleted anyone’s – like Justin Bieber’s for example.”

Facebook’s bug bounty program rewards people who identify and report security issues. In the five years since it launched, it has paid $4.3 million to more than 800 researchers for over 2400 submissions. Instagram was added to the program in 2014.

Payouts vary based on the level of risk a bug poses. Considering the average reward last year was only $1780, Jani’s $10,000 shows that Facebook regarded it as a fairly high-level threat.

Jani, who learned his skills by watching YouTube instructional videos, is now the youngest person to receive a reward from the program, beating the record set by a 13-year-old back in 2013. He said he plans to buy a football and new bicycle with some of the money.

Scam Alert: Do NOT click on that ‘Instagram for PC’ ad

An advertisement circulating on Facebook and Twitter for a desktop version of the photo-sharing application Instagram is a scam, according to security vendor Symantec.

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is only available for mobile devices. Its popularity, however, makes it attractive for spammers and scammers, wrote Satnam Narang, a security response manager with Symantec, on Tuesday.

“Both of the supposed versions of Instagram for PC do not deliver as promised,” Narang wrote. “This is just another vehicle for the scammers to convince users to fill out surveys, so they earn money through shady affiliate programs.”

Luckily, Narang wrote that “there was no malicious functionality bundled with the software, such as a keylogger or backdoor.” Such ploys are typically wrapped up with malicious software.

Instagram ScamInstagram is for mobile only.

The scammers offer what is purportedly an emulator that allows Instagram to run on a desktop computer. Clicking on a link initiated two downloads, one of which is a large “.rar” compressed archive and the other a bundle of dynamic link library files, Narang wrote.

Running the program launches a login screen. If a user logs in, an error message is displayed along with a dialog asking if the user wants to download another file that is supposedly needed.

The program then implores people to “click a variety of social sharing options before trying the download again,” Narang wrote. Finally, the user is lead to a survey.

Another version of Instagram for PC asks the user to activate the program that then displays a pop-up window, which leads to another survey.

The dodgy program has gained a bit of traction. Narang wrote more than 4,000 people have posted about the application on Twitter and Facebook. Another 2,000 have shared it on Google+.

via Scam Alert: Do NOT click on that ‘Instagram for PC’ ad | PCWorld.

12 simple steps to safer social networking

Confession time: I’m an inveterate social media junkie. From Facebook to Instagram to Diaspora, whenever a new communication platform rolls around—or comes back around—I’m ready to leap aboard.

But social networks are amazing and terrifying in equal measure. You can reach thousands of people worldwide with a single Twitter update, but cybercriminals can use the same tools to pick the perfect victim.

It’s impossible to remain completely anonymous while you’re using social media—anonymity would defeat the point—but every network has a few key, commonly overlooked privacy settings that take only minutes to set up and drastically improve the security of your shared data.

For this article, I rounded up the three most important privacy settings you should be using, but probably aren’t, on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram. Five minutes of setup now could avert hours of social embarrassment and identity recovery down the road.

Lock down Facebook

Facebook not only revolutionized the way we communicate but also spawned the Facebook Fret: that uncomfortable moment before every blind date, extended-family gathering, and job interview when you worry about whether anyone has noticed the embarrassing Christmas-party video your friend tagged you in on Facebook a few years back.

Limit who can find you: Stop worrying and make sure your Facebook profile stays private by clicking the blue gear in the top-right corner of the Facebook website and selecting Privacy Settings. From there, the best thing you can do is make it harder for strangers to find your Facebook profile in the first place by blocking search engines from linking to your profile and limiting who can look up your profile using the email address and phone number you gave to Facebook.

Limiting access to Friends ensures that only people with whom you’ve already made a connection will be able to search for you using your email address and phone number. But since someone isn’t likely to search Facebook in that manner unless they’re specifically seeking to get in touch with someone, it’s probably a good idea to grant lookup access to Friends of Friends. That way, you can get some mileage out of Facebook’s social network by connecting with people your friends trust.

Full Story: 12 simple steps to safer social networking | PCWorld.