Facebook Says SMS Spam Received by Two-Factor Authentication Users Was a Bug

Facebook Says SMS Spam Received by Two-Factor Authentication Users Was a Bug

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Facebook users had been getting SMS notifications after signing up for 2F
  • Users’ responses to notifications would appear as status updates on Faceb
  • Facebook acknowledged the issue and promised a fix

Facebook users, over the past week, have reportedly been getting SMS notifications from the social media website after signing up for the two-factor authentication security feature. While the two-factor authentication is a vital part of protecting online accounts by adding a second layer of security, the text messages, interestingly, were not related to any security features. This gave rise to speculation that Facebook was trying to increase user engagement However, Facebook has now responded to the issue saying that it was a bug, and that such notifications were not meant to be sent.

While two-factor authentication is considered a vital measure of security, requiring an attacker to have both the user’s password and physical access to a registered device before being able to log into the user’s account. However, on Facebook, the system appears to have ended up being a problem for its users, thanks to SMS notifications. Interestingly, users also complained that if they replied to the SMS notifications, these would appear as status updates on Facebook.

Alex Stamos, Facebook Chief Security Officer, explains in a blog post that it was not Facebook’s intention to send non-security-related SMS notifications to phone numbers, and also apologised for the inconvenience caused to users. He wrote, “The last thing we want is for people to avoid helpful security features because they fear they will receive unrelated notifications.”

Facebook has also promised that the bug will be fixed soon. “We are working to ensure that people who sign up for two-factor authentication won’t receive non-security-related notifications from us unless they specifically choose to receive them, and the same will be true for those who signed up in the past. We expect to have the fixes in place in the coming days,” said Stamos.

Responding to why users responses to SMS notifications would appear as status updates, Facebook again said it was an unintended consequence, and was enabled by an older functionality where users could post to Facebook via text message. This functionality would soon be deprecated, Facebook said.

While you wait for Facebook to come out with a fix, you can go to Settings > Notifications to switch off text notifications. You can also use a code generator app and a U2F key instead of providing your phone numbers to Facebook when enabling 2FA.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Xiaomi Mi A1 Android 8.0 Oreo Beta Update Needs Testers, Says Company

Xiaomi Mi A1 Android 8.0 Oreo Beta Update Needs Testers, Says Company

HIGHLIGHTS

  • All Mi A1 users are eligible to apply for the program
  • Active users on the MIUI Global Forum will be selected for testing
  • Xiaomi warns that this will not be a stable build

Xiaomi is now inviting applications from beta testers for the Android 8.0 Oreo update that will roll out soon on the Xiaomi Mi A1. The announcement, posted on the official MIUI website, invited beta testers to test out stock Android on the Mi A1. This comes as great news for people who purchased the phone as Xiaomi had promised an Oreo update by the end of the year.

The application states that all Mi A1 users are eligible to apply and only the device’s IMEI number is to be provided for the application. All submitted IMEI numbers will not be revealed publicly. If you use a Mi A1, you can check your IMEI by dialling *#06# on the phone’s dialler.

You also need to have the MIUI Global Forum app installed on the device. On the homepage of the app, select Recruitment. Fill out your information as stated. Click the Submit button. Xiaomi will send selected members a Forum PM for confirmation.

The deadline for the application is 11:59pm CST (9:30pm IST) on December 11, 2017 (Beijing Time) and is valid for all regions but has a mandatory communication language of English. Xiaomi states that the applicant must ideally have an interest to test betas and some knowledge about ROMs. They should also be active on the MIUI Global Forum and willing to discuss with other members in both QQ group and forum. Once selected, the beta testers are required to share bug reports on time. They are also required to discuss and answer queries on the forum.

A standard disclaimer states that this is not a stable ROM, so expect bugs with the ROM and think twice before you apply for it. Also, bugs need time to fix and developers are not expected to rush to resolve issues.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Paytm Says Mobile Wallets Will Become Strong Players in Financial Ecosystem

Paytm Says Mobile Wallets Will Become Strong Players in Financial Ecosystem

Mobile wallets will become strong players in the financial ecosystem as the RBI guidelines on prepaid instruments will allow more features like unlimited transfer of funds between a bank account and a wallet, a top official of Paytm Payments Bank said.

Paytm Payments Bank MD-CEO Renu Satti said the RBI guidelines released this month will enable mobile wallets to gain access to more functionalities like unlimited transfer of funds between a bank account and a wallet and higher limit of up to Rs. 1 lakh for money transfer to beneficiary accounts.

She added that as part of Paytm Payments Bank, customers get the convenience of wallets and can earn interest on their deposits by transferring money from the wallet to their payments bank account.

“This will further strengthen the value proposition of mobile wallets and make them stronger players in the financial ecosystem,” Satti said.

Paytm has over 270 million registered wallet users. However, the mandate to undertake KYC of customers could be a challenge as mobile wallets companies will have to make additional investments in the diligence process.

The KYC (Know Your Customer) process allows banks and other institutions to obtain and verify information about customers’ identity and address.

As per the new norms, mobile wallets that were conforming to a minimum KYC format (like verification of mobile number) will have to get full KYC of customers done within 12 months of setting up the wallet.

Paytm has already said it plans to invest $500 million towards the KYC exercise over the next three years.

Satti said while the process may seem time-consuming, it will also help prevent identity theft, fraud and money laundering and ensure customers’ money is safer than ever before.

“The new RBI guidelines would bring greater confluence and power to m-wallets. It will also ensure money transfers are simpler and financial systems are safer,” she added.

Paytm has introduced a ‘Nearby KYC Points’ section in its app that directs users to nearby partner shops and locations where customers can get Aadhaar biometric KYC done for their Paytm wallets.

Paytm Payments Bank started its operations earlier this year. Its Chairman Vijay Shekhar Sharma owns majority stake in the company, while the remaining share is owned by One97 Communications.

Disclosure: Paytm’s parent company One97 is an investor in NDTV’s Gadgets 360.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Sharjah Ruler says education key in fight against terrorism

Sharjah Ruler Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, second left, visits the Abu Dhabi tourist pavilion at the Frankfurt International Book Fair. Abu Dhabi Culture and Tourism

Sharjah Ruler Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, second left, visits the Abu Dhabi tourist pavilion at the Frankfurt International Book Fair. Abu Dhabi Culture and Tourism

It is through education, the Sharjah Ruler said, that we can rid the region of the scourge of terrorism.

“The most effective way to face negative forces is through education and upbringing from an early age, all the way through to university,” said Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi as he addressed attendees of the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany.

“This will empower individuals and develop their critical thinking and decision-making skills.”

Sheikh Sultan praised the constructive role Sharjah Youth and Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah organisations have played in encouraging education and creativity in the emirate’s young minds as he talked up the value of international book fairs.

“Taking part in different international fairs and exhibitions provides a platform to communicate with other cultures, enhance dialogue and promote the literary and scientific values of the Arab and Islamic world, as well as draw on international experience and expertise,” he said.

Concerned at the lack of appreciation shown to Arabic culture and literature in general, Sheikh Sultan hopes his visit to the Frankfurt Book Fair and his spearheading of the forthcoming Sharjah edition to be held on November 1 will act as a sign that writers’ and publishers’ work is valued.

“It is important that we are supporting authors, illustrators, publishers and other experts to develop the quality and quantity of literature,” he said.

“Sharjah’s cultural initiatives restore confidence and support intellectuals in the Arab world, many of whom had been disheartened with a lack of respect and recognition, in addition to the launch of children’s programmes, to build a new generation of writers, poets and intellectuals.”

Read more: Sharjah named World Book Capital for 2019 by Unesco

Sheikh Sultan also used the occasion to launch the German edition of his book, The Conflict between Power and Trade in the Gulf, which this year also received its English and French translation.

The event was part of a range of initiatives run by UAE cultural bodies in Frankfurt, led by the Sharjah delegation.

Wednesday also saw Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, as the founder of publishing house Kalimat Group, address a panel on the opportunities that literature translation presents.

She said international collaboration was key for regional publishers to evolve.

“The initial idea of using partnerships to have rights deals with different publishers really opens doors as a publisher, not only for cultural exchange but also to make sure that children in other parts of the world can understand more about our stories,” she said.

“It can act as an agent of soft diplomacy and make this world a better place.”

Abu Dhabi Culture and Tourism was also present at Frankfurt, hosting a series of seminars emphasising German and Arabic cultural organisation and challenges facing the regional publishing industry.

Thursday saw Emirati author and academic Saeed Hamdan Altunaji and German literary scholar Klaus Reichert discuss the value of translating German literary classics to Arabic. Also on Thursday, the pavilion hosted a discussion on book piracy and intellectual property rights in the Arab world.

On the international front, blockbuster author Dan Brown launched the German translation of his latest novel Origins.

With the latest novel finding his hero, the symbologist Robert Langdon, solving a case involving clues found in modern art pieces, Brown told The National that the planned Guggenheim Abu Dhabi would have been an ideal setting for Origin.

“I have to admit that I saw the proposed blueprint for the Guggenheim in Abu Dhabi and it will be one of the most spectacular buildings in the world,” he said.

“I think if that building was finished when I started this book there would have been a good chance the plot would have moved to Abu Dhabi. Call me when [The Louvre Abu Dhabi] is done. I want to see it.”

[“Source-thenational”]