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Communications of the ACM

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An edited collection of advanced computing news from Communications of the ACM, ACM TechNews, other ACM resources, and news sites around the Web.


This Device Keeps Voice Assistants From Snooping on You
From ACM TechNews

This Device Keeps Voice Assistants From Snooping on You

An international team of researchers  has developed a Raspberry Pi-based device that eventually may be able to warn users when Amazon's Alexa and other voice assistants...

Uncovered: 1,000 Phrases That Incorrectly Trigger Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant
From ACM TechNews

Uncovered: 1,000 Phrases That Incorrectly Trigger Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant

Researchers have identified more than 1,000 word sequences that incorrectly trigger voice assistants like Alexa, Google Home, and Siri.

Machine Learning Clusters in Azure Hijacked to Mine Cryptocurrency
From ACM TechNews

Machine Learning Clusters in Azure Hijacked to Mine Cryptocurrency

Microsoft's Azure Security Center reported a cryptojacking scheme in which attackers hijacked machine learning clusters inside the Azure cloud computing service...

Apple Fixes Bug That Could Have Given Hackers Full Access to User Accounts
From ACM TechNews

Apple Fixes Bug That Could Have Given Hackers Full Access to User Accounts

The Sign in with Apple tool has fixed a bug that could enable attackers to gain access to email accounts.

Supply-Chain Attack Hits RubyGems Repository with 725 Malicious Packages
From ACM TechNews

Supply-Chain Attack Hits RubyGems Repository with 725 Malicious Packages

ReversingLabs researchers found more than 725 malicious packages in RubyGems, the official channel for distributing programs and code libraries for the Ruby programming...

The Pandemic is Bringing Us Closer to Our Robot Takeout Future
From ACM News

The Pandemic is Bringing Us Closer to Our Robot Takeout Future

"We saw that business double overnight," startup says of UK grocery deliveries.

Attackers Can Bypass Fingerprint Authentication with an ~80% Success Rate
From ACM News

Attackers Can Bypass Fingerprint Authentication with an ~80% Success Rate

Fingerprint-based authentication is fine for most people, but it's hardly foolproof.

Attack on Home Routers Sends Users to Spoofed Sites That Push Malware
From ACM TechNews

Attack on Home Routers Sends Users to Spoofed Sites That Push Malware

Researchers are warning that a hack of Linksys and D-Link routers is redirecting users to malicious sites posing as COVID-19 informational resources.

Windows Code-Execution Zero-day Is Under Active Exploit, Microsoft Warns
From ACM TechNews

Windows Code-Execution Zero-day Is Under Active Exploit, Microsoft Warns

Microsoft has issued a warning that a Windows zero-day vulnerability is being exploited in "limited targeted attacks" to execute malicious code on fully updated...

Study Ranks Privacy of Major Browsers
From ACM TechNews

Study Ranks Privacy of Major Browsers

A study of the privacy protection provided by major browsers ranked upstart browser Brave at the top of the list.

Intel SGX is Vulnerable to an Unfixable Flaw That Can Steal Crypto Keys and More
From ACM TechNews

Intel SGX is Vulnerable to an Unfixable Flaw That Can Steal Crypto Keys and More

A team of international researchers disclosed a previously undiscovered vulnerability that steals information from Intel's Software Guard eXtensions.

Flaw in Billions of Wi-Fi Devices Left Communications Open to Eavesdropping
From ACM TechNews

Flaw in Billions of Wi-Fi Devices Left Communications Open to Eavesdropping

Researchers at Slovakian Internet security company ESET discovered that billions of devices are affected by a Wi-Fi vulnerability that allows nearby attackers to...

Researchers Have Already Tested YouTube’s Algorithms for Political Bias
From ACM News

Researchers Have Already Tested YouTube’s Algorithms for Political Bias

More moderation associated with more hate speech and misinformation, not politics.

Microsoft's DreamWalker VR Turns Your Daily Commute Into Totally Different One
From ACM TechNews

Microsoft's DreamWalker VR Turns Your Daily Commute Into Totally Different One

Microsoft researchers have designed virtual reality solutions to allow users to remain fully immersed in virtual environments, even when walking in real-life locations...

Bug in Python Script May Have Affected Hundreds of Studies
From ACM TechNews

Bug in Python Script May Have Affected Hundreds of Studies

A coding error in a set of Python scripts often used for computational analysis of chemistry data yielded significantly different outcomes, depending on which operating...

Ransomware Forces Hospitals to Turn Away All but Most Critical Patients
From ACM TechNews

Ransomware Forces Hospitals to Turn Away All but Most Critical Patients

Ransomware has crippled hospitals in Alabama and Australia, blocking admission for all but the most critical new patients.

Microsoft Warns Wormable Windows Bug Could Lead to Another WannaCry
From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Warns Wormable Windows Bug Could Lead to Another WannaCry

Microsoft warns a serious vulnerability in Windows Remote Desktop Services could be exploited to launch a WannaCry-level attack against Internet-connected computers...

'RobbinHood' Ransomware Takes Down Baltimore City Government Networks
From ACM TechNews

'RobbinHood' Ransomware Takes Down Baltimore City Government Networks

A "RobbinHood" ransomware attack earlier this week crippled networks used by Baltimore's city government.

Serious Flaws Leave WPA3 Vulnerable to Hacks that Steal Wi-Fi Passwords
From ACM TechNews

Serious Flaws Leave WPA3 Vulnerable to Hacks that Steal Wi-Fi Passwords

Security researchers has found several serious design flaws in the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA3) protocol.

Hello World: Shining a Light onto the Culture of Computer Programmers
From ACM News

Hello World: Shining a Light onto the Culture of Computer Programmers

A chat with tech journalist Clive Thompson about his new book, Coders.
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