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  • Showing only topics with the tag "privacy". Back to normal view
    1. What file access do programs have if I install them? Can they see everything?

      I am thinking on installing League of Legends, but I am not sure about the privacy implications of doing so. If I install it, would it be able to read all the other files in my computer? If it...

      I am thinking on installing League of Legends, but I am not sure about the privacy implications of doing so. If I install it, would it be able to read all the other files in my computer? If it can, can I avoid the problem by using a guest account on my computer to play? Riot's privacy policy seems to be standard as far data mining goes, but I would like to know how much it can see if install it. I am playing on a Mac.

      6 votes
    2. What browser do you use? How have you customized it?

      I was just wondering how people use their browsers, and get ideas from others in regards to sharing ideas to improve my browsing experience. What do I use? I use Firefox Nightly with the common...

      I was just wondering how people use their browsers, and get ideas from others in regards to sharing ideas to improve my browsing experience.

      What do I use?

      I use Firefox Nightly with the common browser extensions like ublock origin, privacy badger, https everywhere, and some interesting ones like Dark Reader, Vimium (Which provides vim keybinds in your browser) and ViolentMonkey (which I use for userscripts like 4chanX, OneeChan, and the KissAnime ad blocker).

      21 votes
    3. Hidden 3rd party telemetry found in Nokia 6.2, 7.2 smartphones

      Update 12/03/2020: this is not a telemetry, but a kill switch from Colombian carrier - confirmed by HMD. Kill switch will be removed from most devices soon. I updated an article and posted it...

      Update 12/03/2020: this is not a telemetry, but a kill switch from Colombian carrier - confirmed by HMD. Kill switch will be removed from most devices soon. I updated an article and posted it here.

      Original article below:

      I have recently purchased Nokia 6.2 and wanted to check if it sends any data somewhere, considering what happened with previous models

      First, I noticed approx. daily connection to dapi.hmdglobal.net
      This is a Google Cloud that could belong to a company behind Nokia - HMD Global.
      But the Privacy policy in my phone only speaks of "activation" process, not of daily diagnostics data.
      So I used developer tools to remove the following packages (warning: this may break your device, I am not responsible for any consequences)

          com.hmdglobal.enterprise.api
          com.qualcomm.qti.qms.service.telemetry
          com.qualcomm.qti.qmmi
          com.qualcomm.qti.qdma
      

      Before removing them, I used APK Extractor to save APK files just in case it breaks my phone and I may be able to attempt reinstall. This part comes into play later.
      The first was my blind guess about what exactly connects to dapi.hmdglobal.net
      The next 3 I found mentioned in various forums for other devices as "safe to remove", however, I have not seen any telemetry sent to Qualcomm or anywhere else, except what I mention next.

      After removing these packages, I noticed that there are some remaining unknown connections my device attempts several times per day.
      They are all done in same order, one right after the other:

          www.pppefa.com
          www.ppmxfa.com
          www.forcis.claro.com.co
      

      After some investigation, I found that the first two domains point to some Microsoft Cloud servers rented in US.
      The last one most probably belongs to Colombian telecom company, and this is where it becomes interesting.
      After many hours of fruitless removing of different apps in my attempt so stop it, I suddenly remembered something.
      When I used APK Extractor previously, there was an empty first line with some generic icon where an app icon should have been.
      I went there again and indeed, this is a hidden system app, that you can not see in the list of all apps in Settings, normally. But it turns out, you can see it in Data usage (after it successfully sends some data using your mobile connection).
      The name of the app is deliberately left empty to hide it, but if you click it in Data usage, you can see that this app is co.sitic.pp , which can receive SMS, can make calls, and has access to internet.
      As with all Android apps, you can reverse read the name to guess what it is.
      Turns out, http://sitic.com.co is a Colombian company, who "are leaders in innovation and create mobile and WEB applications for new products and services." (credit goes to Google Translate)

      screenshot of the app with permissions

      In other words, this app is a 3rd party telemetry, hidden from user, not mentioned in the Privacy policy, that has access to SMS.
      This looks very bad and I really hope this is a malware injected by factory and not something knowingly distributed by Nokia, HMD Global, the EU company.

      After removing the co.sitic.pp app, requests to Microsoft Cloud and Columbia stopped.
      I was later pointed to a German forum, where (I believe) it was first found in a Nokia 7.2 device.
      So, we have it confirmed in 2 devices in 2 different countries.

      On German forum they contacted Nokia (I assume support) but got tired exchanging emails for weeks without any result.
      On 02/03/2020 I have requested an official reply from Nokia and HMD Global via press.services@nokia.com and press@hmdglobal.com and waiting for reply.
      Since I am not a journalist, I may never get one.

      TLDR: 3rd party telemetry is found in Nokia 6.2 and 7.2 devices, is hidden from user, has access to SMS, and sends data to Microsoft Cloud in US and a server in Columbia.
      It is probably supplied by SITIC S.A.S., a Colombian company, and looks more like a malware than a telemetry.

      28 votes
    4. Changing e-mail and cleaning up my Internet presence

      I'm trying to clean up my internet presence and move away from at least Facebook and Google. I've come a long way with deleting my Facebook and it's now basically an empty shell for messaging....

      I'm trying to clean up my internet presence and move away from at least Facebook and Google. I've come a long way with deleting my Facebook and it's now basically an empty shell for messaging. I've installed Signal and will start the grooming process with my friends and family now. If you have some solid arguments for the change regular ol' folks can understand please share them with me because as we all know "privacy" just isn't enough.

      Next phase is the big one...Google or basically G-mail.

      1. Is there any way to get an complete overview of where you've used your e-mail for a service online?

      2. What e-mail would you recommend?
      2a. I'm OK with paying a bit for overall quality, security and equally important UX!
      2b. I don't use any other relevant Google products like Drive etc. It's just regular e-mail and sign in credentials for other services I basically need

      3. I use a Mac, iPhone and iCloud. Is iCloud a problem? IF this needs to change it HAS to be an "easy" switch and not like setting up a server for myself. Because it won't happen and I'm not skilled enough.

      I would very much appreciate your input :)

      EDIT: Thank you all for your thorough comments!

      22 votes