When a user of Shazam’s Mac app turns the app “OFF,” the app actually keeps the microphone on in the background. For the security researcher who discovered that the mic is always on, it’s a bug that users should know about. For Shazam, it’s just a feature that makes the app work better.
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A trio of computer scientists at the US Army Research Laboratory see the fog of war as a useful metaphor for a powerful new form of data security, which they describe in the current issue of Computer as “cyberfog.” They imagine data hacked apart and embedded in a fog network where it’s fragmented into tiny pieces and distributed across not just servers, but end-user devices like the one you’re currently reading this story on. Even if data like this is partially compromised, the information whole would remain opaque to the adversary and remain useful to us.
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