Apple patches nasty security bugs, HBO Max abruptly removes content, and a16z favors Neumann’s next thing – TechCrunch

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a16z backs WeWork founder’s new thing: When a company grows strong enough that it inspired a miniseries, will anyone return to the founders again? It doesn’t seem convincing a16z, who recently placed the biggest check ever for the next thing by WeWork founder Adam Neumann.

Black Girls Code founder fired by board of directors: “Kimberly Bryant is officially leaving the Black Girls Code, eight months after being suspended indefinitely from the organization she founded,” wrote Natasha Mascarenhas and Dominic-Madori Davis. Bryant filed a lawsuit in response to the termination, alleging an “unlawful suspension and conflict of interest.”

Google Shutters IoT Core: Google’s IoT Core is a service intended to help device manufacturers build internet-connected gadgets that connect to Google Cloud. This week, Google announced that it would be shutting it down, giving manufacturers of that device a year to find another solution.

Apple’s major security bug: It’s time to update your Apple devices! This week, the company released critical patches that fix two (!) security issues that attackers appear to have been actively exploiting. The bugs are related to Safari’s WebKit engine and could result in an attacker essentially having full access to your device – so stay up to date.

HBO Max removes title: HBO Max is merging with Discovery+, and for some reason this means a bunch of titles are kicking in – and fast. I was going to tell everyone to speed through the incredible “Summer Camp Island” series before it disappeared, but apparently it did. were removed. Find Full list of released / upcoming titles here.

TC fights tracking software: Backside in februaryZack Whittaker of TechCrunch has lifted the curtain on a network of “tracking software” apps that silently read victims’ private text messages, photos, browsing history, and more. launched a tool to help people determine if their Android phone – and thus their personal data – was affected. We’ll hear more from Zack about this new tool below.

Illustration of a phone with a blue light with a location pointer on it, against a background of red and blue moving eyes.

Image credits: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch

audio content

What’s in TechCrunch’s podcast world? This week equity group talked about why we need to “officially stop comparing Adam Neumann and Elizabeth Holmes,” and Burnsy spoke to co-founder Ethena Roxanne Petraeus and Homebrew’s Hunter Walk about how to “sell vision, not publicity.” business” on TechCrunch Live.

Additional tools

What’s behind the TC + fee wall? Some really cool stuff! Here is a taste:

How does venture capital work?: This seems like a basic question, but it’s one that we get… pretty much. Haje, with his rare overlapping views as a reporter AND pitch coach AND former director at a VC fund, broke it all down like only he could.

Planning to use your startup equity as collateral? Good luck: After years of working, you’ve managed to build tons of equity in the private company you helped build. Can you really use it as collateral for anything? Max Brenner of Compound guides us through the challenges.

writer’s focus: Zack Whittaker

Image credits: Veanne Tall

This week, we’re testing a new section where we quickly caught up with a TechCrunch writer to hear a little about them and what they thought this week. Up first? Amazing, inimitable Zack Whittaker.

Who is Zack Whittaker? What do you do at TechCrunch?

Hi, I’m the security editor here, aka TechCrunch’s Bearer of Bad News, and I oversee the security desk. We uncover and report the big cybersecurity news of the day – hacking, data breaches, national attacks, surveillance and national security – and how it affects you and the public landscape. broader technology.

If you could snap your fingers and tell everyone in the world one thing about your beat, what would it be?

Think of cybersecurity as an investment for something you hope will never happen, such as a breach of your personal data. You’re better off getting ahead of it now. It’s easier than ever today – and it’s never too late to start. Invest a small amount of time in three simple steps that make it a lot harder for hackers to break into your account or steal your data: Use a password managerestablish two-factor authentication wherever you can and keep your apps and devices up to date.

Tell me about the anti-tracking tool you launched this week

Back in February, TechCrunch revealed that a network almost identical “tracking software” app share a common security bug that is spilling the private phone data of hundreds of thousands of Android device owners around the world. These malicious apps are installed by someone with access to your phone and are designed to hide but silently steal the victim’s phone data such as messages, photos, call logs, location and more. Months later, we got a leaked list of every device compromised by these apps. The data did not have enough information for us to identify or notify the victim, so we built this lookup tool to allow people to check if their device has been compromised – and how remove spywareif it’s safe to do so.

c. Okay. So someone grabs your phone, installs one of these sketchy apps while you’re not paying attention, the app rips through your personal data for the installer to snoop on… meanwhile, the app The app is leaking a bunch of data to anyone who knows where to look. Looks like the guys behind the tracking software apps intend to stop?

Nothing. The group of Vietnam-based developers behind the network of stalking software have gone to great lengths to hide their identities (but not well enough). The number of compromised devices is increasing daily, but with don’t expect a fix, we’ve published our investigation to help warn victims of the dangers of this spyware. No one in civil society is subject to this invasive surveillance without their consent or knowledge.

Aside from this tool (it’s awesome!), what’s your favorite post you’ve written or something you’ve done with TC?

In the four years I’ve been here? It’s really hard! One of the things I still think about often is inside stories about how two British security researchers in their 20s helped save the Internet from WannaCry ransomware malware spreads rapidly in 2017, the event went viral around the world, locking down computers in NHS hospitals, giant transport companies and transport hubs, causing billions of dollars in damage. But when one of them found and registered a certain domain in the malware’s code, the attack stopped. They found the malware’s kill switch, making them “accidental” heroes overnight. But the only thing holding back another WannaCry outbreak is keeping the kill switch domain alive in their hands, despite attempts by the bad guys to force it offline by overwhelming it with internet traffic. “Responsible for this is supporting the NHS? One of the researchers told me at the time.

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