Enterprise

Search engine for leaked Comelec database goes live

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If it wasn’t bad enough for 55 million Filipino voters that their personal and identifiable information was made public last month after hackers breached the Commission on Elections’ computer systems and stole the database for the May 9 Philippine national elections, there’s now a search engine for the data dump.

And that should spell trouble for anyone included in the Comelec database — which is more than half the Philippine population — as reports indicated that the stolen data may include one’s address, birthdate, birthplace, names of relatives, passport number, and fingerprint data, among others.

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That means anyone with a partial or full name in mind can simply enter the name in the website to fish out sensitive details from the leaked database. Information you wouldn’t want to end up in the wrong hands.

You probably don’t need us to tell you what the implications are for those whose information has been compromised. Being targeted by identity thieves and other criminals is just one of the many threats posed by what experts are calling the biggest breach of government computer networks in the country’s history.

“The database contains a lot of sensitive information, including fingerprint data and passport information. So, we thought that it would be fun to make a search engine over that data,” the website says.

It bears noting that while the search engine can possibly track the personal information of millions of Filipinos, not all voter records have been indexed by the site. But then again, that’s not to say those whose names don’t appear in the search results are not susceptible to security threats.

UPDATE, 7:05 p.m.: Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez posted a statement on Twitter. It reads:

comelec statement data hack

[irp posts=”2204″ name=”MMDA launches search tool for traffic violations”]

Enterprise

Facebook faces British privacy lawsuit worth billions

For allegedly selling its users’ data

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The hits just don’t stop coming. Since being called out for alleged manipulation during the 2016 elections (and arguably before that), Facebook has endured hit after hit from privacy pundits, security firms, and global courts. Now, after much deliberation, criticisms and lawsuits against the platform are finally coming to roost. In Britain, for example, Facebook stands to lose billions in a privacy lawsuit from Britain.

As reported by Reuters, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority senior adviser Liza Lovdahl Gormsen filed the huge lawsuit to represent British citizens who used the platform between 2015 and 2019 — which approximates 44 million people. The suit alleges that Facebook used unfair terms and conditions to force users to give up their rights to their own information. The entire lawsuit is worth GBP 2.3 billion (or approximately US$ 3.15 billion). Though Facebook is worth over US$ 100 billion now, such a lawsuit likely isn’t insignificant to the company.

But, of course, it doesn’t come without precedent. Last year, the company was scrutinized extensively because of whistleblower Frances Haugen’s revelations. According to the former Facebook employee, the platform knowingly creates ruptures in societies everywhere in the world. Besides its effect on mental health and geopolitics, Facebook was also criticized for selling personal data and treating its users as marketable products.

While Britain’s claim is already extensive, it is far from the only country looking to break the company up. The platform is also facing issues in its own home turf for the same charges. The year is just starting, and this likely won’t be Facebook’s last trip to the legal battlefield.

SEE ALSO: Facebook will force at-risk users to use two-factor authentication

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Enterprise

Samsung inexplicably delays Exynos 2200 launch

No new date set yet

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Before launching the next Galaxy S flagship series, Samsung often unveils the attached Exynos processor ahead of time. However, this year’s Exynos 2200 is still suspiciously absent. According to sources, Samsung was initially set to launch the new chips on January 11. Since it’s already February 12, the chip’s launch is obviously delayed for an inexplicable reason.

The delay did not come with any warning. The Exynos 2200’s launch date came and… nothing. No word from Samsung on a delay reason or even a new launch date. Even Ice Universe, one of the most knowledgeable sources for Samsung, is scratching their head, wondering why Samsung suddenly backed out of the date.

It isn’t Samsung’s first delay, though. Since the start of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the world is going through a massive semiconductor shortage. Several devices have been delayed or are undergoing stock problems. Samsung had already pushed back dates in the past. However, this is a rare last-minute delay.

Of course, despite the delay, Samsung still has time to release the Exynos 2200 before the Galaxy S22’s launch. According to a recent source, Samsung is set to launch the next flagship series on February 8. The upcoming chipset will reportedly perform at par with the recently launched Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Amid inexplicable delays, Samsung still has several launches up its sleeve.

Postponements likely won’t mean much in the grander scheme of things, but it will be an interesting tale to hear why Samsung had to back all of a sudden.

SEE ALSO: Samsung unveils 2022 sustainability initiatives

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Enterprise

Tencent reportedly acquires Xiaomi’s Black Shark division

For 3 billion yuan

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The gaming smartphone market is thriving with a few companies building their own divisions dedicated to the niche segment. With the market’s success escalating, more companies want to join in on the fun. Unfortunately, despite their desire, some brands don’t really have any smartphone assets to begin with, leading to buyouts and takeovers. An example of that, Tencent is reportedly buying Xiaomi’s Black Shark gaming arm.

Revealed on his Twitter, tech leaker Abhishek Yadav unveiled the upcoming plans. Chinese gaming company Tencent will acquire the gaming smartphone brand for a staggering CNY 3 billion. However, the leak did not reveal any additional details surrounding the acquisition. Of course, there are a lot of possibilities with such a deal.

Though the company is known for its varied gallery of games, Tencent has also dabbled in other markets. For example, the brand has previously partnered with gaming smartphones to either promote itself or build a phone with the brand’s games packed in.

On the other hand, Black Shark is Xiaomi’s take on the gaming smartphone market. Several Chinese smartphone makers created separate brands to delineate their flagship arm from their forays into mobile gaming. Last year, the brand released its latest flagship, the Black Shark 4.

Given their profiles, a Tencent x Black Shark partnership is either a match made in heaven or an unlikely pairing. A gaming company acquiring another gaming brand does make sense, but Tencent doesn’t have much experience creating smartphones besides the occasional partnership. Once confirmed, the leaked deal will have a lot to prove in the gaming community.

SEE ALSO: Black Shark 4: Price and availability in the Philippines

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