Your daily round-up of some of the other stories in the news
Algorithms trained to spot fake profiles
We’ve all seen them: implausibly beautiful young women and rugged retired US officers on social media, sometimes just there to spread links to their porn sites but also sometimes aiming to make contact with real human beings, offering friendship and love and seeking … your money.
Those fake profiles, known as catfishes, are increasingly common, and now researchers at Edinburgh University have trained computer models how to spot those fake profiles. The algorithms were trained on information from some 5,000 real profiles on Pornhub, an adult entertainment “tube” channel, learning how real men and women of different ages wrote posts and interacted with each other.
The researchers then let the algorithms loose on Pornhub, reported the BBC, and found data suggesting that some 40% of the site’s users were lying about their ages, while around 25% lied about what sex they are.
Dr Walid Magdy of Edinburgh University said: “Adult websites are populated by users who claim to be other than who they are”, and added that the algorithms they developed “could lead to useful tools to flag dishonest users and keep social networks of all kinds safe”.
Trump warned on blocking Twitter followers
President Trump uses his Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, to communicate his thoughts to nearly 32m people – and, like most Twitter users, he’s not afraid to use the “block” button when he doesn’t like what people say back to him.
That’s potentially illegal, argue lawyers, who have sent the president a letter arguing that his Twitter account is a public forum protected by the US constitution.
The lawyers, from the Knight First Amendment Institute at New York’s Columbia University, say that “your Twitter accounts are forums in which you share your thoughts and decisions as President, and in which millions of people respond, ask questions, and sometimes have those questions answered”.
The lawyers go on: “This Twitter account operates as a ‘designated public forum’ for First Amendment purposes, and accordingly the viewpoint-based blocking of our clients is unconstitutional. We ask that you unblock them and any others who have been blocked for similar reasons.”
Neither the White House nor Twitter responded when Reuters asked for a comment on the letter.
Apple shifts to 64bit
One of the big events in the Mac and iOS world is WWDC, held every year in California, when the Cupertino giant announces new and tweaked products. However, this year Apple has annoyed some of the faithful by announcing that iOS11, the next version of its mobile operating system, will only run on 64bit devices – thus meaning some older hardware whose processors won’t support 64bit won’t get the next upgrade.
Those devices are the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5c and the iPad4, while the oldest devices that will get the upgrade – and are thus presumably next for the chopping block – are the iPhone 5s and the iPad Air.
The move to 64bit also means that even if your device will get iOS11, not all your apps will work either if they’re 32bit-only.
While iOS malware isn’t very common, it does exist, and there’s an increasing volume of it in the wild. At Naked Security we always recommend making sure your device’s operating system is up to date and that you’re running anti-malware software and making sure all your apps as well as the OS are regularly patched, so the news that these devices won’t be getting the latest version of iOS means we’d urge you to think about what you’re planning to do when Apple stops updating iOS10.
Catch up with all of today’s stories on Naked Security
8 comments on “News in brief: computers trained to spot catfish; Trump cautioned on blocks; Apple locks out older phones”
How about you buy me a new iPhone, since mine will be running an obsolete iOS10 since it won’t be supported? What else can I do? I dont have €700 for a new iPhone just because Apple decided to drop support for it’s own 32-bit hardware, even if it could run the new iOS if only it was available.
I suggest you get me a supported iPhone, even if it’s a 5S, since you seem to worry about my security, and I don’t have the means to get the newer iPhone. I promise I will keep it updated to the latest software at all times!
The walled garden strikes again. “Think different”…and never stop buying our overpriced crap that we abandon so frequently (frequent?)
How about forcing Apple into opening there obsolete devices to alternative operating systems?
That would be a way to get them back to life – in a secure up-to-date way. Maybe with an android version? Or something completely different?
Other mobile platforms are available, at much more reasonable prices.
“This Twitter account operates as a ‘designated public forum’ for First Amendment purposes, and accordingly the viewpoint-based blocking of our clients is unconstitutional.”
Give me a break! Users are free to post their own thoughts under free speech, but nothing at all prevents a user from blocking other users. Those blocked users can still post on the site. Seriously, the lunacy these days is killing me.
You missed the most important part: “This Twitter account”, as in the one in question, not Twitter accounts in general. Blocking users in this case is like barring constituents from entering a town hall based on their political views, when the building where the town hall is held is nowhere near full capacity.
I hope Apple continue to offer security patches to these older devices for a while but this is only what happened to the Iphone 4 and older gear. Those are pretty old bits of kit – kudos to Apple for the build quality! But some blame must go to network vendors still offering the iPhone 5 et al as “free” phones because they have stock of them. Folks get one of those and to them it’s a “new” phone. Hopefully that’s rare nowadays…
As for poor old Kriket wanting a new phone – go buy a 2nd hand iPhone 6! Those are really not expensive now. You don’t currently have a new phone so that can’t be too important to you.
Expensive is a relative value. Some of the bums on the street have phones so they can collect their monthly support monies from the state or government. There doesn’t seem to be ‘public’ phones anymore.
Don’t hold your breath with updates. When it’s over it’s over and you get nothing except your software telling you it won’t or can’t run because it’s outdated. Try a browser, it chokes every time you try and use it requiring a non existent update.
We are seeing an architecture change (duh..) This always speeds the demise of older hardware.