Feeds

Android app maker settles claims it exposed sensitive files

Photos, videos, and more shared by default

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

The maker of a peer-to-peer application for Android handsets has agreed to settle federal charges that it was likely to cause users to unwittingly expose sensitive files to other people using the app.

Angel Leon, developer of FrostWire for Android, agreed to redesign the app after officials of the Federal Trade Commission alleged it was likely to cause a large number of users to inadvertently share personal files stored on their devices. Leon also agreed to make changes to a PC version of the p2p application FrostWire Desktop.

By default, FrostWire for Android shared many users' photos, videos, documents, and other files already stored on phones and tablets running Google's mobile operating system, according to a complaint filed by the FTC. Nothing in the installation and set-up instructions adequately informed users of the risks, it alleged.

“FrostWire for Android, as configured by the defendants, was likely to cause a significant number of consumers installing and running it on their mobile computing devices to unwittingly share files stored on those devices,” attorneys for the federal consumer watchdog agency wrote.

Over the years, untold numbers of people have mistakenly made proprietary data available over p2p file-sharing networks. Last year, the FTC warned 100 schools, local governments, and private corporations that their inadvertent sharing of sensitive information put others at risk of identity theft. More often than not, the unintended exposure is the result of users who don't take the time to properly configure their file-sharing applications.

Tuesday's settlement prevents Leon from using the default settings of the programs. It also bars him from making misrepresentations about the file-sharing behavior of the programs. The FTC has more here. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.