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Oct 28

Web Browser Progress Report

Abstract

For this week, I ended up researching Adobe Flash, Google Chrome, and the Hola browser extension. Adobe Flash had some security problems that let hackers install malware when and old version of Flash is in use. Chrome doesn’t need your permission when updating and it tracks the majority before sending it to Google. Hola selling your bandwidth in order to make a profit and users share IP addresses with each other. Next up, is research on Apple’s iCloud and iPhone and following that is research on the Android phones.

Report

Last week, I stated that I would be researching Google Chrome and Adobe Flash next. Well, I found out some interesting information while also researching something else. First, I shall begin with Adobe Flash. Back in July 2015, some problems with Flash came forth after a group of hackers called the Hacking Team decided to leak a lot of data. The leak was approximately 400GB of emails, invoices, and more. The vulnerability of Flash could allow more hackers to crash systems, take control of them, and plant malware. This can all happened when you have an out of date Adobe Flash and happen to do something Flash related on the web. For example, watching a video or playing FarmVille could give a hacker access to your computer. Adobe mentioned that if other problems with Flash came up, they would deal with them when they appeared. That implies they know another security problem will appear in the future and it did, but the problems were the same as before.

For Google Chrome, there are a number of problems, but I feel like every web browser also has these problems. One of the problems is similar to what I talked about with the Windows Operating Systems. Chrome tracks all of your data and sends it back to Google for storage. They also track whatever you type in the address bar even if you don’t hit the Enter key. For some reason, Chrome doesn’t need your permission for quite a few things, like updating the browser.

The final digital tool that I did some last minute research on was Hola. Hola is a browser extension that acts as a free VPN or virtual private network. I always thought that this extension was bit strange because VPNs are usually a monthly subscription. Well, turns out that Hola was making money off all of the users who had it install in their browser or on their computer by selling their bandwidth. This means they are basically reselling something that you are paying for and what makes it worse is that you share it with all of the other users. So, what if someone does something illegal on your IP address? The answer is that you would be the one to get caught if the authorities tried to track you.

I know this is a lot to taken in, but the project is still going. Up next, I will be researching iCloud and the iPhone followed by the Android the week after.

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