At a glance.
- Credential theft and streaming television.
- Privacy-focused tech offerings.
The stream of credential theft.
While binging the latest season of Stranger Things might feel like a matter of survival in these waning days of the pandemic, your streaming account credentials could be at risk of exposure. Israeli intelligence firm Cybersixgill published a report examining Netflix and Disney+ credential theft from January 2020 through March 2021. In total, they found 805,085 Netflix and 596,502 Disney accounts released on the dark web, likely acquired through credential stuffing. Interestingly, there was a spike in March through May 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic had most of the world on lockdown and locked to their screens. While the monetary value of these passwords is low, the demand is quite high, as apparently cybercriminals find stealing the right to watch a Marvel movie less of a commitment than breaking into someone’s bank account.
New privacy-focused tech offerings.
TechCrunch reports that ProtonMail, a popular Swiss email service offering end-to-end encryption and a “zero access” guarantee for its 50 million users, has revamped its platform with a sleek new user interface that offers more customization and a collection of productivity tools. The company has long focused its marketing messaging on its commitment to not tracking users’ web histories, as Proton founder and CEO Andy Yen explains, “We believe users should have a choice on how and with whom their data is shared. With the redesigned ProtonMail, we are offering an even easier way for users to take control of their data.”
Meanwhile, Chromium-based browser Vivaldi launched version 4.0, which includes new tools like built-in email (still in beta), RSS clients, and a translation tool, TechCrunch reports. Though Vivaldi has long offered a webmail service, supplying an offline email client that’s built into the browser represents a shift toward focusing on customers’ desires. And unlike most news services, Vivaldi’s RSS feed doesn’t build user profiles based on reading habits. The new Vivaldi Translate avoids sharing data with a third-party by hosting the service on its own servers while still producing results comparable to Google Translate. Though Vivaldi does aggregate basic info like user numbers and geographic locations, the new offerings demonstrate the company’s lack of interest in collecting user data. CEO Jon von Tetzchner (formerly of Opera, one of the oldest web browsers still in use today), “We’ve chosen to say, ‘okay, we don’t want to have the business model decide what we do. We rather focus on what the users want.’”