Hashtag Trending – Firefox VPN; SMS SIM attack; financial firms need better websites

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Mozilla launches secure connection service in Firefox, new cellphone vulnerability can take over a device using SMS, and financial websites have the lowest readability scores.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending today. It’s Friday, September 13th, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Trending on Google, Mozilla has announced a secure connection service. Dubbed the Mozilla Private Network, the feature encrypts internet traffic between the browser and other endpoints. It’s currently free to try in Beta, but don’t be surprised if Mozilla turns it into a subscription service in the future. Also, because it’s browser-based, it doesn’t encrypt anything outside of the browser. Only a dedicated VPN client would achieve that.

Trending on Reddit, a new cellphone SIM vulnerability exposes your device to attack through a simple text message. The vulnerability, called SimJacker, can manipulate your device into retrieving device location, send messages using the target’s device, and dial premium-rate numbers, all without the user’s knowledge. Researchers at Adaptive Mobile Security say they have confirmed attacks on all smartphone manufacturers including Samsung, Apple, and Huawei. Furthermore, high-valued targets received over 250 attacks in just one week.

For our final story, a LinkedIn post says that finance companies’ websites have the worst readability. A report by software company VisibleThread says that these websites often have long strings of jargon narrated in passive voice, making them exceedingly difficult to understand. The worst offenders include BlackRock, BNY Mellon Investment Management, and Santander Asset management.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. I’m Tom Li, thanks for listening.


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