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Microsoft says Yahoo is ‘phantom data’ phone bug source

According to a recent news report by BBC News (which, for legal reasons, we can’t reprint here), Microsoft, which has for the past week or so investigating reports of a mysterious “phantom data” leaks affecting Windows Phone 7 handsets, which makes many phones send and receive data without the owner’s knowledge and often ate into usage allowances quite heavily, has found the culprit to be Yahoo!.

Specifically, an inefficient method used by Yahoo in one of their apps which allows Yahoo! Mail to be synced with the Windows Phone mail client, is causing the rapid data usage, because a mistake in how the code determines how to check for new messages and fetch them if they exist means that the system can download up to 25 times more information than it needs to.

Microsoft are insistent, though, that this only affects a small number of users. Nevertheless, the company has stated it is in contact with Yahoo, and should be fixing the problem in the next few weeks.

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    Google Search results now include security alerts to warn of suspected hacked websites

    Google has started putting security information in its search results to warn both users and web-masters when it appears a website might have been hacked. The firm added the notification to its search results at the end of last week, and said that it is looking to help people avoid compromised sites. This, it added, could be the result of a hack by a third-party for the purposes of spamming visitors.

    Google is alerting users by adding a line under the search result that says, “This site may be compromised.” Clicking that link will take them to information about what that might mean. Clicking the link as normal will take the user through to the website, infected or otherwise.

    “When a user visits a site, we want her to be confident the information on that site comes from the original publisher,” wrote Gideon Wald, associate product manager at Google. Wald explained that Google is using automated tools to produce its information about hacked sites, and added that as well as updating its own search results it will also inform the web-master in question, or at least try to.

    Web-masters who are worried about being tarred by Google’s insecurity analysis can take some consolation that Google will remove the tag from their results once the problem is fixed, and within no more than a couple of days. He added, in response to said website owners: “Together, we can make the web a safer place.”

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