Comcast’s Xfinity remote could have been attacked by hackers

Comcast’s Xfinity X11 remote—which features a much-touted voice control feature—had a security flaw that could have theoretically let a hacker use the device to bug your living room. That scary scenario has been ended thanks to the Philadelphia-based cable giant’s fix of a vulnerability discovered by outside researchers.

The flaw that the Boston- and Tel Aviv-based security firm Guardicore reported to Comcast would have let an attacker outside a target’s home silently install custom firmware on the remote that would force it to record audio surreptitiously and stream it back to the attacker.

As Guardicore’s report explains at length, this would not have been a quick or easy trick. But this bullet we appear to have dodged should provide yet another reason to be wary of connected gadgets with microphones. Guardicore was able to pull off this exploit by chaining together a series of weak points in the XR11 remote

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Corona-fied: Employers are now spying on remote workers in their homes

The future of work is here, ushered in by a global pandemic. But is it turning employment into a Worker’s Paradise of working at home? Or more of a Big Brother panopticon?

Disturbing increases in the use of digital surveillance technologies by employers to monitor their remote workers are raising alarm bells. With the number of remote workers surging as a result of the pandemic—42 percent of U.S. workers are now doing their jobs from their kitchens, living rooms, and home offices—a number of employers have begun requiring their workers to download spying software to their laptops and smartphones. The goal is for businesses to monitor what their remote employees do all day, to track job performance and productivity, and to reduce so-called “cyber-slacking.”

Business software products from Hubstaff, which tracks a worker’s mouse movements, keyboard strokes, webpages visited, email, file transfers and applications used, are surging in sales. So

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