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Genealogy site MyHeritage says 92 million user accounts compromised

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MyHeritage, one of the nation’s most popular online genealogy sites, said a security breach had affected the email addresses and hashed passwords of 92 million users, raising concerns about the security of more sensitive data that the company collects.

The website allows users to create family trees, search historical records, and look for possible relatives. It also operates MyHeritage DNA, a genetic testing service that lets users to send in their spit and have their genetic information analyzed.

In a statement issued late Monday afternoon, MyHeritage said there was “no reason to believe” that data other than email addresses and hashed passwords had been accessed without authorization. Family trees or genetic data, it said, are stored on different systems with “added layers of security.”

A security researcher contacted the company after discovering a file named “myheritage” on a private server, MyHeritage said. The company reviewed the file and confirmed it contained the email addresses of every user who had signed up for MyHeritage before Oct. 26, 2017, along with their hashed passwords, which conceal a user’s actual password.
The security breach underscores growing concerns about the privacy of data submitted to genealogy platforms. Last month, news that investigators tracked down their suspect in the case of the Golden State Killer sparked worry about the privacy of genetic data shared with commercial sites such as MyHeritage.

Other genealogy sites, such as 23andMe, have security systems similar to the one apparently used by MyHeritage. Last year, 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki told Recode that the company keeps genetic information “totally separate” from information that could be used to identify a user, such as email addresses.

A study published in 2017 found that genetic testing sites could be vulnerable to computer hacks that expose personal genetic information.
Researchers at the University of Washington encoded a strand of DNA to contain malware, which allowed them to take remote control of a computer that was being used to process genetic data. And while the researchers stressed the chances of that kind of attack are minimal, they found a host of vulnerabilities in the commercial programs that are used to analyze DNA.

“Any programs that process data can potentially be attacked,” said Peter Ney, a doctoral student in UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, told STAT at the time. “In many cases, the best practices for security are not being used.”

Even if genetic data from a commercial site like MyHeritage is compromised, it’s not clear how they might be used. That does not tend to allay consumer anxiety, experts say.

“When you put DNA and privacy together in a sentence, understandably and correctly, it makes people nervous,” said Laura Hercher, a professor at Sarah Lawrence College who teaches about genetics and ethics. But, Hercher said, the security breach involving MyHeritage doesn’t seem to be any different than security breaches at other companies that don’t work with genetic information.

“I would rather give someone my DNA than my social security number, my search history, or my credit card,” she said.

MyHeritage said it will hire an independent cybersecurity firm to help probe the breach and provide recommendations about how to prevent security lapses going forward. The company said it’s also speeding up its work to roll out two-factor authentication for users. In the meantime, MyHeritage said all users should change their passwords.

Source: https://www.statnews.com/2018/06/05/genealogy-site-myheritage-says-92-million-user-accounts-compromised/

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PG-13 ‘Once Upon a Deadpool’ meant for fanboys (and Fred Savage faithful) of a certain age

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Here’s one way to tell if a movie billed as “family-friendly” actually isn’t: We can’t describe many of its jokes in our publication.

“Once Upon a Deadpool” (in theaters nationwide Wednesday) is the PG-13 re-edit of the critically acclaimed, R-rated “Deadpool 2.” This updated film – which incorporates previously deleted scenes, a new “Princess Bride” storytelling framework and additional post-credit scenes – is really for fanboys over the age of 13, not children. At one point, Deadpool even says right to the camera: “Trust me, we all saw the first movie.”

It’s also for the Fred Savage faithful.

In “Once Upon a Deadpool,” Ryan Reynolds’ title character ties down Savage (playing himself), now a 42-year-old actor and sitcom director. Savage is forced to revisit his famous 1987 “Princess Bride” role as a sweet bedridden boy listening to a story. This conceit works well as a plot device because it allows filmmakers to cut problematic sequences – or, as Deadpool says, to tell the story “through childlike innocence.”

This time around, however, Savage isn’t a young boy trying to cut off kissing scenes (“I don’t think that’s gross anymore”), but a critical listener who hilariously opines about “lazy writing.”

For example, Savage asks: If, after being sliced, Deadpool’s top half grows legs, wouldn’t his bottom half grow a head and re-enter the plot later?

Deadpool has no response.
The rest of the movie is a retread, albeit with less gore, limited nudity, a bunch of bleeped f-words (and bleeped words that aren’t dirty) and also Juggernaut’s theme song from “Deadpool 2” that repeats the lyrics “holy s—balls” over and over. All of the main characters are there, along with the same cameos by Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, which, as Deadpool says, were done against their will, just like Savage’s movie appearance.

“I like to think of it as ‘unsolicited location enhancement,’ ” Deadpool says.
Some of the new scenes could be tricky to explain to kids. Deadpool is called out for dressing “like a registered sex offender,” and the Merc with a Mouth implies at one point that a container of white liquid hand soap is actually, um, body fluid.

But for Deadpool fans of a certain age who want to rewatch the still very good “Deadpool 2,” the Savage plot device is a welcome addition. By the end, fans might find themselves tearing up along with the former “Wonder Years” star, who cries and says, “I was caught off guard because the movie is completely garbage.”

And just so you aren’t caught off guard: True comic fans will definitely need tissues after seeing one of the new post-credit scenes, which we won’t spoil here.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2018/12/11/once-upon-deadpool-fun-but-not-family-friendly/2282473002/

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry live wax figures are creeping people out

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Ho, ho — huh?!

New live wax figures of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are helping to get the festivities started at Berlin’s Madame Tussauds museum this holiday season. But some fans of the royal couple think the figures are creepier than they are cute.

The replicas, which were unveiled on Tuesday, are really two actors impersonating Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, by wearing silicone masks that look like the duo.
The pair don festive Christmas sweaters and busy themselves decorating a Christmas tree and opening gifts, among other yuletide activities.

The actress portraying the royal mom-to-be even sports a baby bump beneath her grey elf sweater, and, as you can imagine, some cradling of the fake bump takes place, too.
To get folks excited about the new figures, the museum brought them along to meet shoppers at a local holiday market in the city last week.

Reactions to the live figures on social media have been mixed, to say the least.

“The Harry and Meghan live wax figures are back and scarier than ever,” one Twitter user wrote next to a gallery of pics.

“I find this so incredibly creepy … on many levels,” wrote another.

One predicted photos of the faux Harry and Meghan would “haunt me in my sleep.”

Meanwhile, another Twitter user found a diplomatic way to sidestep giving a critique.

Source: https://www.today.com/popculture/meghan-markle-prince-harry-live-wax-figures-are-creeping-people-t145005

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‘Green Monday’ brings back some great Black Friday deals

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday were the best times to find deals on pretty much anything on your holiday shopping list. But retailers will always come up with another shopping holiday to tempt you. Alas, “Green Monday” is a thing.

Green Monday offers some repeats of Black Friday favorites — plus a few new deals. If you already accomplished the majority of your holiday purchases, there’s little reason to dive in, but it can’t hurt to make sure you’ve run through your checklist.

Here are the best deals that we’ve seen so far today. We’ll be adding more (and striking through items that are sold out) throughout the day.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/good-deals/2018/12/10/18134346/green-monday-black-friday-deals-tech-games-smart-home-phones

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