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Honeywell recalls fire alarm gateway that can’t detect fires

Tech-savvy fire alarm systems aren’t without their share of problems, it seems. Honeywell is recalling its SWIFT wireless gateway after learning that the smoke detectors connected to the gateway (usually found in apartments, hotels and offices) won’t always kick in — in other words, they can’t accomplish their one and only mission. The company hasn’t received reports of real-world incidents and is offering a firmware update as a fix, but it clearly doesn’t want to take any chances.

The recall isn’t about to spark a mass panic when it covers just 900 units sold between October 2014 and December 2016. However, it underscores the challenges of building advanced safety systems. Simply put, there isn’t much room for glitches. Fire alarms have to be extremely reliable, and that’s not an easy feat when you bring networking into the equation.

Source: CPSC

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Windows 10 included password manager with huge security hole

There's a good reason why security analysts get nervous about bundled third-party software: it can introduce vulnerabilities that the companies can't control. And Microsoft, unfortunately, has learned that the hard way. Google researcher Tavis Ormandy discovered that a Windows 10 image came bundled with a third-party password manager, Keeper, which came with a glaring browser plugin flaw -- a malicious website could steal passwords. Ormandy's copy was an MSDN image meant for developers, but Reddit users noted that they received the vulnerable copy of Keeper after clean reinstalls of regular copies and even a brand new laptop.

A Microsoft spokesperson told Ars Technica that the Keeper team had patched the exploit (in response to Ormandy's private disclosure), so it shouldn't be an issue if your software is up to date. Also, you were only exposed if you enabled the plugin.

However, the very existence of the hole has still raised a concern: are Microsoft's security tests as thorough for third-party apps as its own software? The company has declined to comment, but that kind of screening may prove crucial if Microsoft is going to maintain the trust of Windows users. It doesn't matter how secure Microsoft's code is if a bundled app undermines everything.

Source: Monorail, Tavis Ormandy (Twitter)

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