apps

Thu
04
Aug
John Lister's picture

New Android Malware Discovered

Some Google Play Store apps with more than a million downloads have turned out to house malware. It's a reminder that however good Google's security vetting process is, it's not perfectly reliable. Two security companies, ThreatLabZ and Evina, say ... they found a total of 60 apps that are or have been in the Play Store and house one of four "families" of malware. One type appears to be new and has been dubbed Autolycos by researcher Maxime Ingrao. Promoted via Facebook and Instagram ads, the apps use a common technique. They are listed as carrying out a specific feature, which they ... (view more)

Tue
01
Mar
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Windows 11 New Features Revealed

Details of the first major update to Windows 11 are coming to light through testing programs. It's mainly about adding features that were expected but missing from the original release, some of which will be more welcome than others. Despite the ... release of a new edition of Windows (rather than version 10 getting updated forever), Microsoft is sticking to its strategy of infrequent updates rather than constant tinkering. It's reportedly only going to add new features in bulk once a year, with the first such update expected this summer. We're now at the point where the earliest of those ... (view more)

Wed
15
Dec
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Android Scammers Try New Tactics

Google has cracked down on a key method that scammers used to distribute Android malware through the Play app store. But like a game of whack-a-mole, the scammers are adjusting their tactics for greater success. The Google change is to the way it ... handles accessibility tools on Android devices. These include screen-readers, voice input systems and other modifications for users to interact with the device. Such tools often need access to key components such as the camera, microphone or speakers, access that can be abused by malware. Google relaxes the security and permissions system on such ... (view more)

Wed
01
Dec
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Android 12 Brings Incredibly Useful Privacy Tools

The latest version of Android adds several new privacy features. However, users may need to make some manual tweaks to take full advantage. The changes come in Android 12 which is rolling out to newer phones at the moment. Older models will either ... get it later on or will never be able to get it, depending on the manufacturer. The biggest change is more information about the permissions system. That's the set-up by which users don't have to give an app complete access to the hardware and software on their system. Instead they can individually grant or restrict individual permissions, each of ... (view more)

Tue
07
Sep
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Apple Offers Settlement in App Store Dispute

Apple has agreed to allow app developers to tell users how to save money on app payments. It's part of a settlement in a long-running dispute but it's not enough to satisfy some developers. At the moment, app developers who sell apps in the official ... Apple store can gather email addresses of customers. However, the developers are not allowed to use those addresses to tell customers about how to pay them directly for subscriptions and one-off payments relating to the app. In-App Messages Banned That's a blow to developers who use a "freemium" model where the app itself is free but ... (view more)

Thu
08
Jul
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Nine Rogue Android Apps to Delete Right Now

Nine popular Google Play apps were actually scams to steal Facebook logins according to a security company. Although Google has removed some of them, they may still be on devices. All the apps were promoted as performing a simple task and appear to ... have worked as designed. Although that meant more effort for the developers, the idea was to make users less suspecting that the apps were actually harmful. The affected apps had the following names and functions: App Lock Keep (child safety tool) App Lock Manager (child safety tool) Horoscope Daily (astrology) Horoscope Pi (astrology) Inwell ... (view more)

Wed
02
Jun
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Google Accused of Hiding Tracking Settings

Internal Google documents suggest the company intentionally made it harder for users to stop it accessing their location data. The documents have become public through a lawsuit that claims Google broke data consent rules. The state of Arizona is ... suing over the way Google handles location tracking. Officials say that even when users switched off location tracking for specific apps, Google continued tracking in the background. It only stopped when users switched off a tracking setting for the entire Android system. That's led to the lawsuit, based on the logic that Google made profits from ... (view more)

Thu
13
May
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88% of iOS Users Reject Online Tracking

Just one in eight iPhone and iPad users have agreed to let an app track them online. They've been able to make the decision since Apple changed its rules, to the dismay of advertisers. The change is to the way iOS handles a tag known as Identifier ... for Advertisers (IDFA). It identifies an individual device and allows advertisers to piece together information from multiple sources and activities. While advertisers argue this allows for better targeted and thus more relevant (and less annoying) ads, users and privacy groups have objected to what they see as surveillance and snooping. The change ... (view more)

Wed
28
Apr
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Android Phones Hijacked For Ad Scam

Nearly 30 Android and Roku apps hijacked phones to defraud advertisers. Although users never saw the ads, they may have noticed increased data use and slowed performance. The scammers used the apps distributed in the official Google Play store to ... build up a network of almost a million compromised Android devices. The "PARETO" botnet then used the phones to issue bogus requests to advertisers while making the devices appear to be Smart TV sets. That was particularly appealing to advertisers because of the belief viewers are more likely to pay attention to an ad on a TV screen than on a phone. ... (view more)

Tue
27
Apr
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Apple, Facebook Fight Over Ad Tracking

Moves by Apple to restrict ad tracking have prompted a war of words with Facebook and a legal battle with advertisers. They both object to changes that require express permission for some tracking. The arguments are over the "identifier for ... advertisers" or IDFA. That's a specific code for each iPhone or iPad which can be used by advertisers to track activity by device users. Until now its been possible to use IDFA with express user consent and then combine it with other data to build up a picture of the individual for targeted advertising. The iOS 14.5 update to the iPhone and iPad operating ... (view more)

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