While Google Play has caught up with Apple's App Store in terms of sheer number and quality of apps, the service's open nature still causes trouble now and then. Security firm Lookout is now warning users against 32 apps on Google Play that have been found to be infected by a malware called BadNews. If installed, the malware sends messages to premium rate text numbers.
The malware won't be detected immediately after installing the apps. It has been designed to stay dormant for a few weeks so as to avoid detection. To be specific, the malware has been specifically targeted towards Android users in Eastern-European countries such as Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The premium rate message-sending malware is quite popular in Eastern Europe and Russia.
Google has removed the apps since Lookout's warnings, but the security firm estimates that the malware has been downloaded between 2 to 9 million times. Some of the infected apps included wallpaper apps, recipe generators, games and porn apps.
More malware hits Google Play and is promptly removed
Because of its overall open nature, Android is well known for some of the flaws in its security. According to a report back in February, ninety-nine percent of newly discovered mobile malicious programs target the Android platform, while only a very small amount targets Java and Symbian-based smartphones. The report found that 2012 was the second year to show explosive growth in Android malware.
The majority of Android malware can be divided into three main groups according to functionality. Elaborating further, the report adds that “SMS Trojans” empty victims’ mobile accounts by sending SMS texts to premium-rate numbers. Backdoors provide unauthorised access to a smartphone, making it possible to install other malicious programs or steal personal data. Spyware targets the unauthorised collection of private data, such as address books and passwords (or even personal photos in some cases).
In the first half of 2012, Backdoors, SMS Trojans and Spyware combined accounted for 51 percent of all newly discovered Android malware. In the Top 10 chart of Android malware that was blocked by Kaspersky Mobile Security or Kaspersky Tablet Security, SMS Trojans emerged to be the most widespread, with applications showing unwanted ads to users in second place.
Less widespread but by far the most dangerous are mobile banking Trojans that often work in conjunction with their desktop counterparts, as was the case with Carberp-in-the-Mobile.
The Android platform allows software installation from untrusted sources, and one of the best ways to guarantee an infection is to install programs from suspicious websites. However, malware on the official Google Play application distribution platform is another trend that started in 2011 and continued in 2012, despite Google’s best efforts to reduce cybercriminal activity.
One of the most unusual examples of mobile malware in 2012 was the "Find and Call" application that managed to sneak into the Google Play store as well as Apple’s app store.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Posted by gkJr. at 11:01 AM
Friday, April 19, 2013
The thought of buying underwear from the same company that makes your condoms might sound shocking at first. But don’t be so quick to judge, especially where sex is concerned, as Durex has just announced its latest innovation. Fundawear.
Fundawear represents the condom company’s first foray into the land of connected devices, and the name explains quite well how it works. You put on special (read: vibrating) underwear that connect to a smartphone app. You can control the vibrations yourself with a smartphone as a remote, or pair the panties with your partner’s smartphone, so they can control the fun.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that long-distance sexy time has been explored by the tech community. There are a whole host of startups, as well as established sex toy brands, that are working to connect people digitally and physically at the same time.
There’s the LovePalz duo kit, which seems to be the most intense of all, with parts for both the male and female to simulate sex across long distances and still feel each other’s movements in real time. Vibease, along with various offerings from Ohmibod, come to mind, as well.
However, this is the first time we’ve seen a condom company throw their hat in the ring, which means that a lot of R&D and resources went into the Fundawear. You know, along with careful consideration over the name.
Fundawear comes in both male and female versions, so you fellas don’t have to be worried about a one-size-fits-all kind of situation.
The Fundawear undies and app companion aren’t available just yet, but frisky explorers interested in joining the testing program can head over to Durex’s Australian Facebook page.
Warning: The following video is kind of sort of NSFW.
Posted by gkJr. at 10:00 PM
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Chat Heads displayed in Facebook's messaging feature.
Facebook version 6.0 brings the Chat Heads contact feature to Apple's platform, though in a more limited capacity than they appear on Facebook Home. The pop-up contact bubbles appear only in the Facebook app, and they are unable to integrate with a user's SMS contacts.
Recently Facebook was rumored to be working on bringing the "immersive" experience of Facebook Home to Apple's iOS and Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 platforms. Those rumors, though, were quickly shot down by knowledgeable sources, who said Facebook has no plans to port the Home experience to either platform.
The update also brings the ability to send "stickers" — giant, emoji-like pictures — to other users. The stickers come in packs of related pictures and are currently free. The ability to send stickers is currently limited to the iPhone, but any device can receive them.
The update also packs a redesign of the News Feed, making it cleaner and more easily accessible. Version 6.0 of Facebook for iOS will be rolling out for free for iPad and iPhone users later on Tuesday.
Posted by gkJr. at 8:31 PM
Nokia is expected to refresh its Lumia smartphones later this year and we could even see a Windows tablet in the company’s line-up. The company has been rumoured to be working on a Windows 8 tablet since last year now and the company was expected to show up with a Lumia tablet at Mobile World Congress. However, that remained a Nokia fan’s dream and nothing solid has come out on the tablet front since then.
However, a patent application by the company suggests it could be readying a tablet for launch. Unwired View reports that the patent application is called 'Apparatus Cover with Keyboard' and it sounds awfully similar to the Surface cover.
The patent application detailing the multiple ways the cover can be used (Image credit: Unwired View)
The application details a mechanical keyboard/cover integrated into a tablet device and one which can fold in multiple ways, based on the user’s different needs. The Surface tablet, Microsoft’s slate for Windows 8 and RT, also has a similar cover, which folds in a couple of ways to present users with a keyboard and a kickstand.
The patent application is from early in Nokia’s licensing agreement with Microsoft and is dated October 2011. The keys on the keyboard are shaped very similarly to the keys on the QWERTY keypad on the likes of Nokia E7.
For those thinking that this was intended to be used with a Windows RT device, it must be noted that that particular variant of the OS was not released till later this year. And Microsoft launched the Surface tablet last year, with a similar cover. So this could just be a patent application that never amounted to anything.
The keyboard on the cover (Image credit: Unwired View)
Interestingly, rumours floating around about the Nokia tablet, did mention that it would have a specialised battery-equipped flip cover. The cover was said to double up as a keyboard and a kickstand for the tablet and feature two USB ports for additional connectivity.
If Nokia does decide to go the tablet or PC way, it wouldn’t be there first foray into that segment. The company had launched the short-lived Nokia Booklet 3G, a Windows 7-running netbook launched in 2009.
Posted by gkJr. at 12:50 PM
Monday, April 15, 2013
A new type of prosthetic hand partly controlled by an iPhone app has allowed a father to hold his daughter’s hand for the first time since an accident four years ago in which both hands had to be amputated …
Conventional prosthetic hands have a limited range of movements, typically with all four fingers moving together and a simple pincer movement of the thumb. 34-year-old Jason Koger has now been fitted with a pair of ultra-sophisticated bionic hands which allow each finger to move independently, and the thumb to rotate.
UK-based company Touch Bionics designed the hands. The iPhone app isn’t just a gimmick: there are certain grip patterns which are extremely difficult to master, and the app allows Koger to select one of 24 grips just by touching an icon on the phone’s screen. These include right-clicking a mouse, but for Koger there was one application that meant more than any other:
“For the first time in five years I can hold my daughter’s hand,” said Koger. “I can’t tell you what a gift that feels like.”
Posted by gkJr. at 5:00 PM