Seems like Facebook Home, new launcher app for certain Android apps, will allow you to put updates from Facebook News Feed right onto your lock screen. While this brings Facebook to life for you, it isn’t exactly the safest. There are many reasons.
Let’s put it this way: adding a PIN code lock to your phone doesn’t keep people locked out of your Facebook account. People, even if they don’t access your phone, can still access the Facebook account on the lock screen, because the PIN code does not secure Facebook Home.
Maybe it’s a good idea to wait to use Facebook Home, so security features can be enhanced.
Do you have a phone enabled with Facebook Home and a PIN code? Let me know, comment below!
A vulnerability was recently found in Samsung mobile Android devices, OS version 4.1.2, that would give an attacker (unauthenticated users) the ability to circumvent the screen lock, viewing the home screen. It can also give them rights to run apps, send arbitrary messages to contacts, rack up illegitimate phone services, etc. It could also lock out the original user of the device.
Terence Eden posted a video about the Galaxy Note II:
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen flaws on Samsung-branded Android smartphones. Before this, kernel trouble was the topic, where attackers can gain easy access to the Android kernel in some Samsung devices.
The question that many have had on their minds is if mobile devices will become a source of DDoS attacks. Whether mobile phones will be used as zombies is currently under speculation by many researchers, who say “It may be imminent.”
It can be figured due to the amount of trojans found on Android devices, how iOS devices got attacked, and Windows Phone being vulnerable. Trojans are masks that cover an legitimate looking program. Basically, a program appears to be legitimate, but has hidden features to do something different. Most of the time, either the trojan will steal data and mine some cash, or use your computer as a zombie (using your resources such as CPU, RAM, etc.) to launch a DDoS attack.
A distributed denial of service is used to cause a server to take too many requests that it cannot handle. This is usually done by blackhat hackers or cybercriminals to either protest a specific ideal, or just for fun.
A highly used DDoS tool by Anonymous called “Low Orbit Ion Cannon” (LOIC) was recently redesigned for use on the Android platform. The porting over to Android from the Desktop app took no programming skills. In fact, it’s easy to use old tools and port them over to Android.
With device manufacturers slowly releasing updates to device operating system, firmware, etc. – this leaves an open hole for exploit/cyberattack. Android is particularly vulnerable because of the ability to use ‘unknown source’ apps, or apps outside of the Google Play store.
Although, if it is thought out, it would take thousands of devices to be able to have the power to construct a DDoS attack. However, this would make it a lot simpler for a pre-constructed attack, that can come from many countries – thus making it hard to trace the origin of the attack(s).
It is sure that as carriers and app developers are distributing e-wallet apps, the ability to rob personal data, credit card, etc. will increase. Heads up!
Much of the attention in 2013 in computer security will be mainly focused on industrial control systems (ICS), Android, and the all new Windows 8 OS. With the dealings of malware like Stuxnet and other government threats, to the normal hackers and attackers on consumer devices – it will be a challenge in both business and consumer markets.
Supervisory software runs on dedicated workstations and programmable hardware devices, and this is called a control system. They’re used to monitor and control many different operations, such as power grids, trains, airplanes, water distribution systems, military installations, and many more. Many times, control systems are used in critical infrastructures, especially systems for big populations that depend on electricity, clean water, transportation, etc.
Many worries that we’d be watching in 2013 that other security authorities are watching as well include the rise of more government malware. Especially, when it comes to control systems, which are believed to be widely targeted and surveyed.
For other problems to be faced include intense rises of mobile malware, particularly in the Android marketplace. The problem is that Android malware is becoming more widespread. It looks like hackers are retrying some old methods of Windows operating system exploitation on Android devices. This can prove to become a big problem to watch out for.
The big issue with Android attacks also seems to point at privilege escalation attacks, which like to work through malicious apps installed by the user to gain root access and take control of the device. With hundreds of millions of Android devices already infected since its birth, the size of botnets have gotten to be big, and there may still be a lot of devices infected.
Also, keep in mind that when you use a smartphone, you’re leaking a lot of information. This is mainly through App usage, which most of them collect a bit of data from your phone. It isn’t exactly personally-identifiable information, however, it’s enough to make some people nervous.
Android is very open, and you can download apps from almost anywhere for Android. This is much like Windows OS has been. But, that’s a whole different long story.
Windows 8 will be a challenge for security, because researchers, hackers, security experts, etc. want to get in on testing just how secure it is.
There is an Android kernel implementation flaw being investigated a lot closer by Samsung Electronics in their devices. Since Google does not have any official devices that Android can solely run on, that means specific device-makers have to implement the Android kernel into its devices.
Apparently, any app can use this vulnerability to exploit and gain root access to the device. Affected devices include the following Samsung devices:
- Galaxy Note
- Galaxy Note II
- Galaxy Note 10.1
- Galaxy Note Plus
Hackers have increasingly targeted the Android OS. This past Saturday was when this kernel vulnerability was found by user “alephzain” on XDA Developers, a forum for mobile (device/OS) developers. Alephzain noted that this was a “huge mistake” and that people should be very wary of this problem. Another forum user, Chainfire, helped note some more information, including about the affected devices. This flaw was thoroughly tested and confirmed.
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When you look at the scope of Android malware (malicious software/viruses), and then think about Windows Phone malware, it’s as if hackers and virus-makers (“cybercriminals”) are retrying their own luck. What is meant by this? Years ago when malware started gaining big time (probably around 2000), these cybercriminals tried a number of ways to hack the Windows API/kernel, causing innumerable issues for Windows users. Now, today’s market looks like it’s being done all over again.
During the 2000s era, it seemed like we had quite a few different types of malware. Here are those types explained in today’s market for smartphone malware:
- Dialer: a trojan app/program that automatically dials premium rate numbers and attempts to rack up charges on the user’s phone bill. This can be highly costly, so removing it immediately is the best option.
- Trojan: a common name for any type of app/program that is designed to look like it does one thing, but it’s code does something else untrustworthy. Many options trojans pick would be the stealing of personal data off of the device, or changing the settings of a device to make it behave a different way.
- Virus: a self-replicating piece of code, infects other files, or just damages files on devices.
- Spyware: another trojan app/program, which decides to attempt the stealing of personal data on the user’s device.
- Adware: another trojan app/program designed to show ads to the user, sometimes flooding their screen. Commonly, these ads are personalized for the user, by getting a scope of the type of apps they have.
- Rootkit: a piece of trojan code, designed to get administrator privileges on the device, and then take control (and manipulate) of the system.
As you can see, some of those issues are as prevalent on mobile devices as they were on Windows operating systems in the 2000s era.
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The title of this article is a question, because somebody decided to take Apple’s apps and put them on Google Play. Was it Apple? Nope. Apple wouldn’t offer their full-size applications for a mobile device, and definitely not $4.99.
AndroidAuthority reports about this small mess. Here’s a screenshot from AndroidAuthority:
Although the Google Play team did take down the apps a few hours later, much damage was already done apparently. It’s very obvious that Google’s team did not take a good look at the apps. What does that tell you? They may not be holding to their promises of reviewing apps, they let in viruses and trojans all the time…etc.
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