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Google enlists outside help to clean up Android’s malware mess

Nov 10, 2019 - 6:06 PM - by Reverend
Android has a bit of a malware problem. The open ecosystem's flexibility also makes it relatively easy for tainted apps to circulate on third-party app stores or malicious websites. Worse still, malware-ridden apps sneak into the official Play Store with disappointing frequency. After grappling with the issue for a decade, Google is calling in some reinforcements.

This week, Google announced a partnership with three antivirus firms—ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium—to create an App Defense Alliance. All three companies have done extensive Android malware research over the years, and have existing relationships with Google to report problems they find. But now they'll use their scanning and threat detection tools to evaluate new Google Play submissions before the apps go live—with the goal of catching more malware before it hits the Play Store in the first place.

"On the malware side we haven’t really had a way to scale as much as we’ve wanted to scale," says Dave Kleidermacher, Google's vice president of Android security and privacy. "What the App Defense Alliance enables us to do is take the open ecosystem approach to the next level. We can share information not just ad hoc, but really integrate engines together at a digital level, so that we can have real-time response, expand the review of these apps, and apply that to making users more protected."

It's not often that you hear someone at Google—a company of seemingly limitless size and scope—talk about trouble operating a program at the necessary scale.

Each antivirus vendor in the alliance offers a different approach to scanning app files called binaries for red flags. The companies are looking for anything from trojans, adware, and ransomware to banking malware or even phishing campaigns. ESET's engine uses a cloud-based repository of known malicious binaries along with pattern analysis and other... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 165 Views


Google to buy Fitbit in $2.1 billion deal

Nov 01, 2019 - 9:05 PM - by Reverend
Google announced plans on Friday to acquire Fitbit, the world's leading maker of wearable fitness activity trackers.

The deal, worth about $2.1 billion, is one of Google's largest acquisitions. The wearable market is growing quickly. Although Google makes some hardware, including Pixel phones and Nest devices, it hasn't made much headway into smartwatches and other wearable devices.

"With Google's resources and global platform, Fitbit will be able to accelerate innovation in the wearables category, scale faster, and make health even more accessible to everyone," Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park said.

In a press release, Fitbit emphasized its commitment to data privacy, saying it will remain transparent about the data it collects and why.

The wearable fitness tracker company also said it never sells personal information and that its health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads.

The acquisition deal is expected to be finalized in 2020.

Earlier this year, Fitbit lowered the price on some of its devices and launched a new subscription offering called Fitbit Premium, which provides more in-depth insights about sleep, fitness and overall health. In July, Fitbit slashed its outlook for the full year following disappointing sales of its Versa Lite smartwatch.

CNN
  0 Replies | 492 Views


Incognito Mode for Google Maps has arrived on Android

Nov 01, 2019 - 8:59 PM - by Reverend
Earlier this month Google announced that its new Incognito feature for Maps had started to roll out, and now it should be here on your Android devices. Android Police points out a post on the support page from yesterday indicating that the rollout has begun in earnest. While it could take a few days to reach everyone (iOS support is still "coming soon"), if it's available for you, then enabling it only requires a few steps:

  • Open the Google Maps app
  • Tap on your profile picture
  • Tap on "Turn on Incognito mode"


It's not something you'll want to use all the time as some features will be disabled, and it's important to note that it doesn't turn off all tracking. The places you go won't be saved to your Location History (if you have that enabled), your searches won't be saved to your account and it won't use your information to personalize the experience. Still, you could be tracked by internet service providers, other apps, or if you're using Assistant and other Google services.

Endgadget
  0 Replies | 387 Views


AnyDVD HD 8.4.0.0

Oct 25, 2019 - 8:23 PM - by Reverend
AnyDVD HD works in the background to automatically and transparently enable read access of the contents of a movie DVD or Blu-ray as soon as it's inserted into the drive.

Changelog

AnyDVD HD 8.4.0.0

(For RedFox AnyDVD HD you need to purchase a RedFox license key, SlySoft licenses are not supported.)

AnyDVD HD homepage
  0 Replies | 553 Views


Netflix to crack down on users sharing passwords with friends and family

Oct 18, 2019 - 8:04 PM - by Reverend
Netflix has announced it is seeking to limit password sharing.

The topic of password sharing was discussed in the streaming platform’s Q3 2019 earnings interview earlier this week.

When users share passwords, they are essentially sharing a single Netflix account, which naturally circumvents Netflix’s business model, according to which each household needs to have its own account.

Users are already able to share accounts to some degree by setting up several viewing profiles on a single login, but password sharing takes that approach to another level.

Greg Peters, Netflix’s chief product officer, was asked during the interview how the company plans to address password sharing without “alienating a certain portion of [its] user base”.

“We continue to monitor it so we’re looking at the situation,” Peters said.

“We’ll see those consumer-friendly ways to push on the edges of that.”

Peters said the company didn’t have “big plans” to announce immediately.

Independent
  0 Replies | 699 Views


Samsung warning: Galaxy S10 and Note 10 owners should remove their screen protectors

Oct 18, 2019 - 7:43 PM - by Reverend
Samsung's new high-tech fingerprint reader on the latest Galaxy smartphones has a major flaw: It can be fooled by the residue left by your fingers on a screen protector. The company is warning customers who own the latest Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 phones to remove their screen protectors until Samsung releases a software update.

A British woman recently discovered that her husband could unlock her Samsung phone when he placed his thumb on the fingerprint reader, which was enclosed in a cheap case, according to multiple reports. A different person posted a video of a similar incident on Twitter.

Samsung is responding to the incident with a bug fix, and it is telling customers not to use "certain silicone screen protecting cases."

"If you currently use front screen protective covers, to ensure optimum fingerprint scanning, please refrain from using this cover until your device has been updated with a new software patch," Samsung said in a statement. The company said the update is planned to be released early next week.

The issue affects all models of Samsung's new S10 and Note 10 phones, which can scan people's fingers through the phones' screens. The phones have ultrasonic fingerprint scanners, which use soundwaves to create a 3D map of a person's fingerprint, according to Samsung's website.

Samsung has warned that some screen protectors might make the sensor "malfunction." The company provides a screen protector that is specially designed for the ultrasonic fingerprint reader, which costs at least $20 to replace.

CNN
  0 Replies | 758 Views


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