Items tagged with Apps

Google still has a massive malware problem within the Google Play store. In November, we learned that apps from Cheetah Mobile had been part of a massive click fraud scheme that saw apps from it and Kika Tech stealing millions of dollars in fraudulent clicks. The apps had reportedly been downloaded around 2 billion times in total. A malware-infected QR Reader app had racked up 500,000 downloads in March of last year before being removed from the store. Now Google has reportedly removed another 85 apps from Google Play because they were malware laden. The batch of 85 apps wasn't removed from... Read more...
Reports are making the rounds that some Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners who are fed up with Facebook after privacy blunders that leaked pictures and its history of sharing data without permission can't uninstall the app on their device.  Some Galaxy S8 owners are unable to delete the Facebook app completely from their devices; all owners can do is select an option to disable the app. Owners fear that by disabling the app rather than uninstalling it, Facebook might still be able to track them and share their data without permission. There is a movement trying to get people to delete Facebook... Read more...
It's not a good time to be an Android user who frequents the Google Play Store for apps. Just over the last few weeks, malware-laden apps that had been downloaded over half a million times were found on the Play Store. Apps from Cheetah Mobile were also found to be committing click fraud and running down the batteries inside user devices. Reports are now surfacing that Google has now pulled another batch of 22 apps from the Google Play Store that had been downloaded over 2 million times cumulatively. The newest apps discovered to be malicious had a so-called "device-draining backdoor" that... Read more...
Android users who think the apps they download on the Google Play store are safe and secure would be wrong in many cases. Malware and other fraudulent apps often run rampant within the Google Play Store. Now a new report claims that seven apps from Cheetah Mobile and one from Kika Tech that have a combined 2 billion downloads via Google Play are part of a massive ad fraud scheme. The two companies are related; Kika Tech reportedly had a significant investment from Cheetah in 2016. The ad fraud scheme was outed by research firm Kochava, and according to the researchers, these fraudulent apps could... Read more...
The app market for just about every platform out there is rife with developers who use nefarious techniques to trick users into giving them access to their valuable personal data. You might expect this to be a problem with third-party app stores for Android devices, but some might be surprised to learn that Apple is having an issue with nefarious developers and apps offered for download on the highly-guarded Mac App Store. The tip-off that something nefarious might be going on with apps for your Mac comes when the app asks for access to the home directory in macOS. At least a handful of apps... Read more...
Is your smartphone secretly recording your screen activity? It turns out that conspiracy theorists may have some justification for their concern. Computer scientists from Northeastern University determined that some apps do violate a user’s privacy by quietly capturing pictures, videos, and recorded audio.  According to the Northeastern University scientists, their research was the “first large-scale empirical study of media permissions and leaks from Android apps, covering 17,260 apps from Google Play, App China, Mi.com, and Anzhi.” The researchers worked with ten Android... Read more...
Google is rolling out something akin to DRM for Android APKs as a way to verify that apps originated from the Play Store. Rogue apps that are malware-ridden are running rampant these days, so this is just an extra layer of security that Google is implementing to help safeguard Android users from attacks. The new DRM has a single goal, and that is to allow users to be certain that an app they are using is genuine and hasn't been tampered with. The number of apps that have been found with malware inside or to be outright fake is ever growing in the Android realm. Late last year it was found that... Read more...
Knowledge is power, but it can also be frightening, in a sobering kind of way. Have you ever wondered how much time you spend online, and specifically on Facebook? That's something you might not want to know, especially if you fire up the social network's app on your phone several times throughout the day. If you are curious, however, it looks like Facebook will soon oblige by introducing a new 'Your Time on Facebook' tool. This has not been released yet, or even announced by Facebook. Nevertheless, it will eventually com to fruition, as the unreleased tool was discovered in Facebook's app for... Read more...
Technology companies that collect any sort of data are scrambling to be sure that they are being as careful in the wake of Facebook's Cambridge Analytica privacy problems. The latest tech firm to take a hard look at user privacy is Apple, with reports that it is cracking down on apps that share location data with third-party companies. Apple has begun removing the apps in question from the App Store if it finds that data is being shared and notifying the developers of the app that they have violated two different listing guidelines (sections are 5.1.1 and 5.1.2 of the App Store Review Guidelines).... Read more...
WhatsApp users have been forwarding a message around that some might find incredibly annoying. The message will cause the app to hang for a bit, after which it will then function normally. No malicious content is transferred with the message according to reports. The message reads "If you touch the black point your WhatsApp will hang." The message is then forwarded by a black dot and in some cases emojis. Naturally, a good portion of the people who get it can't resist the temptation to touch the black dot. As for why the message can cause WhatsApp to hang, it has to do with symbols included... Read more...
The Android ecosystem has progressed so much over the past decade that it's not only hardware we look forward to anymore but the software that drives it as well. As we've become more reliant on our smartphones, our usage models with these operating systems of choice evolve, as does our taste. It's for those reasons that Google's I/O conference has become such an important part of the mobile landscape every year. Many new technologies announced at the show and developer conference will directly affect Android and Google services users either right away, or in the near-future. Google News App... Read more...
It's April 1 and this day makes many of us around these parts skeptical about oddities we find online. Google is doing something that at first glance seems like an April Fools joke, but it’s a legit thing that might keep your kids (and you) entertained while all those Easter Eggs are being hidden in the yard. Most will be familiar with Where's Waldo, the red and white stripped hide-and-seek master from books and posters growing up. Google and Waldo have teamed up to let you try and find him using Google Maps. Waldo wrote, "I’m always on the lookout for fantastic new places to explore.... Read more...
After blocking an app in the App Store that was designed to alert iOS users of net neutrality violations, Apple took a second look at the application, called Wehe, and decided it was acceptable after all. However, the developer of the app, Dave Choffnes, is still unclear on why exactly Apple chose to banish Wehe from the App Store, which underscores the mysteries of Apple's review process. There are guidelines that spell things out, of course, but even when all the check boxes appear to be ticked, Apple can still decide to refuse an app entrance into its lucrative App Store. That is what happened... Read more...
Many people who download games on their Android devices probably don’t pay that much attention to the permissions they grant an app at install. What you may be missing during that install is a permission that allows the games to listen to what you are watching on TV in your home even when the game isn’t running. The scary part for many people is that the family members being spied on by these games are often kids. Apps like "Honey Quest" (pictured), "Pool 3D", and hundreds more games are loaded with software from a company called Alphonso, a start up that gathers TV viewing data for... Read more...
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