Google IO 2016 Coverage

McAfee and some reporters at odds over alleged WhatsApp hack

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This past April WhatsApp added automatic end-to-end encryption for messages moving through the service. This was done as a way to help protect users and improve security of the communications platform. According to some recent claims by media outlets, John McAfee, the creator of the well-known anti-virus software package, tried to trick reporters into thinking he had managed to hack WhatsApp in order to get around this new encryption scheme. McAfee has fired back claiming he was only demonstrating a security flaw in Android.

According to the information shared by sources, McAfee tried to send some reporters some smartphones to demonstrate how he could read WhatsApp messages from a remote location. After some checking though, it appears McAfee was sending phones that were pre-cooked with malware that included a keylogger. These pre-configured phones would allegedly be opened by “experts” sent by McAfee to meet with the press representatives.

Sources indicate McAfee shopped this “story” to both the International Business Times and Russia Today and possibly to Business Insider. Things apparently unraveled for McAfee when some of the reporters contacted a security expert, Dan Guido, for guidance. Guido suggested to them that they buy their own phones for the test, a move that clearly would have thwarted McAfee’s plot.

For his part, McAfee says he never claimed to be able to hack WhatsApp or break their encryption. Instead, McAfee is saying that the reporters and others who were contacted missed the point of his claim that he was able to identify a “serious flaw in the Android architecture” that allowed him to install malware on the devices.

source: Gizmodo

[Update: More phones added!] Samsung Galaxy S 5 unofficially gets Marshmallow through Cyanogenmod

gold_galaxy_s5Update: Nightlies have officially gone live for the Australian Galaxy S5, Galaxy S5 Duos, and the international variant of the Galaxy S4.

If you’re tired of waiting for Samsung to finally get Android 6.0 pushed out to your Galaxy S 5, you’ll now be able to take things into your own hands and get Cyanogenmod 13 installed on your device, if you’re comfortable rooting and flashing a ROM. Read more

Tons of new devices have officially been added to the Cyanogenmod family

Cyanogen_New_Logo_February_2015Cyanogenmod has officially expanded support for several new devices from different manufacturers, expanding the list of phones that will support Cyanogenmod releases. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all of these devices have a stable build ready right this second, but they’ll be supported with future releases. Read more

Galaxy S6 gets one-click root method, includes AT&T and Verizon models and doesn’t trip KNOX

samsung_galaxy_s6_colorsWe’ve already seen some progress being made on rooting the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, but a new method called PingPong root offers up a quick and easy way to root nearly every model of the S6. Yep, that includes the Verizon and AT&T versions, both of which tend to be notoriously far behind on progress with these flagship devices.

As an added bonus, this method doesn’t trip Samsung’s KNOX counter, which means you won’t lose access to things like Samsung Pay whenever that launches later this year. Some root methods tend to interfere with Samsung’s security measure, so it’s great to see this method work around that. Read more

Samsung publishes kernel source code for Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (47)

So, you’ve just got your hands on a Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge smartphone and you’re already wondering how you can remove some of the bloatware, install a custom recovery or maybe even install firmware developed by a third-party such as Cyanogen. Thanks to Samsung publishing the kernel source code for both handsets, this possibility is now a step closer.

Read more

Chainfire publishes preview of FlashFire, the successor to Mobile Odin

FlashFireIf you’ve ever rooted, flashed a custom rom, kernel or mod on a Samsung smartphone or tablet, there’s a good chance that you’ve used a tool developed by Chainfire at some point. You can count the SuperSu app, Triangle Away  and 500 Firepaper apps among his many creations, and now we have a new app called FlashFire which is currently in Beta status. Chainfire says the new app is the spiritual successor to Mobile Odin. Read more