Blackphone has announced an update to their PrivatOS software that brings in several new features focused on enhancing user security and privacy. The update brings the highly tweaked Android OS fork to version 1.1 and is due out sometime in early 2015. Read more
Today, Google announced new security tools to keep track of the devices attached to an account. The Devices and Activity Dashboard is a hub for connected hardware. It monitors phones, tablets, computers, and Chromebooks to show activity. Where was the device used? When was it used? What browser was used? All of these questions are answered by the Devices and Activity Dashboard. If a user notices something suspicious, he or she can hit the dedicated “Secure your account” button.
A password manager is expected to be secure, right? Just because it is expected does not mean that is necessarily the truth. There are password managers on Android that have a security flaw in which usernames and passwords can be picked up. It happens when the password manager uses the device’s clipboard to enter information. The security flaw was identified in early 2013 and a fix has yet to be issued.
Android 5.0 Lollipop brought a new feature called Smart Lock, which allows you to set certain locations or Bluetooth devices as trusted so that you don’t have to constantly enter your security PIN, Password, or pattern to unlock your phone or tablet. Third party apps such as Delayed Lock, SkipLock and Secure Settings have already been giving users this ability for a couple of years now. Unfortunately, these apps will not work in Lollipop due to the fact that Google has changed the security in that third party apps can no longer unlock the device.
Prior to the launch of the Nexus 6 and Android 5.0, we knew Google was moving to making device encryption mandatory for all new devices shipping with Lollipop. As far as security goes, that’s a great move, but it looks like it’s actually having some negative effects on the Nexus 6.
Early benchmarks seem to show that Lollipop’s full disk encryption (FDE) are having some fairly significant performance impacts on the Nexus 6. This is especially unfortunate since the Nexus 6 encrypts itself on first boot and there’s no way to turn it off, outside of flashing custom boot images. That’s not exactly a user friendly solution. Read more
The most popular messaging platform is getting better today. The update to the WhatsApp Android app now includes end-to-end encryption. Using open source code from Open Whisper Systems, even WhatsApp won’t have the ability to decrypt your messages.
Only the users will have access to the conversation, which means that law enforcement officials won’t be able to force WhatsApp to share your messages since they won’t have access to it.
Samsung’s Find My Mobile service has come under fire by NIST and security researcher Mohamed Baset regarding an exploit that allows attackers to remotely lock, ring or wipe Samsung devices. Baset points to a vulnerability in Samsung’s service that doesn’t validate the lock code information it receives, allowing an attacker to flood the device with network traffic and do their bidding. No word from Samsung on a patch, but for now we recommend disabling the service until they address the security issue.
Samsung issued a statement to us and it looks like it only affected the Web interface, not mobile devices. Furthermore, they patched the Web UI on October 13.
The reported issue occurred on the Find My Mobile Web site, and was not a problem on any mobile device. This Web UI was fixed with a patch update on October 13.
Security is one of Google’s major focus points with the latest version of Android, and in a blog post they’ve detailed exactly what goes into making your Android more secure once it’s updated to Lollipop. Read more
Look out! Three Google researchers published a bug today, causing much of the internet to panic over securing systems. The bug is called POODLE, for “Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption.” Read more
It seems like just about every day there is some sort of hack involving an online service. Today’s hack is from Dropbox.
A user posted files on Reddit that contained a bunch of usernames and passwords for Dropbox accounts. The poster said there were close to 7,000,000 more, but asked for Bitcoin donations to reveal them.