Google quietly added extra security features to all Android devices in Google Play services


Security wasn’t really a big part of Google’s Android 4.3 announcement, which might sound odd considering how big of a deal device security has been in these past few weeks. However, that doesn’t mean Google hasn’t done anything to target malicious apps; instead of loading up Android 4.3 with beefy security features, they took those security features and implemented them into Google’s Play services application that’s updated separately from Android versions. Read more

Android 4.3 users have hidden option for granular control over app permissions


Android users are familiar with the idea of app permissions since installing or updating apps triggers a notice about what permissions an app requires. However, just knowing what permissions an app requires can be limiting since users have to accept all or none of the permissions. Android 4.3 appears to have changed that as users have found a “hidden through obscurity” setting that gives users the ability to turn individual permissions on and off for an app. Read more

SIM cards are now hackable and could affect approximately 500 million phones


We all thought the SIM card was un-hackable, but think again. German cryptographer Karsten Nohl is going to present some interesting findings at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas on July 31. He found encryption and software flaws that could affect millions of SIM cards. His team tested approximately 1,000 SIM cards for vulnerabilities and found that hackers can remotely infect a SIM with a virus that sends premium text messages. That’s not all, they can redirect or record calls and possibly commit payment system fraud. “Give me any phone number and there is some chance I will, a few minutes later, be able to remotely control this SIM card and even make a copy of it,” Nohl says.

Now it doesn’t look like this affects all SIM cards. It all comes down to the encryption standards chosen by different countries. Noel said,  “Different shipments of SIM cards either have [the bug] or not, it’s very random.” Noel did find about 25% of the cards he tested to be hackable, but figures about an eighth of the world’s SIM cards to be vulnerable. That’s about a half a billion mobile devices.

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Verizon releases ‘FamilyBase,’ gives nearly complete control over kids’ phones to parents


It looks like the NSA is  about to have a rival in the spying business— good old Mom and Pops.

Got a feeling your kids are up to no good? Want to monitor your kids’ data usage? Need to lock your son out of his phone because he won’t do his homework?

Good news for you— Verizon has announced “FamilyBase,” which will let parents (or account administrators) monitor and limit calling, texting, app usage, app purchases, as well as set time restrictions and review contact lists. The feature to remotely lock their devices on demand is also available.

Big Red is making the service available for $5/month for up to 10 lines— it’s only for Android devices running 2.1 or higher. (So pretty much all of you can use it.) To set it up, parents can visit, or by calling SAFE, or by texting SAFE to #7233. The apps are also available in the Play store.

Check out the press release after the break for more info.

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New major security threat for Android devices revealed, but Google already has a patch in place this time


After all the commotion about the latest major security vulnerability to Android devices, you would think things on the security side of the platform would quiet down for a bit. However, that’s not the case, as a Chinese site has posted details about an application exploit similar to Bluebox’s earlier revealed loophole that would allow apps to avoid signature verification to run malicious code on an Android device.  However, the vulnerability was found in older code that was replaced with a security fix, so Google was already aware of the problem and has patched it up as soon as they were made aware of it. It may take awhile for that type of security patch to hit devices in the wild, but like the Bluebox vulnerability, Google has done all they can to take care of things on their end.

If you want to read up on the specifics of the vulnerability, hit the links below. It’s a pretty small, complicated vulnerability that would be pretty tricky for malware to pull off on most devices, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

source: Sina Blog

via: Android Police

CyanogenMod official blog post reveals security bug fix in latest version, CM 10.1.1


Once again, the CyanogenMod team seems to be on top of things, as they just released version 10.1.1 of their famed firmware. A post on their blog today issued a follow-up to the general release. They pointed out that the CM 10.1.1 build is simply a security bug-fix release on top of their previous release, the 10.1.0.x code-base. Check out the full blog post after the break for more details. Read more

Google releases patch to fix Bluebox security threat, users await OEMs and carriers for updates


Last week we told you about a new security threat that was uncovered by Bluebox. It was actually uncovered several months ago and Google was informed about it in February. At the time of the posting, Google didn’t make a comment, but it appears Google did indeed patch the hole back in March.

Gina Scigliano, Google’s Android Communications Manager, did “confirm that a patch has been provided to our partners – some OEMs, like Samsung, are already shipping the fix to the Android devices.”

There is only one problem. The patch is in the hands of the OEMs and it’s up to them to update devices. Anyone want to take a guess as to how long it will take for all Android devices to receive the update? Have no fear because there hasn’t been one case of the exploit taking place. Google regularly scans the Play Store for such things and nothing has popped up.

source: ZDNet

Motorola Droid X2 shows serious privacy issues, may affect other Motorola devices


With more and more privacy problems popping up, especially in portable technology, everyone is paying more attention to what information their phones have access to and how they’re handling it. The latest problem may come from Motorola, as a Droid X2 owner has found out that tons of information is being funneled through Motorola servers from the device.

According to a bit of snooping done by Ben Lincoln, his Droid X2 was sending information about apps, files on his phone, login credentials, and even the types of photos uploaded onto the internet to a Motorola server, which is a scary thought. Although Motorola does claim to get a little invasive in their privacy policies (which absolutely every other company in the world does, too) there’s some concern that Motorola might be extending its reach a bit with user data.

Of course, there’s nothing to suggest this is malicious, and it may not even affect other devices aside from the Droid X2, Regardless, it’s a great reminder that when you’re dealing with the internet, true privacy is hard to get.

source: Beneath the Waves

via: PocketNow