Lookout Mobile Security‘s research has found that 63% of people just can not keep up with mobile technology. In a study group of more than 2000 people, one in three of them depend on someone who has a great deal of knowledge in the field. And of those that depend on a “Tech Hero,” 75% will turn to them for advice on what smartphone or tablet to purchase. These mobile tech-savy individuals may have accounted for $2.8 billion in the third quarter of 2013.
To reward these “Tech Heroes,” Lookout is holding a contest on Facebook. All you have to do is head over to their page and nominate your go-to for mobile technology. From there, nominees receive votes and become eligible to win prizes. The grand prize winner will be announced on January 7, 2014 and split $2,000 with their nominator. Leading up to that date, nominees will be randomly selected as winners for a few different devices. The four weeks prior will feature two Nexus 7 tablets, two Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watches, and two Samsung smart TVs.
You can find the Facebook page here. Hit the break for a video. Read more
Fingerprint Cards, an identity technology company from Sweden that manufactures touch sensors, hopes to ride the wave of touch recognition demand by selling to the likes of Samsung, LG and Huawei among others. Fingerprint’s CEO Johan Carlstrom thinks Apple’s inclusion of fingerprint identity technology in the iPhone 5S will set off a scramble by Android device producers to include the same technology in their products during 2014. Read more
An IT administrator named Bogdan Alecu has discovered that Nexus phones receiving a flood of texts may start to function a little bit differently. The Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, and Nexus 5 are all effected by this new exploit that causes those phones to reboot, crash the messaging app, or even disable a network connection. While other devices seem to be safe, Alecu advises that he hasn’t tested many others. The bug is coming from Class 0 SMS messages that are not regularly stored on a handset.
A developer has already taken to the Play Store to release a fix. Class0Firewall is a free app that prevents the Class 0 SMS messages from sending your handset into a tailspin. Google has told PCWorld that they are looking into the issue; however, we have no timetable on when to expect a patch.
Source: DefCamp, Class0Firewall (Play Store)
Previously (as in, before today), your warranty on your Motorola device would be voided if you requested the Bootloader to be unlocked. It was an evil, but perhaps a necessary one.
But today, it seems that change is in the air. If you request an unlock bootloader code for your Moto device you can keep your warranty. Not only that, but Moto will be posting the return-to-factory software images. Awesome, right?
This news serves as even more proof that Motorola has become more and more “Google-fied” since it was purchased by the search giant.
Moto will also be reinstating all warranties to Developer edition devices that were purchased from 2012-2013.
Remember, this information is only for Developer edition devices, and it’s definitely not expected that they’ll do the same for other devices. Still, great news.
Source: Moto Blog
A lot of time patents give us a clue of what direction manufacturers are going in, but then again, we live in a world in which everybody wants to patent everything imaginable, even if there is no intention to actually implement it. We have already heard reports that Samsung is having a difficult time adopting a fingerprint scanner in their flagship phones because the technology is still at its infancy. According to a patent, Samsung might be heading into a completely different direction, eye scanning.
Samsung would implement iris scanning, which hasn’t been adopted all that much because of costs and that the success rate can be low because of different levels of melanin pigments from person to person. In other words…for some people, illumination is needed, and for other times, not. Still, iris scanning is more advanced than fingerprint or retina scanning, plus a person doesn’t need to take off their sunglasses.
Approximately six weeks ago, Google launched a new program it was calling the Patch Reward Program. The program encourages coders to take a proactive approach to improve “third-party” software that Google believes is key to the health of the Internet. According to Google:
“The goal is very simple: to recognize and reward proactive security improvements to third-party open-source projects that are vital to the health of the entire Internet.” Read more
We started seeing facial recognition in devices a few years back. It was a cool idea, but the technology wasn’t really ready yet. This year, fingerprint scanning technology has become more prevalent. Smart-watches are now becoming more mainstream, with Google expected to unveil their own smart-watch relatively soon.
Our society is slowly becoming more and more like the fictitious worlds depicted in many science fiction novels, shows and movies from the past— would it surprise you if I told you that Samsung is working on eye-scanning technology, and it could be featured in the Galaxy S5?
If you’ve been highly concerned or even hesitant to jump on HTC’s One Max or any other device that may use your fingerprint data to access it, be at rest, HTC assures you they have no access to it and the info will not be sent to third party companies. This should reassure many who weren’t positive how HTC was handling their saved fingerprint characteristics. Well, rest assured, as the company was posed the security question by the staff over at Phonearena and this is what the Taiwanese manufacturer had to say:
The fingerprint data is stored in local memory. It is encrypted and stored in the system partition, which can’t be readily accessed or copied. The fingerprint data is not an actual image but fingerprint characteristics that have been identified by a proprietary algorithm. No, HTC does not have access to the information and the fingerprint cannot be used by a third party.
The public perception has always been that Apple’s iPhone is more secure than Google’s Android, but Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt wants to set the record straight. During a Q&A session at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, Gartner analyst David Willis said, “When you say Android, people say, wait a minute, Android is not secure.” Schmidt quickly said, “Not secure? It’s more secure than the iPhone.” followed by the audience chuckling.
Unfortunately Schmidt didn’t elaborate other than saying that Android now has one billion users and is a platform that goes through rigorous security testing. He also added that in the distant future security will be implemented on a per app basis since the assumption will be that nothing is secure.
One of the main complaints Apple fanboys will make about Android is that it’s more susceptible to malware, and thereby a more risky choice for a phone, for obvious security reasons.
Google is now making an effort to quell these false claims, and recently released some graphics showing how hard it is to actually have malware damage your device and infiltrate your secure information. Note that their numbers only include devices that have Google Play Services— many phones without Google Play, such as those from China and Russia, are more at risk for malware.
Google’s Android Security chief Adrian Ludwig says that there are many layers of Android security constantly at work, and because of this, only .001% of all malware is even able to attempt to evade security, let alone actually get through.
The numbers get lower and lower as you pass through the multiple layers, as you can see from the graphic above.
This is not to say you should always be careful, especially when sideloading applicatoins, or if you have an untrusted app store on your device, which are the most common ways to get any type of malware on your device.