Flaw in Marriott app puts company back in the news and not in a good way

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Marriott has recently been in the tech news lately due to plans to block customers’ personal Wi-Fi hotspots when visiting one of the company’s properties. That move earned them a lot of negative press and pressure from the likes of the FCC and eventually caused them to reverse their course. Now it has been discovered that Marriott’s app for Android may have exposed customer data, including credit card information, to possible attack and pilfering ever since its launch in 2011. The flaw was discovered by Randy Westergren, a senior software developer with XDA-Developers, who also found a major hole in Verizon’s mobile app. Read more

Android Security lead engineer provides further insight to WebView security issues on devices running Jelly Bean and older versions

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It was reported by Talk Android’s Jeff Causey on the 12th of January (link here) that Google would no longer be providing security updates to WebView on devices running Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) and earlier. In fact, it is even deeper than that: Google will not be managing the entire WebKit for these versions any longer, from which WebView is derived.

In a post on Google+ today, Android Security’s lead engineer, Adrian Ludwig, provided clarification and guidance to those nearly 1 billion device owners running Jelly Bean or earlier Android versions. Read more

Report claims Google not patching older versions of WebView leaving users exposed

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A new report that surfaced today claims that Google has ended support for WebView on Android devices running Android 4.3 or older, a move that could leave users exposed to malicious attacks. WebView is considered a “core component” of Android and is used by applications to display web pages without opening an actual browser session. Starting with Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google decided to unbundle WebView from the core system so updates could be pushed out via the Google Play Store.

The source of the news regarding a lack of updates for Android versions 4.3 or older came from a response by Google’s Android security team to a report of a bug in the AOSP browser which is based on WebView. According to the response to Joe Vennix of Rapid7 and independent researcher Rafay Baloch: Read more

Qualcomm integrating smartphone kill switch into Snapdragon processors

Qualcomm-Snapdragon-Chip-932Mobile device security was a hot issue in 2014, and it’s likely going to stay that way in 2015. Many device manufacturers looked into adding kill switches to their phones, and Google has even worked on their implementation.

On the hardware side of things, Qualcomm has announced they are working on a solution for stolen and lost devices called SafeSwitch, which will allow users to remotely lock their devices to secure personal information. Once the device is found, it can then be unlocked and re-activated. Read more

Smart Unlock App Brings Trusted Devices Feature To Non Lollipop Devices

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Are you envious of the Trusted Devices feature introduced in Lollipop? Not content to wait until your OEM updates your phone to Android 5.0? Good news, everybody, XDA recognized developer, hazex, has recently released an app to the Play Store that can bring this functionality to any Android device running 4.1 and above. Furthermore, if you’re shy of rooting your device, this app will not require you to be rooted!

Hazex and his company, Loading Home, not to be one-upped by Google, are also adding in the ability to add WiFi routers to your list of trusted devices. So even if you’re running Android 5.0, you may want to check out this app simply for that feature. Check out the rest of this article after the break for the app’s link to the Play Store, plus some added information if you’re not quite sure what the Trusted Devices feature is. Read more

Contest: Win 1 of 10 Lookout Premium annual subscriptions [Updated With Winners]

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With over 50 million users, Lookout has always been the leader when it comes to protecting our smartphones and tablets. The app has always been free, but if you want the ultimate protection, than look no further than a Lookout Premium Subscription. With Lookout Premium, you don’t have to worry about losing your data in the event that you lose your phone or tablet since it will automatically backup the important things like photos and call history. What happens if a thief steals your phone? You know they will try to remove the SIM card or enable Airplane Mode so you can’t track the device. Lookout will alert you of such actions and capture the last known location. This stuff is only the tip of the iceberg. How many apps do you think you have installed on your device that can track your personal information? Lookout can tell you instantly. Let’s not forget safe Web surfing and the ability to remotely lock or wipe your device.

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Google introduces new Device and Activity Dashboard

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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.

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Password managers on Android are not as secure as one would think

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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.

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PSA: 3rd party apps that bypass the security lock screen (ie Delayed Lock, SkipLock) no longer work in Lollipop

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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.

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