Fingerprint sensors in smartphones are great, but there is one huge thing that sucks about them. The placement. Some are built into the home button like on the Samsung Galaxy devices, but others are awkwardly on the back like on the new Nexus. However, this may all be a thing of the past thanks to Synaptics Natural ID.
Fans of classic British TV shows will be happy to hear that the BBC has decided to make its archive of content available to purchase and download via its newly opened BBC Store. Programs such as Doctor Who, Top Gear and Only Fools and Horses, wildlife documentaries from Sir David Attenborough, and reality programs such as The Great British Bake Off are only a few examples of the array of content available.
The new Nexus phones are out and everyone seems to be really liking the fingerprint readers in them. However, fingerprint sensors will soon be coming to many other Android phones, but will people find them just as nice to use?
Archos, in partnership with SIKUR (think “secure”), has announced the availability of the GranitePhone by SIKUR, a new entry for people who are looking for an ultra-secure smartphone. The GranitePhone joins devices like the Blackphone and the Turing Phone as an option for users who need something more secure than your typical smartphone.
While most of us use our smartphones to organize our daily lives, staying in contact with friends and loved ones through instant messaging and social media outlets, playing games or watching Netflix, smartphones can often be a useful tool for activists and humanitarians in a hostile environment. But how does one safely report on the latest bout of political violence or expose a government cover-up? The London-based group, Security First, has developed an app called Umbrella, aimed at making it easier and safer for activists to carry out their work.
Silent Circle’s BlackPhone 2 is now available for purchase, so if you’re interested in picking up the privacy-minded smartphone, you can finally put an order in for one. Pricing comes in at $799, and it’s currently only available in North America, but for what it does, the BlackPhone 2 offers unmatched security on an Android phone.
Verizon is sending out security updates to all 2015 Samsung flagship phones. That includes the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge+, S6, and S6 Edge. The update does not really go over much as to what it entails other than “Android security patches”.
As Google wraps up rolling out updates to their Google Wallet application to transition to their new Android Pay platform, some power users are discovering an unpleasant surprise. Android Pay does not work with devices that have been rooted. This means users who have installed custom ROMs or perhaps other apps that required root access cannot make use of the mobile payment service. In response to comments that users who root their devices are some of the most ardent Android fans and could help build momentum for Android Pay, a Google staff member took to the XDA forums to discuss the security model and why Android Pay will only work on non-rooted devices.
Qualcomm has announced a new anti-malware service for devices using the upcoming Snapdragon 820 processor that takes a more proactive approach towards malicious apps and downloads. While most anti-malware scanners compare results from a static database, Qualcomm’s approach dynamically checks transformed malware, too.
Some testing recently conducted by Pen Test Partners revealed a man-in-the-middle vulnerability in Samsung smart fridges that could be used to hack into a user’s Gmail account. The Samsung refrigerator that was tested has Wi-Fi capability that among other things, allows a user to display their Gmail calendar on the screen. The Pen Test Partners’ testing showed that although Samsung implemented a Secure Sockets Layer for connections, the fridge was not validating certificates leaving it vulnerable to attack.