Android malware was cut by 50 percent in 2014


Google’s crackdown on malware has been working, at least according to them. In a new Android Security Report, Google says that the global rate of malware installs fell by 50 percent in 2014.

According to Google, only 1 percent of all Android devices had a harmful application in 2014. There’s even better news for those that only install applications from the Play Store as that number drops to .15 percent.

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Users reporting new “On Body Detection” lock mode in Android


Based on reports starting to be made by users, Google is either testing or slowly rolling out a new lock mode for Android devices designed to detect when a device is physically in a user’s possession. The lock mode, called “On Body Detection” uses a device’s sensors to detect whether a device is being held in a person’s hand or is in their pocket and will keep the device unlocked. If the device is set on a table or something similar, the device will lock, requiring a user to employ their normal unlock method. Read more

Googles takes step back from default encryption on new Android Lollipop devices


Last fall in the lead up to the release of Android Lollipop, Google let it out that they were planning to enable encryption of storage by default on new devices. This was going to be a change from previous versions of the Android operating system which had the capability of encrypting storage space, but left it up to the user to enable the encryption. As several new devices are starting to finally come to market loaded with Android Lollipop out of the box, Google has apparently decided not to make encryption the default, at least not for their partners manufacturing mobile devices. Read more

Silent Circle reveals new Blackphone 2, forthcoming Blackphone+ tablet


In the days leading up to MWC 2015 Silent Circle announced they had bought out Geeksphone, their partner in development of the original Blackphone and their own operating system, PrivatOS. The company has now revealed their plans to provide a complete Enterprise Privacy Platform consisting of hardware devices like a new Blackphone 2 smartphone and Blackphone+ tablet, improvements to their PrivatOS operating system, and apps designed to enhance privacy for end users. Read more

Beta channel for Android WebView open to Android 5.0 Lollipop devices


Many were concerned with Google’s decision to unbundle WebView from the core system starting with Android 5.0 Lollipop. Older devices would be left behind, too, without updates and that means compromised security. Fortunately, Google has realized so many Android apps take advantage of WebView that it only makes sense to further support. With the latest version of Android, Google will be able to update WebView independently. Right now, developers can join the new beta channel to gain access to new APIs and other items. Developers will be able to become familiar with the updates before users get to see them.

You can join the beta channel of Android System WebView by clicking here.

Source: Android Developers Blog

Samsung Knox customers will get a complementary free 3 months of Google Drive for Work

Samsung_Knox_456Right on the heels of adding in new features to Knox, Samsung has announced an offer for customers that use the security service. Any customers that sign up for Knox will get a free 3 month trial of Google Drive for Work, which is obviously Google’s own cloud storage service that’s centered around business security.

The offer nets customers a full 1 TB of storage, and if more than 5 users take part, that gets bumped up to unlimited storage. The encryption on the service is top notch, which goes hand-in-hand with Samsung’s take on Knox, so this might be a worthwhile offer for many people. Read more

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


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


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