This past April WhatsApp added automatic end-to-end encryption for messages moving through the service. This was done as a way to help protect users and improve security of the communications platform. According to some recent claims by media outlets, John McAfee, the creator of the well-known anti-virus software package, tried to trick reporters into thinking he had managed to hack WhatsApp in order to get around this new encryption scheme. McAfee has fired back claiming he was only demonstrating a security flaw in Android.
According to the information shared by sources, McAfee tried to send some reporters some smartphones to demonstrate how he could read WhatsApp messages from a remote location. After some checking though, it appears McAfee was sending phones that were pre-cooked with malware that included a keylogger. These pre-configured phones would allegedly be opened by “experts” sent by McAfee to meet with the press representatives.
Sources indicate McAfee shopped this “story” to both the International Business Times and Russia Today and possibly to Business Insider. Things apparently unraveled for McAfee when some of the reporters contacted a security expert, Dan Guido, for guidance. Guido suggested to them that they buy their own phones for the test, a move that clearly would have thwarted McAfee’s plot.
For his part, McAfee says he never claimed to be able to hack WhatsApp or break their encryption. Instead, McAfee is saying that the reporters and others who were contacted missed the point of his claim that he was able to identify a “serious flaw in the Android architecture” that allowed him to install malware on the devices.
We already know about the flurry of apps that will be bundled along with the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge. And developer of popular anti-virus software McAfee has announced that the smartphones will also come built-in with their mobile security app for added protection against malware.
McAfee is one of the more popular antivirus protections available to PC users, and with the malware on Android devices, they’ve stepped in to provide their trusted protection on smartphones and tablets, too. Recently, McAfee updated their Android application with a refreshed user interface and an innovative new App Lock feature. McAfee claims that since apps like Twitter and Gmail don’t require a password each time you open the app, it’s a possible security threat on your device. App Lock protects against this threat by requiring a pin number each time you want to use one of these applications, protecting you from someone digging through your phone for personal information or even just some nosy friends. This feature can also be used to protect children from having access to certain apps on your device, like the browser or your banking app.
McAfee offers a free trial of the app on Google Play, and offers the paid version at $29.99. Hit the break for the press release and download links. Read more
Verizon has teamed up with McAfee to launch a security tool to help beef up your security system on your Android powered handset. While the free version provides protection against spyware key-loggers and potentially harmful sites that are visited in the browser, $1.99 per month (or $1/month if you have Total Equipment Coverage already) gets you remote tracking, audible alarm sounding, locking, wiping your device and App Alert which flags apps that are accessing personal data.
While I feel most of these aren’t needed on an Android device, there are many that feel every precautionary step is worth it. If you’re one of those people, then head on over to the source link to find out more!
source: Verizon Mobile Security
So you’re interested in looking for a new app, but don’t know where to go or where to start? You go to the Android Market of course where you’re free to view thousands of available apps straight from countless developers! Sadly though, Android owners must remember to take great caution when checking out apps. As great as Android’s liberal policies for apps are, the policies may be a little too loose at times, allowing for questionable and suspect malware apps to sneak onto the Market. You might remember back in August how we pointed out McAfee reported the Android OS being the most popular target for mobile malware developers. While it’s unlikely most Android users will actually be affected by an infected app, the threat of your device becoming affected is still very much a reality. Artem Russakovski of Android Police shares this threat that will certainly raise an eyebrow or two. Read on about this noteworthy discovery and how to protect yourselves from something like this after the break. Read more
McAfee’s second quarter “threats report” shows that the Android is now the most popular target for mobile malware developers. The number of viruses, trojans, and other rogue pieces of code aimed at Google’s platform shot up 76% the last quarter to reach 44. This out-paces the second most targeted platform, Java ME, threefold.
Maliciously modified apps are still a popular vector for infecting devices, according to McAfee. Infiltrating popular modified apps this quarter were the malware Android/Jmsonez.A, Android/Smsmecap.A, Android/DroidKungFu, and the Android/DrdDreamLite families.
While Google’s approach to its OS policies offer more freedom and choice, it has similarly attracted criticism for policies that may be too loose. The policy of allowing users to to get applications outside of the Android Market has been mentioned, but the lack of monitoring incoming applications has received more criticism. Some full-fledged malware has reached the Android Market – butwas only pulled after it had already done damage to users.
With Android holding 43% of the worldwide smartphone market, it’s not surprising to see it become the most targeted mobile platform by malware developers. As the attraction to Android based smartphones and devices continues to increase, it is definitely a security issue worth keeping a close eye on.
Phone security is the rage right now, and Sony Ericsson is jumping on board. They signed a deal with McAfee to pre-load their mobile security app on the Xperia Mini and Xperia Mini Pro. We recently announced a deal between McAfee and Sprint for the same application.
The McAfee app will safeguard users against device loss, data theft, malware, and virus infection.
“Smartphones represent one of most significant technological developments of our time with today’s devices boasting far more functionality than many early PCs,” said Todd Gebhart, co-president, McAfee. “However, it is far too easy to leave a mobile device in a cab or at the airport, which can mean lost contacts, photos, financial information and other important content. With malware targeting mobile devices growing quarter-on-quarter, there is also the risk of these devices being hacked, infected or phished. The availability of this technology is an important milestone in protecting both the phone itself and the data that resides on the device.”
Nikolaus Scheurer, head of Product Marketing at Sony Ericsson said “By offering as standard these new consumer and business solutions in our XPERIA smartphones, we are setting a new standard in mobile device security allowing us to better serve our customers.”
Hit the break for the full press release:
Starting today Sprint is offering customers access to McAfee mobile security applications. Sprint users can hit the Sprint Tab in the Android Market or by clicking on McAfee in the Sprint Zone. The cost will be $30 per year, but you will get a 7-day free trial. It will locate your lost phone, remotely wipe data, backup contacts and other data, and of course protect against malware.
Sprint is also offering McAfee Family Protection for $20 per year after a 7-day trial. It will filter mature websites and protect kids from accidentally removing apps from your device.
“Sprint takes mobile security very seriously, and we are working to provide tools for our customers that can help protect their devices from viruses and give them the ability to lock or wipe data from their device remotely if it becomes lost or stolen,” said Fared Adib, senior vice president-Product, Sprint. “McAfee is recognized as a leader in this space, and we are pleased to be working with them and to feature the McAfee Mobile Security software in Sprint Zone.”
Full press release after the break:
Everyone seems to be jumping on the Honeycomb tablet bandwagon so why shouldn’t Lenovo? Plans for a Lenovo tablet has leaked.
Lenovo is combining elements of the HTC Flyer and Asus Eee Pad Transformer. They are incorporating stylus software with a “true pen” option for “sketching and note-taking.” and they will incorporate a keyboard dock called the keyboard booklet and cradle.
Awhile back, we did a review and giveaway of WaveSecure, an app that allows you to remotelyloss and theft of your Android device. Now, tenCube, maker of WaveSecure, is set to be acquired by McAfee.
According to the official announcement on McAfee’s website, they say that the acquirement is set to:
- Further establish itself as the leader in mobile security with the most complete set of mobile technologies—McAfee now has the technology needed for users and their families to locate, lock, encrypt, protect against malware, wipe, filter, manage, back-up, restore and access their data online
- Leverage its expertise at the endpoint and in the cloud to broaden its existing mobile security portfolio beyond anti-malware, data protection, Web security and family protection
- Expand the addressable device market with best-in-market mobile device platform support, including a wide range of mobile operating systems including Android, Blackberry, Symbian, Windows Mobile, iPhone and Java powered feature phones
- Combine the skills and resources of both companies to develop and deliver scalable solutions through global partnerships with mobile service providers and mobile device manufacturers
- Expand the breadth of its device management solutions available for enterprise IT administrators to implement policies, assist users and enforce compliance for mobile applications across the enterprise
Darius Cheung, chief executive officer of tenCube, has commented on the acquisition, saying “Mobile devices have become an extension of our lives. Through this acquisition, McAfee can broaden its security capabilities and offer users protection and remote control of the phone whether it is in their possession or not. This means no more worries about the whereabouts of your phone or losing personal contacts, photos or messages.”
The procedure is on track to be complete by the end of August. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.