New top secret documents leaked from the NSA has revealed how governments from the United States, UK, Canada and Australia have been trying to intercept user data through the Google Play Store and even Samsung’s dedicated app hub for Android. Read more
Leading tech companies like Apple and Google, along with a host of cryptologists and other advisors, have penned a letter to President Obama urging him to protect privacy rights from attempts by law enforcement agencies to create backdoors to encrypted phone data. The move is in response to several months of statements from officials like FBI Director James Comey who have criticized tech companies for building encryption into their devices possibly at the expense of public safety. Against that fear, the letter notes that “strong encryption is the cornerstone of the modern information economy’s security.” Read more
The Chrome browser is a most versatile piece of software, one can find an extension to satisfy almost any need via the Chrome Web Store. Because of its rising popularity though, Google was forced to take the step of disabling the side-loading of extensions for Windows users in May of last year. Following on from that, Google has just announced on its blog that from July onwards, both Mac and Windows users will only be able to install extensions for its web browser directly from the official Chrome Web Store.
The US Court of Appeals has ruled that the NSA’s unlimited phone data collection program is illegal, claiming that the NSA exceeded its powers granted by Congress. The NSA was insdiscriminately tracking phone history, including numbers, time stamps, and call duration, which was obviously a huge breach of privacy. Chalk this ruling up as a win for common sense. Read more
The focus for Good Technology has been mobile security for nearly twenty years and now the company has a new offering that Android hardware manufacturers can implement with their devices and installed apps. Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) is an interface that secures applications for work that can be accessed through compatible hardware. The access comes from secure key storage through enterprise mobility management that hardware manufacturers are already using today. Good Technology claims that its Good TEE covers everyone involved in an enterprise and end users can forgo the long process of entering password after password.
Good Technology will launch this offering in the form of a beta program next month.
Hit the break for the full press release.
One popular trope in science fiction films is the high-level security clearance requiring iris scanning. By the end of this year, not only will that feature no longer be science fiction, it will be mobile! Read more
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
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
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
Right 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