Google expands Android’s ‘Verify apps’ feature for security

by Justin Herrick on
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Security is something very important these days. And Google is taking the extra step to give the massive amount of Android users it has safe. Android already has the ‘Verify apps’ feature. What this does is scans applications from outside sources and not from Google Play. But now, Google will make the ‘Verify apps’ feature continually scan your device for applications that are rather suspicious.

Chances are you will not ever be affected by a suspicious application, though. Google says “that fewer than 0.18% of installs in the last year occurred after someone received a warning that the app was potentially harmful.” So if you are downloading applications from somewhere other than the Play Store, just proceed with caution.

Source: Android Official Blog

Virus Shield pulled out of Google Play Store for being a fake app

by Alihassan Mahdi on
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When it comes to mobile security, people take it as a serious matter and try to find a solution to enhance the security of their device in every way possible. This is where Virus Shield, a so-called $3.99 security app for Android that secured the first position on Google Play’s paid apps charts, came into action to save the day (not really) by claiming that it will make your device virus free.

The app climbed to the top of the charts on Google Play’s paid apps section in just over a week, got a stunning and convincing 4.7 rating stars, and was downloaded over 10,000 times. The app claimed that it “prevents harmful apps from being installed on your device”, “scans apps, settings, files, and media in real time,” and “protects your personal information” while having a minimum effect on your battery level. » Read the rest

Updated LastPass app now autofills passwords in Android apps and mobile Chrome browsers

by Jared Peters on
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LastPass, a fantastic password manager, has updated their Android application to create a much better experience across the Android OS. The new app will now autofill passwords in on your mobile applications, as well as the mobile Chrome browser. Autofilling passwords are already handled by Chrome, but if you use LastPass, you already know that it’s a slightly more secure, easier to manage option.

The biggest advantage now is the autofill option in applications. As long as you’re on Android 4.1 and up, whenever you open an app that has a username and password field, a pop up will appear that will let LastPass fill in your information. Since very few apps offer the ability to save passwords, this will definitely save you a lot of typing. » Read the rest

Developer claims Samsung is using a backdoor to access user data, but security expert disagrees

by Justin Herrick on
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If this claim is true, Samsung has some explaining to do. According to the folks that develop Replicant, Samsung has “remote access to data.” Now that is a very large claim to be making. So what do they mean? To do this, Replicant says that Android’s largest hardware manufacturer is utilizing two processors as a backdoor to gain user information. The applications processor handles all of the usual functions; however, the other is for the communication coming to and from the handset. » Read the rest

Android is about to get even more secure – here’s how

by Christian de Looper on
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The security of Android has always been a question for users, mainly because of the fact that there’s so much malware out there. Despite this, many people simply don’t understand how security on Android works.

Android is actually about to get even better than it already is in terms of security. Over the next few weeks, Google will soon be rolling out an update that will enable devices to monitor for apps that could potentially cause a problem. This will be found in an upgrade to the “Verify Apps” function that was first launched in Android 4.2.

» Read the rest

KNOX embedded devices from Samsung receive mobile industry’s first Common Criteria certification

by Jeff Causey on
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At the RSA Conference 2014 in San Francisco, Samsung has announced select Galaxy devices that have KNOX embedded on them have received Common Criteria certification as assessed by Gossamer Labs. The Common Criteria certification is described as a “gold standard” for security, demonstrating compliance with a predefined set of security requirements. By meeting this standard, Galaxy devices with the certification can provide additional assurance to enterprises that the devices are acceptable for use in accessing “high-value information assets.” » Read the rest

Boeing announces security-focused Boeing Black smartphone

by Jared Peters on
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Boeing Black

Boeing, the company that primarily makes fighter jets and all kinds of airplanes and aviation equipment, is stepping into the Android smartphone market with the Boeing Black. What makes the Black stand out in the crowd is its laser-focus on security; the device features top of the line security software and hardware based on Boeing’s own PureSecure architecture. The device is going to be aimed squarely at government agencies who need that type of insane security on a device.

If the ridiculous encryption and secure elements in the phone weren’t enough for you, the Black solidifies itself as the most secure phone ever with a self-destruct feature. If you try to physically break open the phone, the sensors will detect the tampering and quickly erase all information on the phone, James Bond style. » Read the rest

Intel announces 2 new mobile processors at MWC 2014

by Jeff Causey on
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Intel at MWC - Barcelona, Spain

While much of the focus at MWC 2014 is on smartphone and tablet manufacturers and where they are heading with their devices, other companies are present to help show how they want to power those new devices. Intel was on hand today to announce two new Atom processors, the Merrifield and the Moorefield.

The 64-bit Atom Z3480, formerly known by the codename Merrifield, is a dual-core chip running at 2.13GHz. Using Intel’s 22nm Silvermont architecture, the processor includes an Intel XMM 7160 LTE chip and a PowerVR Series 6 graphics core. Intel says Z3480 equipped devices should start shipping during the second quarter. » Read the rest

Samsung and PayPal rumored to be working together for payment service on the Galaxy S5

by Jared Peters on
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One of the biggest features we’re expecting Samsung to adopt in the Galaxy S5 is the fingerprint scanner. Everyone is pretty much expecting it’s going to happen, and we’ve even gotten some insight on what it’s going to be able to do, but the latest rumors point towards the S5 trying to do something that many companies have failed at; a mobile payment system.

Apparently, Samsung and PayPal are working together closely to try and create some type of wallet system that will become a standard for consumers and retail stores. Samsung already has a wallet app developed, although it’s limited by country availability (much like Google Wallet) so Samsung already has some of the foundation ready. Adding in a fingerprint scanner for security and PayPal for the heavy lifting on the money handling side of things could really be what Samsung needs to make something like this happen. » Read the rest

SlickLogin, sound-based security alternative, acquired by Google

by Jeff Causey on
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SlickLogin, which announced a new sound-based security system a few months ago at the TechCrunch Disrupt event, has been acquired by Google for an undisclosed amount. The goal of the SlickLogin team is to make logging in “easy instead of frustrating” and that it should not get in the way of a user even when two-factor authentication is used. According to their announcement, SlickLogin says Google agrees. » Read the rest