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Tag: Android

Hackers are exploiting an unpatched Android flaw to drain users’ bank accounts

All versions of Android are at risk and all of the top 500 most popular Android apps are vulnerable.

Zeljka Zorz, writing in HelpNetSecurity »

Hackers are actively exploiting StrandHogg, a newly revealed Android vulnerability, to steal users’ mobile banking credentials and empty their accounts, a Norwegian app security company has warned.

[…]

“StrandHogg is unique because it enables sophisticated attacks without the need for the device to be rooted. To carry out attacks, the attacker doesn’t need any special permissions on the device. The vulnerability also allows an attacker to masquerade as nearly any app in a highly believable manner,” they noted.

StrandHogg allows attackers to show to users fake login screens and ask for all types of permissions that may ultimately allow them to:

  • Read and send SMS messages (including those delivering second authentication factors)
  • Phish login credentials
  • Make and record phone conversations
  • Listen to the user through the microphone
  • Take photos through the device’s camera
  • Get access to photos, files on the device, location and GPS information,the contacts list, phone logs, etc.

Read the whole article on HelpNetSecurity »

More » The Hacker News, Security Affairs, Security Week, ZDNet

Google gives up on U.S. carriers, rolling out Android RCS messaging on their own

Paul Thurrott »

Google is done waiting for U.S. carriers to roll out Rich Communication Service (RCS) text messaging in its Android Messaging app.

RCS is an open messaging standard designed to put non-iPhone handsets on equal footing with Apple’s offering. It lets you chat over Wi-Fi or mobile data, send and receive higher-resolution photos and videos than is possible with MMS, and see whether recipients received your sent messages. It also enables more functionality for group chats.

The RCS issue came to a head in the wake of the launch of the Pixel 4, which is the first Google handset to be offered by all four major U.S. carriers. But none of the carriers enabled RCS messaging on their networks, preferring instead for customers to use their own messaging services.

So Google is now doing what it does elsewhere in the world: It is simply bypassing the carriers and offering RCS messaging via its own servers.

Read the rest of the article on Thurrott.com »

More » Android Central, ZDNet, Ars Technica

Google Assistant will help you apply for a job

I’m interested to see how many other companies will use Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa in this and similar ways.

Ben Schoon at 9to5Google writes »

“Apply Thru” helps people take the first step in applying to work at the massive fast-food chain. In the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the U.K., users can simply say “Hey Google, talk to McDonald’s Apply Thru.” Over time, the company says that “Hey Google, help me get a job at McDonald’s” will also work.

Once the app has been opened, it will ask the applicant for a few basic bits of information such as their name, job preferences, a phone number, and also their location to find the nearest restaurant. Once those steps have been completed, a text message will be sent to finish the application.

McDonald’s “Apply Thru” is available on Google Assistant via your smartphone, a Google Home speaker or smart display, and also the iOS app.

Read more »

More » ABC News, Engadget, The Telegraph, The Verge, FastCompany

Google announces speed and security improvements for Android 10 on entry-level devices

In 2018, Google launched Android (Go edition), a platform tailored for smartphones with 1.5GB of memory or less.

With the upcoming release of Android 10 (Go edition) — I can’t be the only one who thinks that’s an awkward spelling — why not just call it Android 10 Go — here’s a look at how Google is making the experience for entry-level device owners better, across the platform and apps.

Sagar Kamdar, Director of Product Management, Android writes in Keyword (emphasis added) »

With Android 10 (Go edition), we’ve made Android faster and more secure.

First, this new release helps you switch between apps faster and in a memory-efficient way. Speed and reliability are also enhanced—apps now launch 10 percent faster than they did on Android 9 (Go edition).

Encryption underpins our digital security, as it protects your data even if your device falls into the wrong hands. That’s why Android 10 (Go edition) includes a new form of encryption, built by Google for entry-level smartphones, called Adiantum. Up until now, not all entry-level smartphones were able to encrypt data without affecting device performance.

Adiantum is built to run efficiently without specialized hardware, meaning all Go edition users will have the same level of data security as any Android device, without compromising performance. This will make the next generation of devices more secure than their predecessors, and allow the next billion people coming online for the first time to do so safely.

Keep an eye out for the new phones with Android 10 (Go edition) launching later this fall.

Google is also introducing a number of updates »

With the AI-powered read-out-loud feature that makes consuming long-form text as easy as listening to the radio, people feel more comfortable using the web in their daily lives. Lens in Google Go helps people who struggle to read things in real life by reading out and translating the text that you point with your camera. Since the launch, people have told us that it helps them read and understand important things like bus schedules and bank forms.

YouTube Go, which helps people watch videos on low-speed connections, is also receiving positive responses. People tell us they encounter less buffering while streaming videos, and are now saving on their data consumption.

The new Gallery Go by Google Photos makes it easier to find photos on your entry-level phone. Just 10MB in size and powered by on-device machine learning, it automatically organizes your photos by the people and things you take photos of—and it works offline, too.

Android Go for everyone »

In the last 18 months, over 500 manufacturers have launched more than 1,600 Android (Go edition) device models to 180+ countries including India, South Africa, Nigeria, Brazil, and the United States. These devices, including the Samsung A2, Xiaomi Redmi Go, Tecno Spark 2, and Mobicel Astro, make up over 80 percent of entry-level Android phones activating today.

In some countries, devices are now available for as low as $27.

More at 9to5Google, Android Authority, Digital Trends, Thurrott, Engadget, XDA Developers, ExtremeTech

Huawei unveiled it’s flagship Mate 30 series phones today » without Google apps (Updated Sept 20)

Update from Shruti Shekar at MobileSyrup » If U.S. lifts Huawei ban, CEO Yu says it will update Mate 30 with Google ‘over one night’

As expected, Huawei launched the Mate 30 and flagship Mate 30 Pro smartphone today. But Huawei officials confirm the new handsets will ship without Google apps. The phones will run on an open-sourced version of Android and receive no support from Google.

The Mate 30 Pro has »

  • Kirin 990 chipset
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB / 256GB storage
  • 4,500 mAh battery
  • 32MP front camera
  • Three rear cameras
    • 40MP, f/1.6 wide
    • 40MP, f/1.8 ultra wide
    • 8MP, f/2.4 telephoto
  • 27 watt wireless charging

The new Huawei smartphones will not come with pre-installed Google-licensed apps like Maps, Gmail, or YouTube.

Huawei is not able to license Android due to restrictions imposed by the Trump Administration on the Chinese firm.

More from » Thurrott, BBC, CNET, The Verge, PC World, Reuters, CNBC, XDA Developers, Android Central

Pixel 4 expected to be officially announced October 15 at Made By Google event

Last updated » Sept 16

» Watch it live here October 15 @ 10AM Eastern:

On Monday, September 16, Google sent out invitations to its next hardware event » Made by Google » NYC » Tuesday, October 15.

Google is expected to unveil the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. They may also launch the rumoured Pixelbook 2.

There is some speculation of a Google Pixel Watch being announced.

Bookmark this page for updates.

This afternoon Google updated it’s US online store front page. The homepage of the Canadian online store hasn’t yet been updated.

From 9to5Google:

Google this morning officially announced that its annual hardware event is set for October 15th in New York City. The heavily teased Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are expected, along with other refreshes for the Made by Google 2019 lineup.

Similar to last year’s event in New York City, Made by Google 2019 will not be hosted in San Francisco like in 2016 and 2017. Google is again opting for the Big Apple for its biggest hardware event of the year.

The keynote starts at 10AM ET on Tuesday, October 15th and Google is reusing a similar “see a few new things Made by Google” tagline. As usual, there will be a livestream for Made by Google 2019 on YouTube.

Google was fined by the EU, but Apple deserves the same

Bloomberg (paywall):

If Google is at fault for its de facto monopoly in Android app stores, Apple should be held to account for a similar violation. Although an Android user can easily shop in a few alternative stores (though none is a match for the Google Play Store), an iPhone user cannot go outside Apple’s App Store without “jailbreaking” the phone, a process that disables operating system updates. That makes Apple a monopoly in the truest sense of the word, and the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a suit challenging this super-dominant position on behalf of consumers who have no choice but to pay Apple’s 30 percent commission for developers as part of every app’s price.

Like Google, Apple makes its preinstalled browser impossible to delete from a phone. Google, however, allows users to choose their own default applications, including the browser and maps. Apple doesn’t do that; you can, for example, install Google’s Chrome browser and Google Maps on an iPhone, but they won’t launch by default when you click on a link in an email or another app. That’s even more anticompetitive than simply preinstalling one’s own software and hoping users will keep it because it’s good enough.

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