More and more often we use our mobile devices for tasks that we used to rely on desktop computers for - banking, social networking, general web surfing, etc. As mobile usage increases, so too does the number of attacks attacks that attempt to hijack your device or steal personal information. Fortunately, there are companies out there dedicated to protecting us and our information. One such company is Lookout, the creator of Lookout Mobile Security.
Remember DroidDream - one of the worst malware apps that we've seen since Android's inception? Well, it appears that the developer of said malware is back at it again, with a reported 25 infected apps (so far) found in the Android Market. Dubbed DroidDreamLight by the Lookout Security team, this infection is a stripped down version of its predecessor. Make no mistake, though - that doesn't mean it's any less malicious.
Wow - from our perspective, it's almost like the world exploded overnight. We have more information and details on the virus - which Lookout has named "DroidDream" (the word was consistently used in package names by the malware developers) - and some updates on where things stand.
Update: For more details on DroidDream, check out out the follow-up post. It includes more information about the virus and how it works, who's to blame, and provides a link to a flashable .ZIP that prevents the virus from working.
Android malware isn't as big of a concern as some mainstream media reports would have you believe, but it is enough of an issue that Google started beefing up its security a few years ago. There's the "Bouncer" server-side scanning that checks apps before they go live, and your device runs app verification as new packages are installed. Now Google is about to patch a hole in the local app scanning by making it run continuously.
Samsung has announced a slew of improvements to its KNOX enterprise security product at this year's Mobile World Congress. For starters, users can now manage two separate secure containers per device, ideal for consultants with multiple clients or people who just want to better separate work data from personal files.
The total list of changes goes much deeper.
- Two separate secure containers per device, for example, for consultants who work for several companies or doctors who work for several clinics.
Lenovo isn't really known for putting out the best Android tablets on the market, and last year's lackluster YOGA tablets are a perfect example of that. The design seemed nice, but both the eight and 10 inch versions of the device were simply lacking in the spec department. Lenovo is looking to change that stance this year with the all new YOGA Tablet 10 HD+, which takes what worked with the original's form factor and stuffs it full of mostly decent hardware.
Even casual observers of the Android ecosystem know that piracy is a big issue for developers. But if a report from mobile security company Arxan is to be believed, app piracy and "hacking" is incredibly prevalent, or at least prevalent enough that most of the popular apps are available in a pirated or cracked form. According to the company's "State of Security in the App Economy" report for 2013 (PDF link), the top 100 paid Android apps have been "hacked."
We used "cracked" in the headline because Arxan doesn't mention the purpose behind these hacks, so we're assuming that in most cases they're free, pirated versions of paid apps.
Yet another facet of KitKat worth pointing out today is the addition of new security enhancements to the OS. Security is one area that's frequently sensationalized with Android - it seems that every few days a scare story about Android malware creeps onto my Google News page. Google's eliminating security arguments (and possible arguments) one at a time, though, and has made a few key enhancements this time around.
First among them is a change to SELinux.
Since Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 3 earlier this month, we've heard of launch dates from Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Now it's Sprint's turn. The carrier will start selling the Note 3 and the Gear smartwatch on October 4 both in stores and online. It's not yet available for pre-order, but you can at least register for more information on the two devices if Sprint's your only option.