We've seen our fair share of Android malware hit the scene, but the guys over at Kaspersky Labs have stumbled upon something rather alarming: the first IRC bot for Android. For those unaware, an IRC bot is a tool that provides automated function inside of an IRC channel. While very useful in many scenarios, IRC bots are also often used for malicious intent, such as the case at hand. It's worth noting here that, with the way this attack works, remote commands could be sent via any medium - SMS, webserver, etc.
We know that searching through thousands of applications can be frustrating, so we've compiled the best 35 from 2011 just for you. It's called a Smartphone for a reason, so make sure you get the best out of your device by checking out the list below. Your phone or tablet can probably do much more than you ever imagined, you just have to find the right app for the job.
DSLR Controller (BETA)
If you're an aspiring photographer who owns a Canon EOS DSLR and an Android device, you'll be overjoyed to hear about a nifty little app named DSLR Controller.
We know, we told you our holiday giveaway series would feature some of our largest contests to date. And it did - we gave away over a dozen tablets and nearly as many phones to our readers. But we thought we'd start the new year off with our biggest giveaway yet (an international one, to boot) - 10 Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphones, courtesy of our amazingly generous friends at AVAST Software.
After getting a glimpse of Avast's new mobile security solution a few weeks ago, I just had to dive in and give the app a full review. Avast, the long-awaited marriage of Avast and IT Agents' Theft Aware (see our review), certainly doesn't disappoint. It has an insane number of features, all of which appear to work perfectly, and it sounds like things will only be improving with time.
And did I mention the full-featured, root-enhanced app is completely free with no paid version in sight?
Carrier IQ is bad news. We have spent much ink covering and debating the maliciousness of this pre-installed service which hides itself in the background of some Android devices, collects user information, and then sends it back to carriers. However according to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Carrier IQ is just the tip of the iceberg as most smartphones can be hacked remotely "with ease." At a recent speech, Assange stated point blank that anyone with an iPhone, BlackBerry or Gmail account was "screwed." While Assange didn't mention Android by name in his introductory speech, our favorite operating system is indeed referenced in some Wikileaks' reports.
In the past couple of months, I've covered more than a dozen mobile security apps, carefully weighing the pros and cons of each, and determining their relative values. I've spent time with 17 apps in all, and it's about time to wrap up the series, and tell you, the end user, which apps are your best bet for protecting your Android device(s).
Before I get to the nitty-gritty of which app is best, I think it'd be helpful to review what we've covered so far, to get a clear grasp on each of the solutions we've covered.
Coming in at number seventeen in our shootout, NetQin Security Pro is a security app that offers a lot more than your average anti-theft protection, even if that means skimping a little on features that may help you recover your lost device.
At A Glance
First, I want to comment on NetQin's design. The app's overall appearance is clean, and relatively well thought out. The main screen gives you access to all the app's main features, and the layout makes it virtually impossible to misstep.
Lookout, one of my favorite mobile security apps, received an update today that brings a feature I've wanted since I got my Tab 10.1: tablet support (which, in this case, also includes support for ICS devices). Aside from the malware scanner and backup functionality, one of the most alluring features of Lookout is its find-my-device capability -- a highly useful feature if your device is ever lost or stolen, and a must-have on any tablet.
HTC acknowledged the vulnerability in some of its devices that Android Police together with Trevor Eckhart posted Saturday night. The privilege escalation vulnerability currently allows a potentially malicious app that uses only the INTERNET permission to connect to HTC's HtcLoggers service and get access to data far exceeding its access rights. This data includes call history, the list of user accounts, including email addresses, SMS data, system logs, GPS data, and more.
According to Kaspersky, seller of the $10 Kaspersky antivirus app for Android, Android viruses are getting worse. Well, not really worse, just different. The latest attack vector comes in the form of malicious QR Codes. When you scan a QR code, your phone turns those funky squares into a URL. Just like any other form of URL obfuscation (eg, shorteners), that URL can go to a naughty place. Said naughty place could give you a virus.