"Burner" cellphones, pre-paid phones that are used and discarded, have become a handy way to protect your identity if you find yourself dealing with people you might not otherwise want to meet. Just lately it has become possible to get "disposable" phones without the phone, thanks to apps like Hushed, which provides a limited-use virtual number that can be easily substituted for your real one. Burner is a new competitor in the same vein, happily landing on Android after considerable success on iOS.
According to a forum post on AT&T's support site and some scattered user reports, the carrier's Galaxy S II variant is receiving a small update today. Rolling out over the air as you read these words, the software fixes an issue where devices would become unresponsive or power down while idle.
The update also includes the requisite "security enhancements." If you haven't updated your phone to 4.0 yet, well for starters, why not?
You'd think the concept of a lockscreen would be simple. It, you know, locks the phone. Several OEMs have still ended up with bugs that allow users to get around the lockscreen completely. The newest such vulnerability has been discovered in Sony's flagship, the Xperia Z. Just a few simple steps, and anyone can gain full access to the device.
In the video, you can see one Scott Reed demonstrating the problem.
The problem with relying on cloud services is that they are prime targets for hackers. Earlier today, popular note-storing service Evernote acknowledged that it had detected "suspicious activity" on the network. In its blog post, Evernote specified that the intruder(s) had only gained access to account details, including usernames, email addresses, and encrypted passwords. The announcement further clarified that passwords are protected with one-way encryption, a process where a password is first salted and then hashed to make decryption extraordinarily difficult.
There are a lot of security apps for Android that go a little ways into overkill territory. Whether you're talking about superfluous task managers or "virus scanners" that may provide some minimal protection while generating more fear than is warranted, Android has a persistent problem with companies applying a Windows-era mentality on a completely different OS. Secunia PSI, however, takes the cake for being one of the least effective apps on the Play Store.
We don't often cover Kickstarter campaigns – after all, the platform is flooded with entries that may not be worth mentioning, or are dead on arrival. Sometimes, though, a gadget comes through that exceeds expectations, and the myIDkey is one of those.
myIDkey is a voice-activated secure USB drive that manages your passwords. Across all devices. Oh, and it has a fingerprint scanner. The project has absolutely demolished its $150,000 funding goal, reaching (at the time of writing) $164,126 with twenty seven days left to go.
For the past few weeks, I've been testing Hideman - a VPN solution with a feature set I've been seeking for a very long time. I've been using both Android and Windows apps to test the service, and let me tell you - it is everything I was hoping it would be and then some.
Hideman is available for the following operating systems:
There's some disturbing news today on the Android security front: an vulnerability has been discovered for Samsung's Exynos 4-powered devices. While the related exploit is useful for the mod scene in that it can be harnessed to gain superuser permissions and root pretty much any device running on an Exynos 4 chip, it's also got some rather disturbing implications. According to an XDA member with the handle "alephzain", who developed the exploit, using this security hole can also grant an app access to all physical memory on a given device - basically, anything stored in RAM is fair game.
While there is no shortage of security apps on the Play Store, aeGis one stands out a bit for a few reasons. For starters, it's dead simple to use. Set up a specific trigger phrase and you can text your phone to lock the display, remotely wipe, find the address of, or sound an alarm from your phone. There's no web interface, unfortunately, but this app trades the elaborate suite of services of something like Avast for simplicity.
Google has been on an update roll lately, with Voice, YouTube, Google+, Calendar, and Music all getting updates in the last week. I've been dutifully doing teardowns on all of them, but there's been no hidden goodies, and thus, no articles. There was a Play Store update this weekend, however, and that does have some interesting, new stuff in it, so we're back!
Google+ App Reviews
Android is quickly becoming the Google+ OS.