I'll admit it, I'm anal about CPU and RAM usage. I'm the kind of person that goes into MSConfig every 6 months to scrape useless startup processes like barnacles off the hull of a ship to keep boot times down and squeeze every last possible increment of free RAM and CPU that I can (insert "Then you should use Linux" joke here) out of my system. If you're like me, then you probably avoid heavy, suite-ized security solutions like the bubonic plague crossed with bird flu.
Following the discovery of two security exploits within Google Wallet, the Vice President of Google Wallet and Payments, Osama Bedier, released a statement reassuring readers that Google takes "concrete actions" to protect its users. The statement further indicated that, in response to Wallet's security scare, Google has put prepaid card provisioning on hold, at least until a permanent fix is issued (which should happen "soon").
Update 2/14/12: Prepaid card provisioning has been restored:
In an effort to keep all your passwords both safe and convenient, while also protecting your web surfing experience, Symantec has created Norton Identity Safe Beta, an app that allows users to store their login information on their computer and mobile device, while enjoying a safe browsing experience on both.
Many of you may be aware that there are several apps that perform this function already. SplashID Safe, Keeper Password & Data Vault, and others provide a very similar service, but Norton ID Safe brings a couple of key differences to the table.
Update: You can download a batch script to root your DROID 4 now (you'll need to have USB debugging and Unknown Sources enabled in the Application settings menu). Find the file on this page, and if you can spare it, take the time to donate to Dan Rosenberg for finding the exploit. All proceeds will go directly to charity, in this case, the American Red Cross.
Widely known and respected security researcher Dan Rosenberg has evidently uncovered a root method for the Droid 4, in addition to a universal Motorola root method.
Yesterday, a security firm called zvelo demonstrated a vulnerability within Google Wallet, cracking its PIN verification system using brute force, giving Wallet access to anyone who had the exploit. It was also revealed that the hack only worked on rooted devices, and Google swiftly reported that a fix for the bug was already being worked on.
Adding to Google Wallet's security worries, a new hack was posted online today, claiming to give access to Google Wallet (sans PIN) on non-rooted devices, requiring just a few steps to gain user information (and funds).
As Android has grown from a small hobbyists OS to the mainstream-conquering behemoth it is today, so has the amount of malware directed towards it. A large chunk of the problem comes from malicious apps that make it into the Android Market - often times, duplicates of popular apps with a few strings of code thrown in that allow the app to transmit personal information or hijack the device.
Makers of anti-virus apps claim that there's more malware in the market than ever, painting the picture of a wild west-esque place that's ever-more attractive to the scum of the app universe.
Thanks to our two-dozen (or so) previous book giveaways, you probably now know how to develop for Android. If so, it's probably time to kick your game up to the next level by mastering application security. Luckily for you, O'Reilly Media recently published a new book on the topic, titled "Application Security for the Android Platform: Processes, Permissions, and Other Safeguards." Written by Jeff Six, the book is a concise (112 page) treatise on the subject.
Users of the popular VoIP app Vopium (here's the older version with many more installs) may want to put all usage of the app on indefinite hiatus, at least for the time being. It was recently discovered that the app sends basically all of the sensitive information, including username, password, device IMEI, geolocation, and contact list in plaintext.
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?