App permissions are one thing most people give away much too liberally — but what's the other option, using less apps? Trying to remember to manually toggle off permissions for certain apps after using them? Sounds like a lot of work. Turns out, there's an app for that (or at least one currently in beta), called Bouncer. The platform lets you grant permissions to other third-party apps temporarily by using Accessibility Services. Read More
We've got an LG Nexus system dump and endless desire to spoil every Googley surprise we can. Today's edition of the Android 4.2 Teardown could be alternatively subtitled "The Super-Serious Security Edition," because we're talking about the sort of stuff that should make your sysadmin jump for joy.
Please keep in mind this is just as forward-facing and time-ambiguous as all my other teardowns. This is a list of new stuff in the 4.2 dump, not a list of "confirmed for 4.2" features. Anything could be cut or not fully implemented by the time 4.2 rolls around; similarly to how bits of Android are currently multi-user aware, yet multi-user functionality isn't accessible. Read More
The Google Play Store's "Bouncer," which Google launched back in February to protect Android users from malicious apps, is a service that scans potential Play Store apps by running them in a virtual phone environment, where the app's activities are monitored for any signs of mal-intent.
Taking advantage of that test period, security researchers Charlie Miller and Jon Oberheide have evidently found ways past Bouncer (which they will be presenting at the Summercon conference in New York this week). Their method, in short, allows an app to "know" that it is being run in a virtual environment, meaning malicious apps could conceivably resist carrying out malicious activities until they are running on a real system. Read More
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. Read More