900 Million Androids Could Be Easy Prey for QuadRooter Exploits

2016.08.10 02Four newly identified vulnerabilities could affect 900 million Android devices, Check Point researchers told attendees at the DEF CON 24 security conference in Las Vegas this past weekend.

The vulnerabilities, which the researchers dubbed “QuadRooter,” affect Android devices that use Qualcomm chipsets. They exist in the chipset software drivers.

The drivers, which control communications between chipset components, are incorporated into Android builds manufacturers develop for their devices, so they’re preinstalled on devices and can be fixed only through installation of a patch from the distributor or carrier.

Exploiting any of the four vulnerabilities will let attackers trigger privilege escalations and get root access to the targeted device, Check Point said.

Attackers can exploit the vulnerabilities using a malicious app. Such an app would not require special permissions, and thus would not be easily detected.

900 Million Androids Could Be Easy Prey for QuadRooter Exploits

Google Beefs Up Phone App’s Spam-Fighting Skills

2016.08.02 03

Google on Tuesday released an updated version of its Phone app for Android with a new spam protection feature that warns users when an incoming call is likely to be spam. It also lets them block numbers and report spam.

The app is available on Google Play.

“Most mobile numbers aren’t listed anywhere, and so spamming has been [difficult] — but automation is rapidly eroding the protection of anonymity,” he told LinuxInsider. “It’s possible for call systems to quickly scan down a block of numbers, identify the ones that get answered, and compile lists of active numbers.”

Google Beefs Up Phone App’s Spam-Fighting Skills

This phone case turns your phone into a fully-functioning Game Boy

2016.06.17 04

Game Boy fans: rejoice! There’s an amazing new smartphone case that converts your miniature supercomputer into a delightfully retro Nintendo Game Boy handheld.

Hyperkin showcased the first model of its Smart Boy, a phone case that turns Android phones into fully-functioning Game Boys, at E3 2016 this week in Los Angeles (the game industry’s big annual trade show). Hyperkin says the case should work with any Android phone that has a standard micro USB port.

This phone case turns your phone into a fully-functioning Game Boy

Facebook Messenger Lets 50 Friends Get In on a Call

Facebook last week announced that it had rolled out group calling worldwide in its Messenger app. Members engaged in a group conversation can tap the phone icon on their screen to initiate a group call. They can manage individual participants on the next screen.

Members of a group who miss the initial call can tap the phone icon in the group chat to join the call while it’s in progress.

The feature allows up to 50 participants and is available only in the latest version of Messenger.

Move Over, Phone Carriers

The announcement likely will cause concern among telecommunications companies because “if you consider that social media’s a form of asynchronous communication, then Facebook is the largest telecom on the planet, with about 1.3 billion subscribers,” observed Michael Jude, program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.

2016.04.27 03

Facebook Messenger Lets 50 Friends Get In on a Call