Millions of people have downloaded a nasty smartphone virus

Android owners have been put on high alert after researchers identified a new virus that has been downloaded more than two million times.

The malware is called Falseguide and is hidden in apps found on Google Play, the online store where Android users download new software.

The virus lurks inside apps which appear to be guides to popular games.

Once victims download these apps, their phones are infected.

Currently, the Russian hackers behind the malware appear to be trying to build a botnet – a large group of hacked devices which can be controlled as one and used to perform hack attacks against websites and other targets. …

Source: Millions of people have downloaded a nasty smartphone virus and YOU could be its next victim

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BlackBerry Mobile – KEYone Release in Canada and the USA

BlackBerry Mobile has announced the final release date for the new BlackBerry KEYone secure Android smartphone for Canada and the United States. This anticipated device will be available for purchase on May 31.

Canadian carriers which will bring the KEYone to their customers are Bell, Bell MTS, Rogers, SaskTel, and TELUS Business. The device will be available for a two year plan at a retail price of $199 CAD.

President and General Manager of TCL Communications (TCT), Steve Cistulli is thrilled to bring this device to consumers:

The BlackBerry story has such a rich history here in Canada, and we’re proud to be part of the new evolution of BlackBerry smartphones that reimagine how we communicate and stay connected with a device that is so distinctly different.

The United States release follows the same timeline. It will be available on May 31. This release will include both CDMA and GSM variants. While BlackBerry Mobile has confirmed the release date, they are unable to announce informations promising more details about US carrier release dates.

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure tweeted that Sprint will sell the BlackBerry KEYone later this year.

Hey @BlackBerry fans, the keyboard is back! We’ll have the #KEYone @Sprint later this year!pic.twitter.com/qA956MUgya
— MarceloClaure (@marceloclaure) April 27, 2017

Pre-orders from selected partners will begin on May 18. …

Tech writers are very excited about this new smartphone. For example, read more about it in that 24hr-test article,  “Well, hot-diggity-damn, BlackBerry’s KEYone is one hell of a comeback“.

Source: BlackBerry Mobile Announces KEYone Release in Canada and US – UTB Blogs

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BlackBerry Privacy Shade Sees a Copycat App With Added Risks

Last month BlackBerry released a new app for Android called BlackBerry Privacy Shade. Privacy Shade is a great app for hiding the majority of your screen from prying eyes while allowing a small viewing area that you can easily move around showing you only the content that you need to see.

It was pointed out today by one of our staff that there is almost an identical app to BlackBerry’s Privacy Shade in the Google Play Store. So I decided to take a look at the app called Privacy Screen Guard and Filter …

Now, Privacy Screen Guard and Filter looks very similar to BlackBerry’s Privacy Shade app with a few little differences. …

BlackBerry Privacy app doesn’t require any permissions other than “Run at start up” and “Draw Over Other Apps.” This is pretty much required for the app to work. …

Now take a look at the permissions for Privacy Screen Guard :

You will see that it is asking for access to the telephone to read phone status and identity, also to reroute outgoing calls. …

So why is it asking for permission to reroute outgoing calls??? This instantly raises a red flag to me, because when using BlackBerry Privacy Shade and a call comes in, there is a notification at the top of of the screen, it is not “blocking the floating notification” …

Now what about the other permissions requested by Privacy Screen Guard:

Other
  • receive data from Internet
  • view network connections
  • full network access
  • draw over other apps
  • prevent device from sleeping

Just what data does it need to receive from the Internet? Why does it need full network access and to view network connections? Prevent device from sleeping??

This app also refuses to work unless you grant it the permission to access your phone. You cannot turn the permission off and still use it, it shuts down.

While this seems like a great app, and a good alternative to BlackBerry Privacy Shade, are you willing to give this app the permissions it requests? I’m certainly not willing to risk my privacy that’s for sure!!

This is just one example of an app with suspect permissions. There are hundreds, if not thousands out there. …

Source: BlackBerry Privacy Shade Sees a Copycat App With Added Risks. – UTB Blogs

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Notorious iOS spyware, Pegasus, has an Android sibling

Security researchers have uncovered the Android version of an iOS spyware known as Pegasus in a case that shows how targeted electronic surveillance can be.

Called Chrysaor, the Android variant can steal data from messaging apps, snoop over a phone’s camera or microphone, and even erase itself.

On Monday, Google and security firm Lookout disclosed the Android spyware, which they suspect comes from NSO Group, an Israeli security firm known to develop smartphone surveillance products.

Fortunately, the spyware never hit the mainstream. It was installed less than three dozen times on victim devices, most of which were located in Israel, according to Google. Other victim devices resided in Georgia, Mexico and Turkey, among other countries.

Users were probably tricked into downloading the malicious coding, perhaps though a phishing attack. Once it installs, the spyware can act as keylogger, and steal data from popular apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Gmail. …

Source: Notorious iOS spyware, Pegasus, has an Android sibling

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New Android ransomware bypasses all antivirus programs

New Android ransomware bypasses all antivirus programs. Infection continues even after the victim pays the ransom.

The Zscaler ThreatLabZ team has found a new variant of Android Ransomware. What makes this variant particularly scary is that it evaded all the antivirus programs tested against it at the time of writing this blog. During our investigation, we uncovered some other interesting findings.

One of the targeted apps is called ‘OK’, and it’s one of the most popular Russian entertainment social network apps. The targeted legitimate app is available on the Google Play Store and has between 50,000,000 – 100,000,000 installs. It is important to note that the OK app available on Google Play Store is NOT malicious. Fortunately, we haven’t yet spotted the new ransomware strain on the Google Play Store, but as you’re about to read, the techniques leveraged by this malware improve the chances for the payload to make it on the Google Play Store.

What happens when the malicious package is installed?

Similar to the aggressive adware samples found in Google Play Store that we covered in our blog last week, this malware stays silent for the first four hours after it is installed, allowing the original app to operate without any interference. This technique also allows the ransomware to evade antivirus engines as the app is executed. After four hours, users will see a prompt to add a device administrator as shown below.

Even if a user presses the Cancel button, the prompt reappears quickly, preventing the user from taking any other action or uninstalling the app. As soon as a user presses the Activate button, the screen will be locked and a full-screen ransom note will be displayed. …

Source: New Android ransomware bypasses all antivirus programs

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Update for BlackBerry Android Devices Gives the Productivity Tab a New Face

At the end of the day, you’re always seeking better, more efficient ways to get work done. Productivity is every bit as important as security. BlackBerry understands this – it’s why our entire solutions portfolio is architected for ease of use, and why we offer the best Personal Information Management (PIM) solution on the market. It’s also why we’ve equipped our Android devices with powerful tools like the Hub and theProductivity Tab.

Those tools just got even better.

Today, we’re proud to announce a major update for all BlackBerry Android devices, including PRIV, DTEK50 and DTEK60 (and coming devices). Available very soon through the Google Play Store, this update completely overhauls the Productivity Tab’s interface, making it both cleaner and more user-friendly. It also adds new Quick Triage functionality (such as Reply All and Delete) for items in the Hub and new Quick Actions for entries in Contacts (such as Phone, Text, Email).

Users on a BlackBerry-branded Android phone should receive a notification when the updates are available in Google Play, at which point they will download automatically over Wi-Fi.

If you need to manually update:

  1. Connect to a Wi-Fi network, then open the Google Play Store.
  2. Tap the icon on the left side of the bar, then select “My apps & games” from the menu that pops up.
  3. Either tap “Update All” or select which apps to update on an individual basis.
  4. Tap “Download,” and the update will begin even if you don’t see a progress bar or another indicator.

For users on other Android devices, stay tuned – we’ll let you know when the updates (and the Productivity Tab) are available to you!

Source: Update for BlackBerry Android Devices Gives the Productivity Tab a New Face

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Google Recognizes BlackBerry Android for Security

Earlier this month Google published it’s Android Security 2016 Year In Review. The 71 page report covers various aspects of Android security. From OS security, to information about the ecosystem as well as speaking about various vulnerabilities over the last year. It is a very interesting read, and if you have some time, I’d suggest you give it a good read. You can read the entire report here. …

“Several manufacturers, including Samsung, LG, BlackBerry, and OnePlus, regularly deliver security updates to flagship devices on the same day as Google’s updates to Nexus and Pixel devices, thereby providing their customers
with the most up-to-date security available.”

The next mention of BlackBerry is when speaking of Zero Days. This gets interesting.

“The combination of regular monthly security updates and fast responses by Android device manufacturers significantly mitigated the impact of zero day vulnerabilities against the Android platform. For example, CVE-2016-5195 (also known as Dirty Cow) was publicly disclosed on October 19, 2016. As the Android Security 2016 Year in Review / Android Platform Security 29 patch was available from upstream Linux, some device manufacturers, such
as BlackBerry, deployed a fix in time for the November 2016 security update. We created a special patch string (November 06, 2016) for devices to indicate the vulnerability had been fixed. A fix was required for the December 01, 2016 security patch level.”

Dirty Cow allowed attackers to escalate to root privileges through a race condition bug and gain write-access to read-only memory. The vulnerability had been present for nearly a decade in the android kernel and Linux. The kernel and Linux vulnerabilities were patched in October of 2016, and publicly disclosed October 19th. BlackBerry utilized this fix to push the patch to it’s android version in the November update. Google pushed the update within it’s December security update, following BlackBerry by a month. …

Source: Google Recognizes BlackBerry Android for Security – UTB Blogs

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BlackBerry KEYone Receives FCC approval

One step closer to the release of the BlackBerry KEYone, the device just received FCC approval. We all know that the device should be available in April, and we are only one week away from entering the month. After the FCC approval there are no other obstacles for any delay.

You can check availability in your area through BlackBerry Mobile website. Some online stores and carriers have already stated that they will carry the new BlackBerry KEYone, and we are looking to hear for more, especially from US carriers. Perhaps with this approval they will do it faster.

Read the FCC page here.

Source: BlackBerry KEYone Receives FCC approval – UTB Blogs

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Chinese Malware Attack Uses Fake Cellular Towers

Android users in China have a new malware to fear. The malware is called “Swearing”, named because the source code is littered with Chinese swear words. Swearing collects user data, sends phishing messages, will intercept SMS messages and will bypass two-factor authentication systems. The malware itself isn’t as interesting as the delivery method.

The attack is executed by using fake base transceiver stations (BTSs). BTSs are the actual transmission equipment on cellular towers. The BTSs entrap nearby users devices, and sends them fake text messages. These text messages appear to be messages from the user’s carriers and provide download links for APKs. These APK’s are the Swearing virus. …

Source: Chinese Malware Attack Uses Fake Cellular Towers – UTB Blogs

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