Mobile security Stories December 7, 2015

Google brings Safe Browsing security feature to Chrome for Android

Google is extending their Safe Browsing feature that protects desktop users from malicious exploits on the web to mobile in Chrome for Android. Launched eight years ago, the feature has protected a billion desktop users from malware, unwanted software, and social engineering sites according to Google.

The feature was rolled out a long time ago as part of Play Services 8.1 and Chrome for Android 46, but was just officially announced today. It is enabled by default and users can check that it’s on by going to the Privacy menu in Chrome’s settings. When users come across an unsafe webpage, a bright red warning screen with a return to safety button will pop up first.

The team behind the feature notes the difficulties of bringing it over to mobile from desktop, mobile’s most limiting constraint being limited data and reduced data speeds. As such, every single bit of security data sent to the device is optimized. For instance, as social engineering attacks only happen in certain parts of the world, only devices in those regions will get those types of warnings. The security feature is also optimized from a memory and processor usage standpoint, making sure it does not reduce battery life.

Mobile security Stories July 27, 2015

Mobile security researchers at Zimperium say that they have discovered the “worst Android vulnerability in the mobile OS history” – and it can infect your smartphone simply by receiving an MMS message. Unlike most malware, it is not necessary to open the message in order for your phone to be compromised, reports NPR.

“This happens even before the sound that you’ve received a message has even occurred,” says Joshua Drake, security researcher with Zimperium and co-author of Android Hacker’s Handbook. “That’s what makes it so dangerous. [It] could be absolutely silent. You may not even see anything.”

Once the MMS has been received, it activates code which gives the attacker complete control of your Android device – everything from copying data to taking over the microphone and camera …  expand full story

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