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29 Dec 12 Tricky Android malware fools users with Google Play icon


6 hrs.

Doctor Web

The fake Google Play icon looks somewhat like the real one.

A new form of Android malware can sneak onto your phone, show up as an icon resembling the Android app store known as Google Play — and send your phone number to criminals, who can then use it to send out text messages or launch a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

Russian security firm Doctor Web has issued a warning about the Trojan known as Android.DDoS.1.

“It is not quite clear yet how the Trojan spreads, but most probably criminals employ social engineering tricks and disguise the malware as a legitimate application from Google,” the security firm said on its site.

Once Android.DDoS.1 is installed on a phone, it creates an application icon that looks like that of Google Play’s. “If the user decides to use the fake icon to access Google Play, the original application will be launched, which significantly reduces the risk of any suspicion,” Doctor Web says.

The Trojan’s activities “can lower performance of the infected handset and affect the well-being of its owner, as access to the Internet and SMS are chargeable services,” the security firm says. “Should the device send messages to premium numbers, malicious activities will cost the user even more.”

How do you know whether you have this truly bad boy? You could install mobile security software. Doctor Web’s software can identify the Trojan, and it’s likely that mobile software from other firms including Lookout, Kaspersky, McAfee or Norton, can, or will soon, do the same.

As Kaspersky noted recently on its blog, “Cybercriminals love to offer their infected programs directly through the Google Play applications store … The first case of this was reported back in March 2011, and since then malware has appeared regularly in this online store. A combination of insufficient analysis of the apps on Google Play and customers’ continuing confidence in it as a safe source of software, means malware can survive there for days — sometimes weeks — infecting many devices.”

The Federal Trade Commission also recently posted a free Smartphone Security Checker for users of Android, as well as Apple’s iOS, BlackBerry and Windows phones. This online tool takes consumers through a 10-step security checklist tailored to their smartphone’s operating system. Even though it does not place malware protection software on your phone, it’s a good place to start.

Check out Technology, GadgetBox, Digital Life and InGame on Facebook, and on Twitter, follow Suzanne Choney.

14 days

Android logo

Android banking Trojans were in Google Play store

2 days

Kaspersky malware illustration

2012: The year malware surged ‘dramatically’

10 days

Nearly 50 percent of Americans now own a smartphone and close to 20 percent have been the victim of mobile cybercrime, says the FCC.

FCC offers free Smartphone Security Checker to shore up holes

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Article source: http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/technolog/tricky-android-malware-fools-users-google-play-icon-1C7753030

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26 Mar 12 Sony preparing Chrome OS laptop, Google working on UI overhaul


Documents submitted to the FCC reveal that Sony is preparing to launch a VAIO laptop with Google’s Chrome OS operating system. The new Chromebook has an 11.6-inch display, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, USB ports, an HDMI output, and SD card slot.

Laptop Reviews, which drew attention to the FCC documents this weekend, believes the system may be powered by an ARM-based processor. They note the documents list the CPU as a T25. That could refer to an NVIDIA Tegra 250 T25, an SoC with a dual-core 1.2GHz Arm Cortex A9. Previous Chromebooks have all used Intel’s Atom CPU.

Samsung and Acer launched the first commercially-available Chromebooks last year after Google conducted a public beta test with its Cr-48 prototype. The products haven’t attracted a lot of attention from consumers, selling in modest numbers. Samsung’s Series 5 Chromebook, which we reviewed last year, currently ranks 27 in Amazon’s bestselling laptop list.

Google has worked to improve the visibility of the platform and increase awareness among consumers. The search giant partnered with Virgin to provide passengers Chromebooks they could use with free WiFi for the duration of their flights. The company also displayed Chromebook advertisements to some Chrome users on the browser’s start page.

Chrome OS is a browser-centric platform that is dominated by Google’s Web browser. The Linux-based operating system’s tight security and stateless computing model offer some compelling advantages, but we found the mediocre user experience disappointing when we put it to the test.

Chrome OS is obviously going to be a non-starter for many people due to the platform’s heavy cloud dependence and lack of support for conventional native applications. But even when evaluating the platform in the context of its strengths and suitability for its target audience, it still fell short. The inflexible environment and simplistic user interface left a lot to be desired.

Some fundamental capabilities were missing, such as the ability to move tabs between windows. Such issues made Chrome OS a poor system for intensive browsing. Google is fortunately working to rectify those issues with an overhaul of the operating system’s user interface.

Google is dropping the fullscreen window model in favor of a more conventional windowing system. The new Chrome OS window manager, which is called Aura, supports overlapping windows. The introduction of Aura will help make the platform feel less constricting and alien to users accustomed to more conventional operating systems.

The Aura environment is still under development, so it’s not yet clear when it will arrive on devices. It’s likely that Google will unveil a roadmap at its I/O conference in June. It’s possible that Sony’s VAIO Chromebook will also be formally announced during the event.

Article source: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2012/03/sony-preparing-chrome-os-laptop-google-working-on-ui-overhaul.ars?clicked=related_right

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26 Mar 12 Sony preparing Chrome OS laptop, Google working on UI overhaul


Documents submitted to the FCC reveal that Sony is preparing to launch a VAIO laptop with Google’s Chrome OS operating system. The new Chromebook has an 11.6-inch display, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, USB ports, an HDMI output, and SD card slot.

Laptop Reviews, which drew attention to the FCC documents this weekend, believes the system may be powered by an ARM-based processor. They note the documents list the CPU as a T25. That could refer to an NVIDIA Tegra 250 T25, an SoC with a dual-core 1.2GHz Arm Cortex A9. Previous Chromebooks have all used Intel’s Atom CPU.

Samsung and Acer launched the first commercially-available Chromebooks last year after Google conducted a public beta test with its Cr-48 prototype. The products haven’t attracted a lot of attention from consumers, selling in modest numbers. Samsung’s Series 5 Chromebook, which we reviewed last year, currently ranks 27 in Amazon’s bestselling laptop list.

Google has worked to improve the visibility of the platform and increase awareness among consumers. The search giant partnered with Virgin to provide passengers Chromebooks they could use with free WiFi for the duration of their flights. The company also displayed Chromebook advertisements to some Chrome users on the browser’s start page.

Chrome OS is a browser-centric platform that is dominated by Google’s Web browser. The Linux-based operating system’s tight security and stateless computing model offer some compelling advantages, but we found the mediocre user experience disappointing when we put it to the test.

Chrome OS is obviously going to be a non-starter for many people due to the platform’s heavy cloud dependence and lack of support for conventional native applications. But even when evaluating the platform in the context of its strengths and suitability for its target audience, it still fell short. The inflexible environment and simplistic user interface left a lot to be desired.

Some fundamental capabilities were missing, such as the ability to move tabs between windows. Such issues made Chrome OS a poor system for intensive browsing. Google is fortunately working to rectify those issues with an overhaul of the operating system’s user interface.

Google is dropping the fullscreen window model in favor of a more conventional windowing system. The new Chrome OS window manager, which is called Aura, supports overlapping windows. The introduction of Aura will help make the platform feel less constricting and alien to users accustomed to more conventional operating systems.

The Aura environment is still under development, so it’s not yet clear when it will arrive on devices. It’s likely that Google will unveil a roadmap at its I/O conference in June. It’s possible that Sony’s VAIO Chromebook will also be formally announced during the event.

Article source: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2012/03/sony-preparing-chrome-os-laptop-google-working-on-ui-overhaul.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss

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25 Mar 12 Sony Vaio VCC111 Chromebook gets FCC support


Sony’s flagship Chrome OS-powered computer has just been given the green light by the Federal Communications Commission. This means as far as the regulatory paperwork goes, the device is ready to go on sale in the US, and obviously Sony wouldn’t have submitted it to the FCC unless it was essentially ready for production. So hopefully we’ll start seeing it on store shelves soon.

The Vaio VCC111 joins products from Samsung and Acer that have pledged support for Google’s ambitious cloud-based operating system. We haven’t heard a whole lot about Chrome OS since its introduction, but this is a good sign that we’re ready to move from a state of potential and prototypes to something that will actually be introduced to the retail community. There’s no question that Google managed to flip the world of mobile OSes on its head, but can it do the same with traditional computing operating systems?

That is no doubt a tall order, but it will be interesting to watch. The Vaio VCC111 appears to have headphone and microphone jacks, an HDMI connection, built-in SD card reader, and at least two USB inputs. The display measures in at 11.6 inches. Oh, and of course, the ultimate tell – there is no Windows button. Of course, Sony hasn’t made any official announcements about when this contraption will go on sale, but we can keep our fingers crossed that it will be soon.

[via Engadget]

Article source: http://www.slashgear.com/sony-vaio-vcc111-chromebook-gets-fcc-support-24219920/

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24 Mar 12 Sony VAIO running Chrome OS leaks, thanks to FCC


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Just when we thought Google’s Chrome OS was over and done with, Sony’s VAIO VCC111 has suddenly popped up for a routine inspection at the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). The notebook being tested was running Google’s Chrome OS. Chromebooks were originally designed as replacements for netbooks, but due to the limitations of the OS, it never really took off. Google’s idea behind this concept was to give users just basic functionality that one typically uses the notebook for- Internet surfing, working on office documents and videos. These were also a lot faster than netbooks and slimmer as well, but because most of the applications required an Internet connection to work, it didn’t do very well here.

Click here for full story

  

Article source: http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/technology/sony-vaio-running-chrome-os-leaks-thanks-to-fcc_684776.html

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