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28 Dec 12 New Android malware uses Google Play icon to trick users, conduct DDoS …


A new trojan for Android has been discovered that can help carry out Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. The malware is also capable of receiving commands from criminals as well as sending text messages for spamming purposes.

The threat, detected as “Android.DDoS.1.origin” by Russian security firm Doctor Web, likely spreads via social engineering tricks. The malware disguises itself as a legitimate app from Google, according to the firm.

Once the app is installed, it creates an icon that resembles the one for Google Play. Tapping this icon will still launch Google Play, reducing suspicion that something isn’t right.

android ddos2 New Android malware uses Google Play icon to trick users, conduct DDoS attacks and send spam texts

After it is launched, the trojan immediately tries to connect to its Command and Control (CC) server. If successful, it sends the victim’s phone number to the criminals and then awaits instructions sent by SMS. The malware has two main functions: attack a specified server (criminals send over its address and the port), and send a text message (criminals send over the message text and the number to which it should be sent).

When it receives a DDoS attack command, the malware starts to send data packets to the specified address. One user won’t be able to hurt a site single-handedly, but if criminals have got the malware onto enough Android devices, they could potentially take down a site if if a critical mass of infected phones and tablets target it at the same time.

When it receives a command to send an SMS, it immediately spams the recipient. The infected device can hurt its victims not just by significantly reduced performance, but by unexpected charges for accessing the Internet and sending text messages.

Doctor Web notes Android.DDoS.1.origin’s the code of is heavily obfuscated, meaning its creators want to hide its true function. This shouldn’t be too surprising given that the threat can clearly be used for attacking websites (for competitive reasons, political motives, and so on), spamming products, or simply generating revenues by sending large amounts of text messages to premium numbers.

It’s important to note that we haven’t seen any indication that this threat is spreading quickly or that it is being widely distributed. That being said, it is still interesting to see Android malware used as a DDoS attack tool.

See also – Android malware surged in Q3? Sure, but only 0.5% came from Google Play and Over 60% of Android malware steals your money via premium SMS, hides in fake forms of popular apps

Image credit: Ali A

Article source: http://thenextweb.com/google/2012/12/27/new-android-malware-uses-google-play-icon-to-trick-users-conduct-ddos-attacks-and-send-spam-texts/

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27 Dec 12 Google Play store lists ‘Best Apps of 2012′


Sameer Mitha

The list, according to Google, “These represents “some of the best apps available in Google Play. Some launched in 2012 while others issued updates that achieved a great combination of utility, beauty and accessibility. Almost all of them are available globally and offer a great user experience on both tablets and phones. From excellent tools to objects of beauty, each of these applications represents the best of Google Play.”

Google hasn’t assigned any particular rating to these apps and they aren’t listed in any chronological order either. The list of apps includes the following:

Evernote (Free): Stay on top of every element of your life, from anywhere. Take notes, capture photos and record memos with this amazing organizer.

Pinterest (Free): Take full advantage of your android device and set pins from anywhere using the built-in sharing system. Share and enjoy!

Grimm’s Snow White (Rs. 105): A deceptively simple and well-executed storybook that serves as a perfect introduction to the world of Grimm’s fairy tales.

Pocket (Free): A full-featured offline reader that is constantly adding new capabilities like site subscriptions that let you save articles on paid sites.

EXPEDIA HOTELS FLIGHTS (Free): A beautiful and well-designed app that sets the bar for globally relevant travel tools with a rich and detailed tablet experience.

Ancestry (Free): A unique and full-featured genealogy app that delivered a stunning design overhaul which also delivered new functionality.

Fancy (Free): Fancy lets you share your personal style with style and brings a fresh perspective to the worlds of online shopping and fashion.

Seriesguide Show Manager (Free): Enjoy a great second-screen experience for TV that features an attractive, practical and well-planned design aesthetic.

Pixlr Express (Free): A relatively new photography app that provides an amazing array of editing and photo-correction tools for both phones and tablets.

TED (Free): Enjoy talks and lectures from some of the world’s most fascinating mavericks, gurus and legends.

It’s a little startling to see that none of the mainstream social networking apps such as Facebook or Twitter have made it to the list. What do you thing about this list? Is there any app you wish had made it? Let us know your favourite Android app in the comment section below.

Article source: http://www.thinkdigit.com/Apps/Google-Play-store-lists-Best-Apps-of_12836.html

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27 Dec 12 Tapatalk HD Beta Released to Google Play, Forum Fans With Tablets Rejoice


Tapatalk

Folks who spend time on forums throughout the web already know about Tapatalk. It’s the go-to app to get your fill of the message boards through your mobile device, but until now, the app wasn’t very hot on Android tablets. Consider that officially changed thanks to the release of Tapatalk HD Beta through Google Play. 

Features:

  • New – Gallery view on bigger forums, discover new discussions by photos
  • New – Push Notification – instant notification of subscribed topics, private messages, likes received, mentioned, and more!
  • Portrait and Landscape view optimized
  • Forum Moderation – stick, open, close, delete, ban and more
  • Dark and Light themes

…and all the features you would find from the already amazing Tapatalk Forum App for phone!

It’s a beta, but the developer says we should expect to see the full version sometime in January of 2013. Let us know what you think down below.

Play Link

Cheers @WinDroidGuy!


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Article source: http://www.droid-life.com/2012/12/26/tapatalk-hd-beta-released-to-google-play-forum-fans-with-tablets-rejoice/

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27 Dec 12 Google Play Grew Rapidly In 2012, But App Store Is Still Cash Cow


Google Play Grew Rapidly In 2012, But App Store Is Still Cash Cow [Report]

(2:37 pm PDT, Dec 26th)

Google Play Grew Rapidly In 2012, But App Store Is Still Cash Cow [Report]

Mobile app analytics firm Distimo annually publishes a review of the past year’s growth and trends in the app space. For 2012, Distimo compared Apple’s App Store vs. Google Play on Android handsets. While both marketplaces are considered winners in their own right, the App Store is still where the real money comes from.

Google Play has technically been growing faster than the App Store in recent months, but the daily revenues generated in the App Store are still far greater than anything Google has been able to muster.

It’s amazing to think about how Apple has created such a profitable, app-based economy when you consider the numbers: an average day in November 2012 for the App Store was $150 million in revenues. Imagine how much has been made this month during the holidays. In the last four months, Google Play has seen aggressive growth of 43% in daily revenues, but the Android app marketplace still only generates about $3.5 million per day. (Figures were given by Distimo after examining activity in 20 of the largest countries for both stores.)

Google Play Grew Rapidly In 2012, But App Store Is Still Cash Cow [Report]

Will Google Play ever be as big as the App Store? The trend suggests it’s very possible.

What’s even crazier about the app economy is that only a small handful of companies are responsible for the vast majority of revenues. In November, seven iOS apps were responsible for 10% of the money being spent in the App Store. On Google Play, only four apps accounted for 10% of revenues.

In the App Store, “the proportion of revenue that derived from in-apps increased from 53% to 69% in 2012,” according to Distimo. This shouldn’t come as a surprise after so many popular games have adopted the ‘freemium’ model to bait users with a free download.

The United States still leads in terms of revenues for the App Store. Japan, the United Kingdom, and Australia are also top contenders. For Google Play, Japan actually accounts for more revenues than the United States. Surprisingly, Japan is also the second largest market for iPhone app revenues, according to Distimo.

Another interesting tidbit from Distimo’s report is that Russians absolutely adore their iPads. “The country with the highest tablet proclivity is Russia, where 46% of all iOS downloads are on the iPad,” said Distimo. Japan has the least iPad activity—only 7% of App Store downloads are iPad apps.

The top three grossing publishers in 2012 for both the App Store and Google Play were Electronic Arts, Zynga and Gameloft. Despite the fact that Apple only sells its own apps in the App Store (iMove, Garageband, Pages, etc.), the Cupertino company was still the fourth highest grossing, cross-store publisher. That’s crazy when you consider that Apple only sells seven iOS apps. For the App Store, Google was the third largest publisher in terms of sheer downloads. That’s not hard to believe when the new Google Maps app was downloaded over 10 million times in only a few days.

Instagram was the most downloaded iOS app in 2012, while Google’s Street View took first place in Google Play. Games still generate the vast majority of revenues in both stores.

Looking ahead, the biggest problem the App Store faces in 2013 is probably discovery. While there’s a lot of good curation going on by Apple’s people on the front end of the store (editor’s picks, highlights, etc.), iOS 6 makes it harder to find the best apps in the App Store’s search. Sometimes it takes 10+ card swipes for me to find a popular app. Apple recently bought Chomp, a Genius-like app discovery tool that will hopefully continue to improve the App Store’s search algorithms.

Google Play Grew Rapidly In 2012, But App Store Is Still Cash Cow [Report]

Google Play Grew Rapidly In 2012, But App Store Is Still Cash Cow [Report]

Google Play Grew Rapidly In 2012, But App Store Is Still Cash Cow [Report]

Google Play Grew Rapidly In 2012, But App Store Is Still Cash Cow [Report]

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Article source: http://www.cultofmac.com/207576/google-play-grew-rapidly-in-2012-but-app-store-is-still-cash-cow-report/

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27 Dec 12 Google Play Music censors your uploaded songs – Pocket


Google Play Music censors your uploaded songs . Google, google music, Google Play 0

27 December 2012 10:43 GMT / By Ian Morris



The Americans, rightly or wrongly have a bit of a reputation for being a puritanical lot – no swearing on network TV and nothing more than a hint of side boob. But the discovery that Google Play music is switching out your explicit music for censored stuff is a bit much for us to bear.

Reports online today suggest that for “some” users, if you upload a track with swearing, and it’s the match service that does the upload, then you’ll get the censored, clean version. We tested the service with our copy of Eminem’s Guilty Conscience. It did, indeed, return the clean version when we played the track through the web interface.

This seems especially stupid, as the track we uploaded was explicit, which means we’d made the decision to buy music with swearing in the first place. Presumably, we wouldn’t have done this if we’d been offended by the torrent of filthy words for which Eminem is famous. 

Google’s Match service – which identifies the song you’re uploading, and matches it with tracks already stored in Google’s cloud-based service – launched first in Europe in early November. The US got the service this month.

If we were going to cut Google a break here – we’re not – then we could suggest that it’s probably better it does this than risk having the explicit track turn up in some poor kiddie’s library by mistake. But the truth is, no one cares about swearing in songs other than broadcasters. If you want to listen to Eminem’s Guilty Conscience then you want to hear all the words. Otherwise the damn song doesn’t make any “scratching noise” sense.

Surely, in this day and age, if Google wanted to offer an option to only allow censored music – perhaps at the behest of parents – then it would be simple to either opt in, or opt out of that system? But perhaps most baffling of all, Google itself allows you to buy explicit tracks via its own store. So what the “blank space” is that all about?

Does this **** you right off? Please feel free to comment below, although we might delete the ones with swearing. 


Via: droid-life.com

Google, google music, Google Play

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Article source: http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/48894/google-play-music-censors-your-music

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27 Dec 12 Google Acts Against Malicious Chrome Extensions


Google Chrome Extension

Google’s latest steps will make it harder for malicious developers trying to exploit Chrome users via browser extensions.

Extensions are plugins for Google Chrome and allow developers to add extra functionality to the Web browser. Many Chrome extensions are supremely useful, such as Ghostery, which quickly and easily detects and blocks Web trackers tagging your movements across the Web, the goo.gl URL shortener, and ViewThru, which displays the full URL when mouse-overing a shortenend link. Others, like the “Change Your Facebook Color” extension pointed out by Webroot, are privacy-violating scams peeping at the browsing history and data from other Web sites. Spam-spewing extensions also exist.

While many of the extensions are accidentally installed by users who were tricked into downloading it, many were installed without the user’s knowledge by other dodgy applications using Chrome’s auto-install feature. To address that problem, Google has removed auto-installs in the latest version of Chrome.

No More Auto-Installs
Google originally included the auto-install feature to allow applications to install an additional Chrome extension during its own installation process. This was intended to simplify the installation process so that users didn’t have to add the extension manually afterwards. 

“Unfortunately, this feature has been widely abused by third parties to silently install extensions into Chrome without proper acknowledgement from users,” Peter Ludwig, a product manager at Google, wrote on the Chrmoium blog

Chrome (version 25 for those counting) will now block an application trying to auto-install an extension Google and display an alert informing the user about the new extension and list some of the things it can do (such as “Access your data on all Websites” and “Read and modify your bookmarks”).

Chrome 25 also automatically disables any extensions that were previously installed using the auto-install feature. If the user wants to re-enable the extension, the browser will display a one-time prompt explaining what each extension wants to do before allowing them to be turned back on. 

Stopping Malicious Extensions
Google also appears to have a new service which analyzes “every extension that is uploaded to the Web Store and take down those we recognize to be malicious,” according to the support pages for the Chrome Web Store. There isn’t a lot of information about the service at this time, so it’s not known whether Google is using an automated scanner similar to Google Bouncer checking app in Google Play (or if Bouncer itself is handling both markets).

Google has recently cracked down on extensions. Back in July, Google changed Chrome so that users could only install extensions found in the Chrome Web Store, and not from third-party sites. 

Article source: http://securitywatch.pcmag.com/none/306341-google-acts-against-malicious-chrome-extensions

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26 Dec 12 Ant Raid Now Live At Google Play


Popular mobile game developer Herocraft has just released Ant Raid for the Android platform which you can now download over at Google Play for $0.99.  This title became one of the biggest strategy games when it was released over at the iOS platform. Now, Android users can experience this amazing title in their devices.

ant raid

Ant Raid puts you in control of an ant colony. You will be tasked to advance the colony while dealing with the various predators that threaten your existence. The game is a combination of both tower defense and arcade twitch. One thing that makes this at par with all of the other excellent mobile titles is that it has a story involved which you will get to see at the beginning. The characters are adorable while the graphics are just so wonderfully created.

There are various objectives that you have to accomplish for each game level depending on the scenario. This in my opinion is one way to make it more fun and entertaining, we don’t want any repetitive boring tasks right?

Defeating an enemy entails you to grab some ants and sending them to your enemy. The bigger your enemy the more ants you have to send their way. Some of the enemies include snails which knock down your ants as soon as they’re done and worms which are good at shaking your troops.

You will also have to understand the color of your enemies. Enemies that are blue in color usually have very high defensive skills which will take them longer to kill. Red enemies are very aggressive and can move quickly. The good thing about this is that if you defeat your enemies your ants get to absorb their abilities.

The story mode takes up to 60 levels to finish. Once you have finished those levels you can unlock 40 challenge levels that has 4 levels of difficulty.

Once you have finished the standard game mode there’s the endless mode where you can challenge up to four friends.

If you are looking for a fun and exciting strategy game to play on your Android device then don’t miss out on this title.

via Google Play

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Article source: http://thedroidguy.com/2012/12/ant-raid-now-live-at-google-play/

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26 Dec 12 Final Fantasy Dimensions Now Live At Google Play


One of the most loved RPG titles in the world is the Final Fantasy franchise. Its engrossing storyline, lovable characters and unique gameplay combine to bring everyone a memorable gaming experience. Fans of this series will be able to enjoy playing this game on their Android device now that Final Fantasy Dimensions has been released. The game can now be downloaded over at Google Play for $20.

final fantasy dimension

Most people might say that the price is a bit too steep compared to the average selling price of most games at Google Play however it’s definitely worth it. It has a compelling storyline with graphics that is both retro and modern looking. The characters are great and the menu system is easy to understand. It’s definitely going to bring you countless hours of fun.

This old school game was first available over at the iOS platform last August but now is available for Android. If you have played RPG games on the SNES then you will be familiar with the style that this title brings. It is actually a port of a game which was released for mobile devices only in Japan called Final Fantasy Legends: Hikari to Yami no Senshi.

Final Fantasy Dimensions centers on two warrior groups, one focused on light while the other focused on darkness. You will be able to control both groups depending on the phase you are in the game. Just like most games in this genre it follows a turn-based combat system.

You will be able to interact with various non-playable characters, acquire items and defeat enemies. Characters have the ability to increase their levels and also change their job types which makes them gain additional skills.

One thing that bugged me though is the random battles that occur when you are exploring the game. While this might be good for leveling up your character it’s a pain when your character is in a hurry.

As far as the control system goes you are presented with three different configurations. All of these make use of a virtual D-Pad though.

If you are a fan of the final Fantasy series then don’t miss out on this epic title.

via Google Play

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Article source: http://thedroidguy.com/2012/12/final-fantasy-dimensions-now-live-at-google-play/

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26 Dec 12 LEGO Hero Factory Brain Attack gets released early on Google Play


b_500_274_16777215_0___images_stories_news_legohero_Lego-Hero-Factory-Brain-Attack--Android-Game.jpg

LEGO Hero Factory Brain Attack was actually supposed to see a release in January next year as a result of a partnership between LEGO and Amuzo Games, but it has made its way a few days early (not that we’d be complaining anyway) onto Google Play for free for everyone to enjoy.

The game is pretty much your standard twin-stick top-down shooter; though this time it features characters from LEGO’s Hero Factory line. It makes use of a wave-based level system, where surviving one wave leads to a more difficult wave of “evil army brains”. It has got impressive graphics, and you get to pick a sidekick to help you defend Makuhero City.

b_215_200_16777215_0___images_stories_news_legohero_Lego_Hero_Factory_Brain_Attack__Android_Game_1.jpgb_215_200_16777215_0___images_stories_news_legohero_Lego_Hero_Factory_Brain_Attack__Android_Game_2.jpg

LEGO Hero Factory Brain Attack’s features:

- Defend Makuhero City and stop the waves of brains attacking the Hero Factory
- Customize your hero with fantastic weapons and armor
- Select Furno, Bulk, Breeze or Rocka to fight as your sidekick
- Earn game points to upgrade your firepower and defenses

I played through a few of the initial levels and the game feels good. For now, the game is totally free, and there are no in-app purchases so upgrades can only be purchased by sweating it out. In the future though, additional points can be earned by purchasing physical Hero Factory products, and chances are IAPs will make their way too.

The game currently only has one location, but a further three are planned to be released as the year progresses. On their Play Store page, the devs make it clear by stating the game “will be updated throughout 2013 with lots of additional content”. The first update is not too long away – it is slated to come at the end of the coming January.

Google Play Link: LEGO Hero Factory Brain Attack

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Himmat Singh

Himmat has never been a PC or console gaming enthusiast, but now he is completely enthralled by what he sees (and will be seeing) on tablets and mobile devices. If he is not on his PC or tablet, he is probably eating or sleeping. Well, not quite. He also loves watching sporting programs (F1, football, badminton), and plays them regularly as well. Himmat also spends a lot of time reading on tech, sports and local politics. Currently 18, having finished his A-Levels and his next step in life is pursuing a degree in Actuarial Science

Article source: http://www.droidgamers.com/index.php/game-news/android-game-news/5226-lego-hero-factory-brain-attack-gets-released-early-on-google-play

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25 Dec 12 First five Nexus 7 apps to download – Pocket


So you’ve ripped open the wrapping paper and flipped the lid on your brand new Nexus 7. You turn it on, only to stare at the vast emptiness that is the Android home screen.

Soon this void will be filled with all the wonderous apps that Google Play has to offer, but which to download first. Read on to find out the first five apps you’ll want on your Nexus 7.

Flipboard

An exciting twist on the traditional methods of interacting with social media is Flipboard. One sign-in from each and then social networks like Facebook and Twitter will be turned into an entirely personalised digital magazine.

The real joy of Flipboard is in its design, which looks especially plush on the Nexus 7′s 720p screen. Each network and status update is laid out differently, with images and video being cleverly interwoven into Flipboard’s UI. Flipboard review / Download it here

Sky Go

Only recently did Sky Go get Nexus 7 compatibility and it still doesn’t function on many other Android devices, so count yourself lucky if you are a Nexus 7 owner. The app allows you to watch your Sky subscription as well as on-demand content on your Nexus 7.

It costs around £15 a month for non-Sky TV customers and free for customers. The portability of the Nexus 7, coupled with access to your Sky account, can make for a very handy second-screen experience. Sky Go review / Download it here

Horn

Inside the Nexus 7 is a powerful quad core Tegra 3 processor. This means the tablet can run the very best of mobile games. Horn is one of them. Boasting stunning graphics and an in-depth console-rivalling style of gameplay. It is the gaming app to enjoy on your new tablet.

Horn is $6.99 (£5.07), making it one of the more expensive apps on Google Play, but when you realise the scale of the title, it should become clear you have got your money’s worth. Horn review / Download it here

TuneIn Radio

This app might be slightly long in the tooth, but it certainly isn’t showing its age. TuneIn Radio is one of the best ways to listen to music on your Nexus 7 for free.

The app is like a DAB radio but in app form. It accesses a large database of digital radio stations, including those of the BBC and then lets you stream them to your device. A clever browser lets you do things like search by genre and a Pro version allows you to record whatever you want to your Nexus 7. Download it here

Amazon Kindle

The Nexus 7 is an ideal eReader. As with just about any mobile platform or device, there is a Kindle app capable of running on it.

The Kindle app on Nexus 7 grants you access to more than 1 million titles, making for more than enough reading material to satisfy even the busiest of reader. The app is also capable of reading other things like PDFs, making it handy for work. Kindle review / Download it here

Article source: http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/48812/first-five-nexus-7-apps

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