Fears That Malware is Preloaded on Phones

Security experts have raised fears that some popular Android smartphones have malware preloaded on them.

The warning comes from Check Point who say that RottenSys is disguised as a tool to help users manage their wifi connections.

They say the ‘aggressive’ type of malware has infected nearly five million devices.

The malware asks for sensitive permissions and has entered devices from the supplier chain.

The phones infected have been made by Samsung, Honor, Huawei and Vivo, among others.

Checkpoint says that RottenSys is an aggressive ad network which has, over a 10-day period, created 13.2 million impressions and nearly 550,000 clicks.

NHS staff disciplined for using apps

It has been revealed that NHS staff have been disciplined because they have been relying on various apps to communicate with other staff members and also patients.

Among the apps being used include Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Apparently, around one in 50 of the NHS personnel who have been disciplined have been for issues including confidentiality threats and malicious uses.

However, around 43% of NHS staff say they rely on instant messaging apps while at work.

In a report, the staff are using consumer apps to communicate and for those staff aged between 18 and 24, the usage of apps to communicate was greatest.

Those who admitted to using communication apps said they did so because the NHS channels provided were unsatisfactory and patient care has not suffered.

One in four Americans are ‘online constantly’

Research has revealed that more than a quarter of Americans admit to being almost ‘constantly online’.

The Pew Research Center says numbers have risen since 2015 by 4%.

However, internet habits are affected by age, race and income level and only 11% of Americans say they never go online.

Of those going online most often, their use of apps is a major attraction, say researchers.

Co-op rolls out payment app technology

While tech giants have grabbed the headlines for making paying for groceries easier, for instance Amazon Go’s checkoutless stores, the Co-op has unveiled its own plans.

The six largest supermarket in the UK has launched its Pay in Aisle technology.

The app will enable customers to pay for purchases on their phone without needing to visit the till. The app utilises MasterCard’s secure digital payments platform.

It’s currently under trial in Manchester with a roll-out starting in the summer.

In other mobile phone app news …

It’s likely to be one of the biggest games apps of the year, and Fortnite will, this week, go live on smartphones after its maker Epic Games began sending out invites to players.

The next step for Australia’s Department of Defence after they barred staff from using Chinese-made smartphones is to ban them from using the WeChat app. The move follows a warning to the US Senate Intelligence Committee, from the FBI, over issues of firms that are run by, or are close to, foreign governments.

A security flaw on Facebook Messenger enables fraudsters to exploit the opportunity to impersonate users of the app to target friends and family. While it is possible to use Messenger with just a mobile phone number, users cannot report another person for impersonating them on Facebook and must sign up and do so via their profile. Facebook says it is aware of the issue and is looking to fix it.

A day of silence was ordered in the Indonesian city of Bali where social media was shut down for a day of silence to mark New Year. Phone companies agreed with the request, for the first time, to turn off the island’s mobile internet connection.

Venmo says Millennials are increasingly signing up to their app because they want to watch their money more carefully after experiencing a recession.

A row has broken out in Leeds after it was revealed that motorists are forced to pay more to park if they use an app for doing so. Motorists say they are unhappy given there aren’t enough cash machines available.

Flaw in WhatsApp Security Revealed

A security flaw in WhatsApp could enable a hacker to spy on a private group chat, warn researchers.

The vulnerability means that anyone with access to WhatsApp servers can join a private group or insert someone without the chatroom administrator’s permission.

The findings from researchers at Ruhr University in Germany point out that sensitive conversations including those by women MPs at Westminster discussing sexual harassment could be infiltrated by an outsider.

Also, once a hacker accesses a group they then have the phone number of each group member and will automatically share secret keys and have access to all future messages.

The researchers say that for any users who are looking for absolute privacy in their group chat should sign up with encrypted app Signal or restrict their WhatsApp use to simply sending private messages.

The researchers also called on WhatsApp to introduce a new authentication mechanism for any new invitations to a group.

Mobile app growth is slowing down

Researchers at Flurry say that the growth in global mobile apps is slowing down even though smartphone users are still spending more than five hours every day using their device.

Now the firm says that apps need to build-in daily usage habits in a bid to boost growth.

Flurry has now measured app activity growth and found that in 2016, the number of sessions grew by just 6%. In 2015, growth was 11%.

They have tracked more than 1 million apps across more than 2.6 billion devices for their study.

Also, there are big changes in how people use apps; for shopping, use grew by 54% as consumers continue to move their spending online with media, music and entertainment coming a close second with 43% growth.

The steepest decline was seen by lifestyle apps which fell by 40%. Gaming also fell again with a decline measured at 15%.

‘Open Banking’ sparks security fears

New rules imposed from 13 January mean a revolution is about to hit the finance world.

That’s when we will get more power over the data that banks hold about us.

The aim is to boost competition and help us save more money.

However, industry experts say that the growing use of banking apps is creating a big security concern with crooks able to carry out more bank transfer scams.

The rules have been introduced by the European Union so banks and building societies must now allow developers of web and mobile phone apps to plug into the user’s current account data if the customer gives them permission.

Flashlight apps hit by malware

Researchers have revealed that malicious adware has infected more than 22 flashlight apps which have been downloaded between 1.5 and 7.5 million times.

The malware has been tagged as ‘LightsOut’ and will generate ad revenue secretly for its developers.

The malware will bombard constantly the phone’s user with pop-up ads that must be clicked before they can use their device.

The apps are found on Google’s Play Store and after they have been launched, the app hides its icon on the main screen so it is more difficult to find and then uninstall the app.

Child-friendly apps hide malware

Researchers say they have found more than 60 child-friendly apps that are hiding malware designed to rob mobile phone users or display pornography.

The apps are available from Google Play Store and, security firm CheckPoint says, the apps have child friendly themes including ‘Fidget spinner for Minecraft’. They’ve called the malware AdultSwine and Google now says it has removed the apps from Play.

In other mobile phone app news …

Some of Apple’s biggest investors are calling on the firm to limit how long children can use apps and its smartphones. The call has been welcomed by academics who say that imposing restrictions will help youngsters.

Russian smartphone users are being warned over malware that will access their banking text messages to enable criminals to intercept bank security codes. They can then use the codes to access and reset bank account passwords and empty the bank account itself. The malware is dubbed as ‘FakeBank’.

App Helps Avoid Shopping Queues

A supermarket has unveiled a new app that will enable its customer to scan and pay for their goods on their mobile phones as they make their way around the store.

The money is deducted directly from their credit card or bank account.

Sainsbury says its trial could make queues a thing of the past as customers scan their goods as they put them in their basket.

While it’s still early stages, the app is being tested by the supermarket in a London branch where shoppers buying the £3 lunchtime meal deal can use the app to pay.

Sainsbury’s says feedback has been positive so far though they do not know when the scheme will be eventually rolled out to its other stores.

Investors warned over mobile share trading apps

Cyber security experts are warning that some of the most popular mobile phone apps for trading shares are open to attack from hackers.

IOActive Labs says that criminals could steal money, trade shares and also check the customer’s net worth.

Indeed, the firm has checked 21 of the most popular stock trading apps and say they are worse than the personal banking apps tested by them four years ago.

A spokesman said: “There is better mobile app security when checking bank balances and paying our gas bill than found in trading apps that transfer billions and help shape the financial markets.”

Among the issues found in the apps, two exposed passwords in clear text while two in three of the apps stored sensitive data including account balances and investment strategies in an unencrypted form.

Twitter unveils lightweight mobile app

Twitter has joined the trend to slim down its mobile app for those regions where data may be slow.

The social media platform has confirmed it is testing a lightweight version in the Philippines where limited data and slower mobile phone networks make the standard app impractical.

The firm says the app focuses on Twitter’s core functions without the data chewing media abilities.

While Twitter says its move towards a light app is an experiment, they refuse to reveal whether it will be available in other countries but they have now joined Google and Facebook who are targeting similar regions with their own slimmed down mobile apps.

iPhone X face recognition restriction

Those buying the new iPhone X have been warned by Apple that children should not be using its facial recognition technology.

They say that the faces of children under the age of 13 are too similar to each other and are unable to protect the phone from intruders.

The system, called FaceID, will unlock the phone and enable access to apps and also verify payments.

Now Apple says, in a security paper it has published, that children’s faces are still developing and siblings could unlock the phone.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

Indian mobile phone users are being warned of the dangers of fake ‘Blue Whale’ apps masking malware that will attack their phone. The country is in the grip of Blue Whale, a social media game challenge, mania currently.

Police in Shanghai are using a mobile phone app to deal with food delivery employees committing traffic violations in the Chinese city. Every food outlet must now install the app for their couriers so police can track activities and record on the app the latest violation.

Electric carmaker Tesla has boosted its mobile application in its latest update offering and the app will now open the Model 3’s boot directly from the phone. The app also enables users to unlock and lock the car and also start the engine.

Android phone users are complaining that the latest Android 8.0 Oreo update has led to apps crashing unexpectedly on the firm’s Pixel and Nexus devices.

A security company in Russian has unveiled a smartphone that will prevent apps on it from collecting personal data. The Taiga phone from InfoWatch prevents apps from tracking user activities including work-related emails, photographs and documents. It also prevents an app from sending the user’s data to the creator.

UK ‘glued to their smartphones’

The level of mobile device adoption is reaching new heights as the UK’s public is increasingly ‘glued to smartphones’, say researchers.

The findings from Deloitte revealed that 53% of those aged between 16 and 75 are using their smartphones while they are walking – though for the 16 to 24 age group, this rises to 74%.

It’s a worry that 11% say they use their smartphones while crossing roads and again the proportion is higher for 16 to 24-year-olds where 21% say they do this. Apparently, this could mean that 4.5 million people regularly cross a road while using their phone.

Users are also using their smartphones to watch video content in ever increasing numbers which may put demands on networks to deliver the infrastructure to meet higher video consumption.

A spokesman for the firm said: “The first 10 years have been about changing our social lives and the next 10 could be about changing our working lives.

“The attractiveness for smartphones lies in the fact it’s a multipurpose consumer device with a set of tools that is millions of apps deep.”

Android app users face unexpected bills

Malware that has infected millions of Android devices has led to big bills being run up for unsuspecting victims.

According to Check Point Software, the malware dubbed as ‘Expensive Wall’, will send a fraudulent text message to a fake fee-based service without the permission or knowledge of the user.

Researchers say this particular malware has now been downloaded more than 4 million times before Google removed the apps in August.

Most of the malware was found in the Android app Lovely Wallpaper.

However, researchers say that the variants of the malware has now been downloaded between 6 million and 21 million times.

A spokesman for Checkpoint said: “The users of these apps are still at risk and should remove them manually from their devices.”

Alert issued on Red Alert

Meanwhile, Android users are being warned about malware called Red Alert which will steal their credentials.

The trojan has targeted more than 60 social networking and banking apps so far.

SyfLabs warns that the malware will also take over text messaging functions and can block calls coming from financial associations and banks.

Researchers also warn that the malware has been written from scratch and is not evolved from older trojans.

UK shoppers want better apps

Researchers have revealed that most people in the UK are increasingly selective about sharing their data with well-known brands.

By doing so, they expect the brand to better personalise offers and make their experience of the brand including interactions, much better.

The research from Mindshare reveals that mobile phones are becoming increasingly important to retailers and 37% of people use their tablet or phone to research a product while they are in a store.

The findings also reveal that 60% of shoppers want retail brands to improve their apps and technology to benefit their customer experience.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

Mobile phone apps have been praised by attendees at the International Coastal Clean-up conference where thousands of volunteers use apps to coordinate efforts to clean America’s coasts every year.

Industry watchers say that in early October Google will unveil a new platform called Andromeda which will merge its ChromeOS and Android platforms.

Consumers in the UK say they are unhappy with their communication experiences, including the use of apps, despite businesses saying they communicate effectively. The findings reveal 42% of those questioned say communication is ‘poor or terrible’ and it is difficult to communicate with a business and not enough of them recognise the impact of the communications experience on revenue and their brand.

Apps Infected with Malware to Kill Smartphones

Millions of apps have been downloaded that contain malware that can kill a smartphone.

The warning comes from security firm Checkpoint which says the HummingWhale malware is hidden inside 20 apps for Android phones which have been downloaded millions of times by unsuspecting users.

The new malware is a variant of HummingGad but is more sophisticated – the app can even write fake reviews in a bid to entice people to download apps containing it.

Once the software has been implemented on a device, it will target adverts against the user’s will, including illegal material.

However, experts are also warning that HummingWhale could kill a smartphone by overloaded it with lots of dodgy apps to prevent it from operating properly.

Meanwhile, users of Netflix apps are being urged to check they are not using a fake app since the unofficial apps can record conversations and take photos secretly.

Testing begins on Android Instant Apps

Google has revealed that testing has started on its Android Instant Apps with the aim of developing and delivering a richer user experience and better search conversion.

The apps will run virtually on the firm’s data centres but only work with Android 6.0 and above.

They can also be run on a user’s phone without them having to install the app which should lead to big cost savings in a firm’s marketing spend.

The big attraction for firms will be a better user experience and a higher conversion rate of customers.

Essentially, a user could search for flight information on Google from their mobile device and select the link from the search results and then, without them realising it, be engaged in an app user experience without needing to download the app to do so to complete a transaction.

Chinese ‘digital envelopes’ take off

Over the Chinese New Year, millions of well-wishers will follow a tradition of giving cash-filled red envelopes to those they love.

However, offering these envelopes in the digital fashion is now taking off with millions of people using apps that utilise social messaging services.

Indeed, last year, the numbers using digital red envelopes rocketed by 10 times to 32 billion envelopes from 516 million people.

This year, it is predicted that 100 billion digital envelopes will be sent by well-wishers from around the world.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

Apple has announced that its voice-recognition function, Siri, will be installed for apps on its Apple Watch.

Some say there’s no money in apps but start-up Button has just received £16 million in funding. The app connects its users to leading brands to earn cash and makes it easier for apps to integrate with others.

Two in five people in the UK say hands-free kits for mobile phones should be banned while behind the wheel of a car. The Department for Transport survey also reveals that 40% say that all mobile phone should be banned while driving.

Chinese authorities have revealed a crackdown on ‘snatching apps’ which are aimed at stealing tickets, particularly for travel, from a user’s mobile phone.

App developers need to be aware that the Android Nougat 7.0 update has been halted after more issues. The latest has seen Sony Xperia users having poor performance issues as have Samsung S7 users.

Millions of Android Phones Hit by Malware

A major malware infection of Android phones could affect 10 million smartphone users as the mobile phone app creates fake clicks for adverts.

The warning comes from security researchers who say the malware is secretly installing apps and then spying on the phone user’s browsing habits.

The malware is currently generating around £230,000 a month for its creators.

However, most of the compromised smartphones are in China with other uses in India, Indonesia and the Philippines also affected.

The malware has been detected by two security firms who have each given the software different names; Checkpoint calls it ‘Hummingbad’ while Lookout calls it ‘Shedun’.

One security firm is warning that even with a factory reset the malware can remain in effect since it uses root privileges for installing extra mobile apps onto the user’s device.

Google says that it is constantly evolving its systems to help detect and block potential installations of infected apps and the latest Android update is said to tackle more than 100 vulnerabilities in its operating system.

Pokemon Go might be malware in disguise

A new malware is disguising itself as Pokemon Go to enable hackers to have full access to a mobile phone, researchers have revealed.

The smartphone game from Nintendo is currently very popular and allows users to collect Pokemon based on their location.

However, researchers have found a remote access kit is being bundled with the software which is currently at the top of the App Store charts in America but is unavailable currently in Europe.

This demand has led to a growing numbers of users installing non-official versions of the mobile phone app and this opens the door to a malware infection. Nintendo is warning that installing apps from other sources that are not officially vetted is ‘not advisable’.

The death of mobile news apps is predicted

The chief executive of Purple says that mobile phone news apps ‘are dying’ while texting ‘is the future’.

Purple text users everyday with information on news concerning science, technology and politics and also other messaging bots.

Rebecca Harris said: “App overload is an issue in general and it’s difficult to get someone to discover and then habitually use an app.”

Mobile phone app offers free beer as an incentive

A Czech beer firm has unveiled an app for over 18 users that will pinpoint the nearest outlet for its beers and as an incentive for using it, users can claim two free pints every month.

The Kozel Pint Finder is available now.

Cyclists get app to help in a crash

A new mobile phone app aimed at cyclists will detect whether the rider has been involved in a crash and automatically call a support centre to report it.

The Grdian app has just been launched and it utilises the smart phone sensors to help detect whether an emergency has occurred, for example a crash.

The phone will then dial automatically a 24/7 support centre and switch the speakerphone on.

The founder of the app, Simon Drinkall, said the app’s algorithm has been developed to monitor the cyclist’s energy and not their speed so there is constant monitoring for crash detection. Once the app makes a connection to the support centre, an operator will speak with the cyclist to determine whether they need emergency assistance and call for an ambulance if need be.

The mobile phone app also utilises the smart phone’s GPS to help pinpoint where the cyclist has had their accident.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news…

Indian phone users helped the numbers of mobile phone apps being downloaded every day rise by 16% in the first six months of this year. Apparently, the most popular apps being downloaded are for entertainment and social media.

The CNN news app for the Windows phone is being retired. Industry experts say the app probably has very few users but are expecting a Windows 10 news app to be announced in the coming months.

The next Apple iOS update will have a new app to enable users in America to donate their organs by joining a registry to enable the donation to take place after their death.

Google Play Rankings Boost & Chinese App Malware

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Video Transcript:

Google Play Rankings Boost & Chinese App Malware | MTX32


Gonna talk about Chinese malware and your Android device.

All right.

There’s a million devices in China and India infected with this hummingbird and it’s partly created by a legitimate company in China called Yingmob.

Guess what it does?

It’s related to app store optimizations.

Cyber criminals they get money by admin access and generates add revenue through bulk installs and clicks on ads.


It’s not just China and India, it’s also in the US, I think.

A quarter of all devices?

So, you want to make sure you’ve kind of got this if you get an Android.

Download AVG or some malware scanner.

Okay, so, that’s this week’s video.

Just very interesting to see where Boost installs come from.

Don’t forget to click like.

Oh, subscribe.

See you next week.

ES Transcription:

Google Play Rankings Boost & Chinese App Malware | MTX32


Les voy a hablar sobre malware Chino y sus dispositivos Android.


Hay un millón de dispositivos en China e India infectados con este colibrí parcialmente creado por una compañia legitima en China llamada Yingmob.

Adivina que hace?

Está relacionada a la optimización de apps.

Los cyber-criminales obtienen dinero a traves de permisos administrativos y generan ingresos por publicidad a traves de instalaciones en masa y clicks en publicidad.


No solo en China e India, en los EE.UU tambien, creo.

Un cuarto de todos los dispositivos?

Entonces, quieres asegurarte de entender esto si te compras un Android

Descarga AVG o algún escaner de malware.

Okay, so, ese es el video de esta semana.

Es muy interesante saber de donde vienen las instalaciones Boost.

No olviden darle Like.

Oh, suscribanse.

Los veo la próxima semana.