Mike Szczys · Jun 4, 2013 at 05:30 am

Sound-Triggered Malware Could Rickroll Rooms Full of Infected Androids

How do you know if your handset is infected with malware? You might not be able to tell until after it’s triggered. And this particular trigger method is very interesting. You know how Google Now listens for you to say the word “Google” to initiate a voice search? Malware might know the same trick. An infected device could be just waiting to hear the right thing before taking action.

This white paper (PDF) from a group of student researchers envisions an “annoyance attack” in a movie theater. Infected phones may be waiting for sound from one of the movie trailers, at which point they would take themselves off of silent mode and start ringing. But the traditional tricks used by malware, like botnet initiated denial of service attacks, still ring true.

If you’re not excited about reading research papers, take a look at the article Darlene Storm published on the subject. She references some examples of real-world malware apps and the mayhem they caused.  In this research case, the thing to focus on is the trigger mechanism. The authors point out that security measures are getting better all the time, making it harder for malicious software to phone home or receive commands from a central server without being detected. By using the array of sensors on a modern smartphone, they can be activated in a multitude of different ways—audio, video (camera or light sensor), vibration, or magnetic—without raising the hackles of the security apps. Of course, the answer is to make sure the malware doesn’t make it onto your device in the first place.


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Emil Kako · Mar 1, 2015 at 04:12 pm · no comments

Samsung Galaxy S6 VS HTC One M9: Which Do You Prefer?

After months of anticipation, both the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 have finally been unveiled. Now that we have all seen both of the devices in all their glory, many of us have some decisions to make. Which of the two beasts do you prefer: the Galaxy S6 or the One M9? Let us know which device you plan on buying and why!

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Mario Tomás Serrafero · Mar 1, 2015 at 04:04 pm · 1 comment

Samsung Unpacked Coverage: All About the S6

Samsung's Unpacked Event has now come and gone through Mobile World Congress 2015, and we've got a good look at what could be the most advanced phone of the year thus far. The event started shortly after its scheduled time at 12:30PM today and the only devices shown were the Galaxy S6 and its Edge variant, both of which pack an impressive amount of features, spectacular internals and an all-new beautiful design. The show began with a quiet voice whispering to...

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Chris Gilliam · Mar 1, 2015 at 03:59 pm · 1 comment

Samsung Galaxy S6 Cameras

Each year, smartphone makers attempt to one-up each other in features and specs, but time and again these improvements feel incremental rather than revolutionary. Samsung hopes to break this trend with a new hardware and software design philosophy, and press details of the new-and-improved cameras shared by the S6 and S6 Edge show that they are off to a great start. Once you get past the curved displays and wraparound Gorilla Glass 4, the most striking feature on these slabs is the...

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