Android and openness is something we talk about all the time, but the recent developments in the industry point towards inherent flaws with this very premise. Be it from bloggers, political institutions or corporations, Android is seemingly not open enough. The “War on Openness” is ironically becoming an open war, where many players are increasing their stakes and scope to try and land a bigger hold - or at the very least, restrict Google’s - on what is the world’s...
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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Smartphone cameras have advanced so tremendously over the past few years that they have almost completely replaced point and shoot digital cameras for the most of us. Furthermore, since our smartphones are always with us, the majority of us end up taking tons of photos throughout the lifespan of our devices. But what happens to all the old photos you take? Do you store them on an external hard-drive or keep them backed up to an online cloud service like Flickr? Let us know what your favorite way of storing old photos is and why.
Before the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop, the Holo Design guidelines served as the official reference for Android design, right from IceCream Sandwich to KitKat. However, updates to the guidelines were few and far between, leading to a lack of synchronization between Android design and current UI/UX trends. Google seems to have learned from their mistake the last time around, and earlier this week, a significant update was released for the Material Design guidelines, marking the second revision in less...