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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Android privacy

Android 11 — 5 New Security and Privacy Features You Need to Know

Android 11 — 5 New Security and Privacy Features You Need to Know

September 18, 2020Anchit Sharma
After a long wait and months of beta testing, Google last week finally released Android 11 , the latest version of the Android mobile operating system—with features offering billions of its users more control over their data security and privacy. Android security is always a hot topic and almost always for the wrong reason, including Google's failure to prevent malicious apps from being distributed through the Play Store, over-claim of permissions by apps, and privacy leakages. Though most of such issues can be avoided as long as users take advantage of already available features and a little common sense, most users are still not aware of or following basic security practices. According to Google's latest announcement, the latest Android 11 OS includes a few new built-in measures designed to keep users' data secure by default, increase transparency, and offer better control. Instead of diving deep into smaller or more extensive changes, we have summarized some critica
Google and Apple Plan to Turn Phones into COVID-19 Contact-Tracking Devices

Google and Apple Plan to Turn Phones into COVID-19 Contact-Tracking Devices

April 10, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Tech giants Apple and Google have joined forces to develop an interoperable contact-tracing tool that will help individuals determine if they have come in contact with someone infected with COVID-19. As part of this new initiative, the companies are expected to release an API that public agencies can integrate into their apps. The next iteration will be a built-in system-level platform that uses Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons to allow for contact tracing on an opt-in basis. The APIs are expected to be available mid-May for Android and iOS, with the broader contact tracing system set to roll out "in the coming months." "Privacy, transparency, and consent are of utmost importance in this effort, and we look forward to building this functionality in consultation with interested stakeholders," the companies said. The rare collaboration comes as governments worldwide are increasingly turning to technology such as phone tracking and facial recognition to
Hackers Can Manipulate Media Files You Receive Via WhatsApp and Telegram

Hackers Can Manipulate Media Files You Receive Via WhatsApp and Telegram

July 16, 2019Mohit Kumar
If you think that the media files you receive on your end-to-end encrypted secure messaging apps can not be tampered with, you need to think again. Security researchers at Symantec yesterday demonstrated multiple interesting attack scenarios against WhatsApp and Telegram Android apps, which could allow malicious actors to spread fake news or scam users into sending payments to wrong accounts. Dubbed " Media File Jacking ," the attack leverages an already known fact that any app installed on a device can access and rewrite files saved in the external storage, including files saved by other apps installed on the same device. WhatsApp and Telegram allow users to choose if they want to save all incoming multimedia files on internal or external storage of their device. However, WhatsApp for Android by default automatically stores media files in the external storage, while Telegram for Android uses internal storage to store users files that are not accessible to any othe
Android Q — Google Adds New Mobile Security and Privacy Features

Android Q — Google Adds New Mobile Security and Privacy Features

March 19, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Google has recently released the first beta version of Android Q, the next upcoming version of Google's popular mobile operating system, with a lot of new privacy improvements and other security enhancements. Android Q, where Q has not yet been named, offers more control over installed apps, their access, and permissions, and location settings; more support for passive authentication like face ID, and warnings when you install a new app targeting Android Marshmallow or older. Instead of directly going through dozens of different pages Google published about Android Q, here I have summarized all new privacy and security features of the new version of Android you can quickly learn from: 1) Stop Android Apps From Tracking Your Location in the Background Android Q gives you more control over how an app can use your device location information. Currently, you have a single option to either allow or deny an app access to your device location, doesn't matter if it is in-use
Android P to Block Apps From Monitoring Device Network Activity

Android P to Block Apps From Monitoring Device Network Activity

May 07, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Do you know that any app you have installed on your Android phone can monitor the network activities—even without asking for any sensitive permission—to detect when other apps on your phone are connecting to the Internet? Obviously, they cant see the content of the network traffic, but can easily find to which server you are connecting to, all without your knowledge. Knowing what apps you often use, which could be a competing or a financial app, "shady" or "malicious" app can abuse this information in various ways to breach your privacy. But it seems like Google has planned to address this serious privacy issue with the release of its next flagship mobile operating system. With Android P, any app will no longer be able to detect when other apps on your Android device are connecting to the Internet, according to the new code changes in Android Open Source Project (AOSP) first noticed by XDA Developers. "A new commit has appeared in the Android Open S
Google Collects Android Location Data Even When Location Service Is Disabled

Google Collects Android Location Data Even When Location Service Is Disabled

November 21, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Do you own an Android smartphone? If yes, then you are one of those billions of users whose smartphone is secretly gathering location data and sending it back to Google. Google has been caught collecting location data on every Android device owner since the beginning of this year (that's for the past 11 months)—even when location services are entirely disabled, according to an investigation conducted by Quartz. This location-sharing practice doesn't want your Android smartphone to use any app, or turn on location services, or even have a SIM card inserted. All it wants is to have your Android device to be connected to the Internet. The investigation revealed that Android smartphones have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers, and this data could be used for " Cell Tower Triangulation "—a technique widely used to identify the location of a phone/device using data from three or more nearby cell towers. Each time your Android device come
8 Best Android Apps To Improve Privacy and Security

8 Best Android Apps To Improve Privacy and Security

April 30, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Just to have a good anti-virus protection app in your smartphone doesn't mean a complete Security. As Mobile Device Security is comprised of security of different features, such as: Data privacy and security features Permission restrictions for snoopy apps A blacklist for undesired calls An excellent backup capability, in case your smartphone gets deteriorated. As well as encryption functionality. Google's Android is a very flexible mobile operating system that can fulfill all these mobile device security challenges if you select the right security applications from Google Play Store. No doubt, Google Play Store has an abundance of suitable options, and it's quite difficult for you to select the ones that meet all your expectations. So, I decided to help you by making a short list of the best mobile device security applications that I always carry in my Android smartphone. Here are the best security apps you must have in your Android smartphone; have a look
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