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The Hacker News — Cyber Security and Hacking News Website: Google Android

Google Makes it Tough for Rogue App Developers Get Back on Android Play Store

Google Makes it Tough for Rogue App Developers Get Back on Android Play Store

April 16, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Even after Google's security oversight over its already-huge Android ecosystem has evolved over the years, malware apps still keep coming back to Google Play Store. Sometimes just reposting an already detected malware app from a newly created Play Store account, or using other developers' existing accounts, is enough for 'bad-faith' developers to trick the Play Store into distributing unsafe apps to Android users. Since the mobile device platform is growing rapidly, every new effort Google makes apparently comes with trade-offs. For example, Google recently made some changes in its Play Store policies and added new restriction in Android APIs that now makes it mandatory for every new app to undergo rigorous security testing and review process before appearing in the Google Play Store. These efforts also include: restricting developers from abusing Android accessibility services, restricting apps access to certain permissions like call logs and SMS permi
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
Google Makes 2 Years of Android Security Updates Mandatory for Device Makers

Google Makes 2 Years of Android Security Updates Mandatory for Device Makers

October 25, 2018Mohit Kumar
When it comes to security updates, Android is a real mess. Even after Google timely rolls out security patches for its Android platform, a major part of the Android ecosystem remains exposed to hackers because device manufacturers do not deliver patches regularly and on a timely basis to their customers. To deal with this issue, Google at its I/O Developer Conference May 2018 revealed the company's plan to update its OEM agreements that would require Android device manufacturers to roll out at least security updates regularly. Now, a leaked, unverified copy of a new contract between Google and OEMs obtained by The Verge reveals some terms of the agreement that device manufacturers have to comply with or otherwise they have to lose their Google certification for upcoming Android devices. Google's New Terms for Android Security Updates According to the leaked contract, Android OEMs will now be required to regularly roll out security updates for popular devices—lau
From Now On, Only Default Android Apps Can Access Call Log and SMS Data

From Now On, Only Default Android Apps Can Access Call Log and SMS Data

October 09, 2018Mohit Kumar
A few hours ago the company announced its "non-shocking" plans to shut down Google+ social media network following a "shocking" data breach incident. Now to prevent abuse and potential leakage of sensitive data to third-party app developers, Google has made several significant changes giving users more control over what type of data they choose to share with each app. The changes are part of Google's Project Strobe —a "root-and-branch" review of third-party developers access to Google account and Android device data and of its idea around apps' data access. Restricted Call Log and SMS Permissions for Apps Google announced some new changes to the way permissions are approved for Android apps to prevent abuse and potential leakage of sensitive call and text log data by third-party developers. While the apps are only supposed to request permission those are required for functioning properly, any Android app can ask permission to access y
Google Solves Update Issue for Android Apps Installed from Unknown Sources

Google Solves Update Issue for Android Apps Installed from Unknown Sources

June 21, 2018Swati Khandelwal
If you are wondering how to receive latest updates for an Android app—installed via a 3rd party source or peer-to-peer app sharing—directly from Google Play Store. For security reasons, until now apps installed from third-party sources cannot be updated automatically over-the-air, as Google does not recognize them as Play Store apps and they do not show up in your Google account app list as well. Late last year, Google announced its plan to set up an automated mechanism to verify the authenticity of an app by adding a small amount of security metadata on top of each Android application package (in the APK Signing Block) distributed by its Play Store. This metadata is like a digital signature that would help your Android device to verify if the origin of an app you have installed from a third-party source is a Play Store app and have not been tempered, for example, a virus is not attached to it. From early 2018, Google has already started implementing this mechanism, which doesn
Google Silently Adds 'Panic Detection Mode" to Android 7.1 – How It's Useful

Google Silently Adds 'Panic Detection Mode" to Android 7.1 – How It's Useful

July 11, 2017Wang Wei
How often do you click the 'back' or the ‘Home’ button on your mobile device to exit an application immediately? I believe, several times in a single day because a large number of apps do not have an exit button to directly force-close them instead of going back and back and back until they exit. Sometimes Android users expect the back button to take them back to the back page, but sometimes they really want to exit the app immediately. Often this has severe usability implications when a majority of users are already dealing with their low-performance mobile devices and believe that clicking back button multiple times would kill the app and save memory, but it doesn't. Google has now addressed this issue and silently included a feature within Android 7.1 Nougat that allows users to exit from apps by pressing the 'back' key successively within 0.3 seconds for over four times. Dubbed " Panic Detection Mode ," the feature runs in the background o
Android Beats Windows to Become World's Most Popular Operating System

Android Beats Windows to Become World's Most Popular Operating System

April 03, 2017Wang Wei
It's an impressive milestone for Google — For the first time in decades, Android has been crowned as the world's most popular operating system in terms of Internet usage, knocking Microsoft Windows off the top spot. According to a new report from web traffic analytics firm StatCounter, Google's Android is the most popular operating system worldwide in terms of total internet usage across desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile combined. Looking at overall internet usage, Android represented 37.93 percent of the global OS Internet usage market share in March, while Windows accounted for 37.91 percent. Although Windows is still not far behind, Android taking the lead is being described by StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen as a "milestone in technology history." This achievement is due to the fact that mobile devices are used to connect to the Internet far more frequently than desktops and laptops, and people are spending more time on smartphones surfing the Inter
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