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8 Popular Android Apps Caught Up In Million-Dollar Ad Fraud Scheme

8 Popular Android Apps Caught Up In Million-Dollar Ad Fraud Scheme

November 27, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Cheetah Mobile —a prominent Chinese app company, known for its popular utility apps like Clean Master and Battery Doctor—and one of its subsidiary Kika Tech have allegedly been caught up in an Android ad fraud scheme that stole millions of dollars from advertisers. According to app analytics firm Kochava , 7 Android apps developed by Cheetah Mobile and 1 from Kika Tech with a total 2 billion downloads on Google Play Store have been accused of falsely claiming the credits for driving the installation of new apps in order to claim a fee or bounty. Many mobile application developers generate revenue by promoting and recommending the installation of other apps inside their apps for a fee or a bounty that typically ranges from $0.50 to $3.00. To know which advertisement recommended the app and should get the credit, the newly installed app does a "lookback" immediately after it is opened for the first time to see from where the last click was originated and attribute the
New Android API Lets Developers Push Updates Within their Apps

New Android API Lets Developers Push Updates Within their Apps

November 08, 2018Mohit Kumar
You might have read somewhere online today that Google is granting Android app developers powers to forcefully install app updates…but it is not true. Instead, the tech giant is providing a new feature that will help users to have up-to-date Android apps all the time and yes, it's optional. Along with the launch of a number of new tools and features at its Android Dev Summit 2018 , Google has also launched the a new API, called "In-app Updates," which aims to help developers ensure that users are running the latest and greatest version of their app. "We've heard that you'd like more controls to ensure that users are running the latest and greatest version of your app. To address this, we're launching an In-app Updates API," Google said . How Does Android's New In-app Updates API Work? It should be noted that the Android's new In-app Updates API doesn't force or lock out users from the app if they chose not to update it. In
Flaws in Pre-Installed Apps Expose Millions of Android Devices to Hackers

Flaws in Pre-Installed Apps Expose Millions of Android Devices to Hackers

August 13, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Bought a new Android phone? What if I say your brand new smartphone can be hacked remotely? Nearly all Android phones come with useless applications pre-installed by manufacturers or carriers, usually called bloatware, and there's nothing you can do if any of them has a backdoor built-in—even if you're careful about avoiding sketchy apps. That's exactly what security researchers from mobile security firm Kryptowire demonstrated at the DEF CON security conference on Friday. Researchers disclosed details of 47 different vulnerabilities deep inside the firmware and default apps (pre-installed and mostly non-removable) of 25 Android handsets that could allow hackers to spy on users and factory reset their devices, putting millions of Android devices at risk of hacking. At least 11 of those vulnerable smartphones are manufactured by companies including Asus, ZTE, LG, and the Essential Phone, and being distributed by US carriers like Verizon and AT&T. Other majo
Thousands of Mobile Apps Expose Their Unprotected Firebase Hosted Databases

Thousands of Mobile Apps Expose Their Unprotected Firebase Hosted Databases

June 21, 2018Mohit Kumar
Mobile security researchers have discovered unprotected Firebase databases of thousands of iOS and Android mobile applications that are exposing over 100 million data records, including plain text passwords, user IDs, location, and in some cases, financial records such as banking and cryptocurrency transactions. Google’s Firebase service is one of the most popular back-end development platforms for mobile and web applications that offers developers a cloud-based database, which stores data in JSON format and synced it in the real-time with all connected clients. Researchers from mobile security firm Appthority discovered that many app developers' fail to properly secure their back-end Firebase endpoints with firewalls and authentication, leaving hundreds of gigabytes of sensitive data of their customers publicly accessible to anyone. Since Firebase offers app developers an API server, as shown below, to access their databases hosted with the service, attackers can gain acce
What is Strictly Enforced Verified Boot in Android 7.0 Nougat?

What is Strictly Enforced Verified Boot in Android 7.0 Nougat?

July 20, 2016Swati Khandelwal
As far as security is concerned, Google is going very strict with the newest version of its mobile operating system. Until now, Google has not done more than just alerting you of the potential threats when your Android device runs the check as part of the boot process. Android Marshmallow 6.0 does nothing more than just warning you that your device has been compromised, though it continues to let your device boot up. 1. Android Nougat 7.0 Getting Strictly Enforced 'Verified Boot' In Android Nougat , Google has taken the security of its Android operating system to the next level by strictly enforcing verified boot on devices. Among multiple layers of security protection, Android uses verified boot - since Android version 4.4 KitKat - that improves its device's security by using cryptographic integrity checking to detect if your device has been tampered with. Now, Android Nougat will strictly enforce the boot check, giving you far more than just a warning.
Google may adopt Apple's Swift Programming Language for Android

Google may adopt Apple's Swift Programming Language for Android

April 08, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Almost two years back, Apple introduced Swift programming language at its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) to the developers who build software applications for Apple devices. Swift was designed to make it easier for developers to create apps for Apple's mobile platform. Usually developers write complete app code and then compile it to see output, but Swift helps them see results in real time instantly while writing code. Now, reports have been emerged that the search engine giant is also considering making Swift programming language a "first class" language choice for programmers making apps for its Android platform. In between an ongoing legal battle with Oracle over Android, Google is planning to bring Swift into the Android platform with at least two major third-party developers — Facebook and Uber, reports The Next Web. Around the time when Apple officially made Swift an open source language, executives from Google, Facebook and Uber attended a m
Google Play Store increases Android APK Size Limit from 50MB to 100MB

Google Play Store increases Android APK Size Limit from 50MB to 100MB

September 30, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Google is doubling the maximum APK file size on the Play Store from 50 MB to 100 MB . That means... Android app developers can now build higher quality Apps and Games that users love. Of course, for an end user it may affect the overall app performance and installation time, as well as mobile data connectivity. Google Wants Developers to Create Richer Apps By increasing file size limit from 50 MB to 100 MB, Google wants to encourage developers for creating richer apps and games , as well as help avoid the need for downloading additional files after the initial APK download. There are two primary purposes of setting a cap for APKs. The limit ensures: Developers write code efficiently and keep an eye on the overall size of their app Users don't have to wait too long to download an app or game from the Play Store However,  Expansion Files are still there to help developers build apps that exceed the 100MB barrier , but the aim to increase the base lim
Facebook Messenger Platform Launches at F8 Developer Conference

Facebook Messenger Platform Launches at F8 Developer Conference

March 26, 2015Mohit Kumar
Yesterday at its annual F8 Developer Conference in San Francisco, Facebook officially turned its Messenger app into a Platform. Facebook's Messenger Platform allows third-party app developers to integrate their apps with Facebook messenger app. However, other popular messaging apps are already offering similar features, like Chinese WeChat, but Facebook release is much bigger than any other platform. At F8 Developer Conference, Facebook released SDK v4.0 for iOS and Android along with Graph API v2.3 that enable app developers to add new messenger platform features to their custom apps quickly. Facebook users can install these compatible third-party apps from the messenger app, which offers users to send animated GIFs, images, videos, and more content within the Facebook Messenger app easily. BOON FOR BOTH FACEBOOK AND THIRD PARTY DEVELOPERS Facebook Messenger Platform will offer third party app developers to reach out Facebook’s 600 Millions of users. So, the move will be a
Google Now Manually Reviews Play Store Android App Submissions

Google Now Manually Reviews Play Store Android App Submissions

March 18, 2015Mohit Kumar
Google has changed the way it managed apps on the Google Play Store . After years of depending on the automated app check process, the company just made some changes to its Play Store policies  that will successfully weed out malicious and undesirable apps from Google Play store. Google has introduced an update for developers and users that's sure to make some parents happy and some developers sad. The new features are — Better App Review Process Age-Based Rating System BETTER APP REVIEW PROCESS The search engine giant announced on Tuesday that it has started employing humans to review apps before they go live on the Google Play Store , a move intended to " better protect the community " and " improve the app catalog ." The new approach would definitely affect app developers, as they'll have to wait for their apps to be approved by Google after they submit them to the Play Store. But, it would keep users safe from harmful malware or offensive content.
DroidStealth — Android Encryption Tool with Stealth Capabilities

DroidStealth — Android Encryption Tool with Stealth Capabilities

February 14, 2015Swati Khandelwal
We all have Internet-connected smartphones in our pockets, but it’s very hard to find a place on Internet to feel secure and private. No doubt, there is data Encryption on cell phones, but what’s the use if it is cracked by hackers or law enforcement? What if the encrypted files don’t exist in the first place for law enforcement to decrypt it? That’s the motive behind DroidStealth , a new Android encryption tool that not only protects sensitive data with obfuscation, but ​also hides its existence on your phone as if it has nothing to hide. DroidStealth Android app has been developed by security researchers from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and would come as a windfall to both the privacy lovers and the cyber criminals. STEALTH LOGIN MECHANISM DroidStealth Android encryption tool creates a hidden folder in your phone in which it stores your all encrypted files. The app itself can be opened by simply dialing a phone number of any length which is
Koler Android Ransomware Learns to Spread via SMS

Koler Android Ransomware Learns to Spread via SMS

October 25, 2014Mohit Kumar
Users of Android operating system are warned of a new variant of Android malware Koler that spreads itself via text message and holds the victim’s infected mobile phone hostage until a ransom is paid. Researchers observed the Koler Android ransomware Trojan , at the very first time, in May when the Trojan was distributed through certain pornographic websites under the guise of legitimate apps. It locks the victim’s mobile screen and then demands money from users with fake notifications from law enforcement agencies accusing users of viewing and storing child pornography. ANDROID SMS WORM Recently, researchers from mobile security firm AdaptiveMobile has discovered a new variant of the rare piece of mobile malware – named Worm.Koler – that allows the malware to spread via text message spam and attempts to trick users into opening a shortened bit.ly URL, turning Koler into an SMS worm. Once the device is infected by the Koler variant, it will first send an SMS mess
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