Category Archives: Google

Google is the leader on the Internet. The world's best-known search engine has many security search programs.

An umpteenth class action against Google

The Mountain View firm, like its GAFA peers (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) will never stop making a name for themselves when it comes to the issue of privacy breaches and internet tracking.

Earlier this week, in the U.S. state of California, a large collective was filed against the digital giant. This does not change other times, because this time the complainants accuse it of monitoring users of Google services, in all their online activity, and even when they are browsing privately.

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An accusation that does not change habit. Whether it's Facebook, or Google, the main problem they're accused of is exactly their huge curiosity, their mania for wanting to know at all costs what their users are doing when they're connected to the internet.

The indiscretion of Google services could be even deeper than we think, if we refer to the content of the complaint filed against the American company. It accuses Google of using its services illegally, in order to monitor their habits and all the actions they carry out on the internet. This is without the prior consent of the targeted individuals. Complaints that do not previous against the giant. Services indexed in the complaint include Google Ad manager, Google analytics, Google Sign In, as well as several plug-ins and other app extensions. These are services that are used by nearly 70% of website content publishers, and on the other hand the Android operating system (present on nearly 80% of smartphones) which works almost 80% with its services. In this context, Google would be able not only to know what the user is looking for, but also what they have already been looking for, and all this with exceptional accuracy coupled with the IP address. A fairly intrusive Google tracking that would be active even when the user is in private browsing mode.

Collective action highlights an essential point that for some time has become more than a rule: the requirement of informed and prior consent of the user. It is said that the Mountain View firm does not meet this requirement. And as we know, websites have no obligation to reveal the data that is collected by Google when browsing the user except their own. The plaintiffs then demand financial compensation from the American giant of up to $5,000 or a fine equivalent to 3 times that amount per person as damages. The motivation for a requirement would be Google's conviction for non-compliance with privacy.

All holders of Android rotating devices that once opened a web page through Google services are invited to join the collective action. The invitation is also to anyone:

– Having a Google account,

– Who lives in the United States

– Who would have used Google services several times, whether in normal navigation or private browsing.

It is therefore possible to make an assessment to the tune of several million people, the potential interested in this collective action.

If this time it was in California, it should be noted that last week, in Arizona, a similar complaint was still filed against Google. On this side, too, the American giant is accused of abusing its position and services, in order to track users, without first obtaining their consent. He adds that Google's operating system, android, was designed to monitor users of compatible smartphones, both in terms of their movement and geographic location. This is despite the user deactivate location services.

Complaints about the U.S. giant are not limited to the United States. In the United Kingdom and Australia, several other complaints were registered. It should not be forgotten that last year, precisely in September, the Mountain View firm was fined $170 million after being convicted of collecting personal data belonging to children as a result of their activity on YouTube.

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The wallpaper image that makes Android bugger

There is an image, which is capable of crashing your smartphone running Android, simply if you place it in the background.

This unusual phenomenon has been the talk of the town since the beginning of the week. This phenomenon is part of a series of flaws that are being discovered more and more, which causes as much frustration as real dangers. Because once caught in the trap of this image, the user is forced to see his smartphone restart in a loop, until he resets it.

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We remember that on the iPhone, simple emojis could crash the phone or even sending a simple message via Apple's messaging app, was likely to open a passage to the data stored on the phone's memory. In our case, for Google's operating system, Android, this time, we will have to deal with a simple image in the background. Despite the complexity of information systems, such simple but surprising problems continue to appear.

The problematic image here was discovered by IceUniverse, a news site specializing in news related to the Korean giant Samsung. "Never define this image as a wallpaper, especially for Samsung mobile phone users! This will crash your phone! Don't try! If someone sends you this photo, please ignore it." He could read on his Twitter account.

He warned the entire Android community via this tweet not to use the image in question. This is because of its ability to circumstantially render the smartphone unusable once it is in the background. And worse. The phone doesn't just crash, it starts to restart in a loop, all by itself. The user will have no choice but to completely reset the user to be able to use it again.

Moreover, after some tests conducted on different smartphones, it has been shown that not all mobile phones on Android are affected by this bug. According to the Android Authority website, the Huawei mate 20 pro, withstood the bug while the Google pixel 2 was indeed planted on the side of the specialized site 9To5Google.

Size accuracy: the image in question only crashes the mobile phone when it is programmed in the background. This implies that when it is in the gallery, transmitted or opened by other applications, it poses no problem on the operation of the smartphone.

The cause of this bug has been identified by the website 9To5Google. According to the latter, the problem is due to the way Google's operating system manages color spaces. Indeed, according to its basic configuration, Android is set up to display the images in the background using the RGB color space. This is not the case for this image that uses the RGB space. The consequence and therefore obvious, the operating system has difficulty displaying correctly in the image, which causes the various restart the screen. This explains why some phone brands are immune to this problem. Because according to this color management, the different smartphones running on Android may or may not crash. A problem that will surely be easy to fix via an update. Especially with Android 11, the flaw will be well solved. Because one is made the pixel 4XL android 11 has not suffered the problem common to all others running Android 10.

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Mandrake: the Android malware that stays active in the shadows

For several years, this malware that infects only devices running Android has remained very discreet.

In this way it has managed to contaminate tens of thousands of smartphones around the world. In terms of functionality, it has nothing to envy the more sophisticated because fulfilling virtually the same roles as a certain part of malware of this kind.

This article will also interest you: 12,000 android apps potentially screwed up

What is known about this malware is that it was used in a hacking and espionage campaign carried out in a very sophisticated and thorough manner. It then allowed cyber criminals using Mandrake to take control of several terminals remotely and very discreetly. This malware allows its users to not only access the contents of the targeted devices, but also to take control of them. This will then facilitate the theft of information such as login credentials, recording screen activity, or spying on the GPS position of the main smartphone user. The cybercriminal can do all this by being as discreet as possible. This is what has marked the effectiveness of this program over the years.

This software has been laid bare by the IT security specialists of BitDefender, a European company specializing in the provision of security solutions, and one of the leaders in this field. BitDefender researchers detailed in a document published on the website all the capabilities of the Mandrake malware. According to the latter, this software has been in operation since 2016. There had been previous descriptions from several researchers of its use on Australian targets. But for some time now, the whole world has been affected by this program.

Bitdefender's Research Director Bogdan Botezatu comments on this software: "Mandrake's ultimate goal is total control of the device, as well as account compromise. It's one of the most powerful Android malware we've seen so far." At this time, experts studying the evolution of this program have not been able to accurately determine the extent of the computer campaigns initiated based on it. However, they know that the latter does not spread through corrupted emails. It would appear that these users specifically target people, and determine a special way to infect them. Once this is done, they then proceed to collect information. "We estimate the number of casualties at tens of thousands for the current wave, and probably hundreds of thousands for the entire four-year period," BitDefender noted.

In addition, the program has a special feature. Indeed, once the work of gathering information and spying on cybercriminals is completed, they can erase it from the corrupted device, thanks to a switch on the software. So as to erase all their trace at the same time. This is why users of this program have been hidden for a long time. Not to mention the fact that they have managed to develop several applications featuring this program and even make them available from the PlayStore. The researchers even meant that applications of this kind were designed specifically for specific countries.

To fool users' vigilance, software known to house Mandrake was partly ad-free, and often received regular security updates. They even managed to escape the control of Google Play Protect. And this is thanks to a very well-orchestrated process. First when the application is installed on the smartphone, it does not contain the malware. It is only after it is installed that it connects to the server to load all the capabilities necessary to make Mandrake work properly. "The malware works in stages, the first step being a harmless application without malicious behavior, other than the ability to download and install a payload at the second stage when specifically requested. It is safe to say that its operator will not trigger this malicious behavior when it operates in Google's analytics environment," says Botezatu.

According to BitDefender specialists, mandrake's hacking companions are still ongoing. The software once installed does not fail to require several additional permissions: "What seems to be a simple process, such as entering into an end-user license agreement and accepting it, actually results behind the scenes in requesting and granting extremely powerful permissions. With these permissions, the malware gains full control of the device and the data it contains," Botezatu noted.

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12,000 potentially screwed-up Android apps

According to a recent study, Google's PlayStore has been infiltrated by several malware, infecting more than 12,000 applications.

These applications would contain backdoors that allow hackers to access users' terminals.

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Despite Google's security system, Play Protect, the system to protect and control apps hosted on the PlayStore as well as users of potential malware via the same apps, sometimes some applications get through the cracks. But this is probably better, or better to limit yourself to the PlayStore than to download applications on unofficial sites. As the applications offered outside the Google store, is out of service official store presents a great risk to the security of your terminal

Following a joint study conducted by 3 universities, two American and German institutions, on more than 100,000 applications, all very popular on Google's PlayStore but on top of that, about 20,000 more on other legal download platforms or those preinstalled by manufacturers on their smartphones. According to Zdnet, to conduct their studies, "Researchers have developed a special tool to analyze the form fields of more than 150,000 applications. ». The researchers concluded after their studies that: "The evaluation revealed a worrying situation. We've identified 12,706 apps containing a variety of backdoors such as secret access keys, administrator passwords and secret commands." In this way, the identified backdoor would allow individuals to take certain actions to the detriment of users.This could be theft of sensitive data or espionage, where the installation of malware for other illegal purposes.

And that's not all, the researchers will also notify this fact: "By manually examining several mobile applications, we discovered that a popular remote control application (10 million installations) contains a primary password that can unlock access even if the phone owner locks it remotely in case of loss of the device."

After the study, the researchers said they had contacted the publishers of these applications to expose the flaws discovered. If he has not yet received a return from them, he claims to have informed them. Google for its part has not yet made a statement on this subject, but if there is a problem, its reaction will not be long.

In terms of pre-installed applications, this issue has already been raised several times. Some NGOs have even asked Google to have more control over its operating system in this regard. Because applications are increasingly dedicated to exposing users and infringing on their privacy. But the issue is still turning and so far no action has been taken against or good this direction.

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Billions of people using Android devices are exposed to computer attacks

Following a report by a consumer-oriented media outlet called Which, the number of people exposed to security breaches and computer attacks using different types of Android devices is reaching one billion.

This article will also interest you: Android more secure than iOS?

And this may be partly because they still use a version of Android that is no longer supported by the American giant. And that's a lot according to an analysis by Google, the world of devices that runs under versions of Android that are no longer supported can be valued at more than 2.5 billion. The problem is that this number is not just about older devices. But also some newer devices are part of this lot. We are talking about more than 40% of Android devices in circulation today.

On google's side, it was mentioned that the support of the older versions is beautiful and well topical but limit only to certain years. Referring to Which's report, versions that Google continues to support among older versions are those that predate Android Nougat 7.0), i.e. the versions released in 2016. So we remember that Android 9. 0 magpie has only been installed only 10.4 percent of Android devices. As a result, people who own the devices running under its old versions are easily exposed to different types of computer attacks including: "data theft, ransom demands and other software attacks malicious, "because, as we know, they no longer receive patches of security to fill vulnerabilities.

Currently the only solution to address this problem is of course to use a device operating under the recent models of Android, i.e. abandoning its old terminal to take advantage of the security that the new ones offer. what unfortunately is not to everyone's taste, as Kate Bevan describes it, a computer specialist at Which. For the latter, the digital giants such as Apple or Google need to be more transparent on this kind of issue in particular that of the length of media machines: "The government must also advance the legislation to ensure that manufacturers are much more transparent about the stakes security updates for smart devices – and their impact on smart devices consumers," she noted.

Therefore, for all people who use versions of Android 7 or below, it is recommended to exercise caution. Since the device is no longer really protected, it is clear that it will be necessary to limit downloads of the application, and especially Play Store and known applications. Moreover users of this version of Android will also have to pay attention to the links on which they are tempted to click. It only takes one simple step and the risk of infection is automatically 100 percent. Finally, back up your data on the cloud and try to have a good antivirus. If the protection is not absolute, at least the risks will be reduced by 80%.

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