Google Play faces cat-and-mouse game with Android malware

What’s the best way to avoid Android malware? Downloading all your apps from the Google Play store — where software is vetted – is perhaps the best advice.  

But that doesn’t mean Google Play is perfect.

Security researchers do find new Android malware lurking on Google’s official app store. That’s because hackers are coming up with sneaky ways to infiltrate the platform, despite the vetting processes that protect it.

“Eventually, every wall can be breached,” said Daniel Padon, a researcher at mobile security provider Check Point.

To be sure, most Android users will probably never encounter malware on the Google Play store. Last year, the amount of malicious software that reached the platform amounted to only 0.16 percent of all apps, according to a new report from Google.

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FBI director floats international framework on encrypted data access

FBI director James Comey has suggested that an international agreement between governments could ease fears about IT products with government-mandated backdoors, but privacy advocates are doubtful.

Speaking on Thursday, Comey suggested that the U.S. might work with other countries on a “framework” for creating legal access to encrypted tech devices.

“I could imagine a community of nations committed to the rule of law developing a set of norms, a framework, for when government access is appropriate,” he said on Thursday.

Comey made his comments at the University of Texas at Austin, when trying to address a key concern facing U.S. tech firms in the encryption debate: the fear that providing government access to their products might dampen their business abroad.

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Snowden’s ex-boss offers advice on stopping insider threats

Steven Bay, a former defense contractor, knows a thing or two about insider threats. For a brief period, he was the boss of Edward Snowden, the famous leaker who stole sensitive files from the U.S. National Security Agency.
Recalling the day he lea…

Google cites progress in Android security, but patching issues linger

The chances of your encountering malware on your Android phone is incredibly small, according to Google.By the end of last year, less than 0.71 percent of Android devices had installed a “potentially harmful application,” such as spyware, a Trojan, …

UK follows U.S. ban of electronic devices in cabins on some flights

The U.K. is joining the U.S. in its ban restricting passengers from bringing some electronic devices onto flights from the Middle East.

Phones, laptops, and tablets that are larger than 16 cm (6.3 inches) in length and wider than 9.3 cm will no longer be allowed in the cabin on select flights coming from several Middle Eastern countries, the U.K.’s department of transportation said on Tuesday. 

The U.K. said it was in “close contact” with the U.S. since the country announced its own ban on Monday.  However, the U.K. made no mention of any specific risk, only that it faces “evolving” terrorism threats. 

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Russia will strike U.S. elections again, FBI warns

Future U.S. elections may very well face more Russian attempts to interfere with the outcome, the FBI and the National Security Agency warned on Monday.

“They’ll be back,” said FBI director James Comey. “They’ll be back in 2020. They may be back in 2018.”

Comey made the comment during a congressional hearing on Russia’s suspected efforts to meddle with last year’s presidential election. Allegedly, cyberspies from the country hacked several high-profile Democratic groups and people, in an effort to tilt the outcome in President Donald Trump’s favor.

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Minn. police seek data on who Googled a victim’s name

Local police in Minnesota are trying to solve a bank fraud scheme by demanding Google give up data on people who looked up key search terms that may be related to crime.
The warrant, issued to police in the city of Edina last month, is raising eyeb…

Yahoo breach shows the drawbacks of state-sponsored hacking

When governments turn to private hackers to carry out state-sponsored attacks, as the FBI alleges Russia did in the 2014 breach of Yahoo, they’re taking a big risk.On the one hand, it gives them a bit of plausible deniability while reaping the poten…

U.S. faces limits in busting Russian agents over Yahoo breach

In a rare move, the U.S. has indicted two Russian government agents for their suspected involvement in a massive Yahoo data breach. But what now?

Security experts say Wednesday’s indictment might amount to nothing more than naming and shaming Russia. That’s because no one expects the Kremlin to play along with the U.S. indictment.

“I can’t imagine the Russian government is going to hand over the two FSB officers,” said Jeremiah Grossman, chief of security strategy at SentinelOne.

“Even in the most successful investigations, state hackers are still immune from prosecution or retaliation,” said Kenneth Geers, a research scientist at security firm Comodo.

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Crime ring turned to Amazon and eBay to sell stolen printer ink

Apparently, big bucks can be made selling stolen printer ink cartridges online.

A dozen suspects are accused of pulling in more than US$12 million by selling the stolen cartridges and retail electronics on Amazon and eBay, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Wednesday.

Sixty-four-year-old Richard Rimbaugh allegedly led the operation for more than 20 years by recruiting people to steal the goods from retail stores across 28 states.

Rimbaugh and his “theft crews” allegedly went out each week to steal new merchandise, which also included computer software, Schneiderman said.

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