Earlier this year when Path came under fire for uploading the entire contents of users mobile address books (contacts) to their private servers, it launched a myriad of individual lawsuits. This week we’re hearing that 13 of those plaintiffs are seeking to build a class against a group of well known apps.
The new class action suit alleges that billions of contacts from the wireless address books of millions of wireless mobile users were stolen without their knowledge or permission. The lawsuit alleges that these actions took place in “homes, coffee shops, restaurants, bars, stores, and businesses all across the nation,” which turned the victim’s address books into, “mobile radio beacons broadcasting and publicly exposing the unsuspecting device owner’s address book data to the world.”
Internet and mobile security giant recently performed a very interesting test. They spread out 50 smartphones in major cities like New York, DC and LA, just to name a few. They strategically placed these smartphones in public, high traffic areas, for the purpose of being found.
Symantec wanted to see how honest the general public was when finding a smartphone. Remember, your smartphone may have only cost $200-$300 but on an American subsidy you may have a $600-$800 smartphone. Not only that but as Kim Titus from NQ Mobile reminds us, a smartphone is a mini computer that’s an extension of your life. In most cases your smartphone holds more personal information on it than your computer ever did.
With all that in mind Symantec went on a journey and placed the “lost” smartphones in shopping malls, tourist attractions and obvious spots on the streets of San Francisco and New York. The results were not good…
All but two of the phones were accessed by the person who found the phone. This may only be a natural reaction and perhaps the finder just wanted to contact the owner.
Yesterday we brought you the story that was breaking across the internet in regards to Android phones allowing access to your photos from apps. You can see the whole story here, but the jist of it is that like computers, your photos are stored locally on your “hard drive” and of course apps could access them.
Google said that they are considering a future update to Android that would require permission for apps to access your photos online. While you’re waiting these apps could help protect your photos.
The U.S. National Security Agency in Fort Meade Maryland has created an Android phone that some NSA officials believe is capable of handling top-secret conversations. This is great news for Google’s operating system, which some thought was to “open” for enterprise let alone one of the most clandestine government agencies.
The Android phone was developed to handle the most stringent of NSA protocols, using only commercial components. Margaret Salter, a spokeswoman for the agency, told Secure Business Intelligence, that:
“The plan was to buy commercial components, layer them together and get a secure solution… It uses solely commercial infrastructure to protect classified data.”
TechCrunch is running a story today about a new malware that’s affecting Android users. After Google put “bouncer” in place in the Android market to patrol for malware, this new enemy has let himself in the side door via Facebook.
The malware, which has disguised itself as “any_name.apk” and “allnew.apk” was discovered by the security firm Sophos. Researcher Vanja Svajcer, who discovered the exploit, received a Facebook friend request. When Svajcer went to check out the users profile he clicked the Facebook users “about me” url link and downloaded this piece of malware to his Android phone.
Two weeks ago the Android world was up and arms with a report that over 5 million Android devices were infected with some kind of Malware. The Malware we thought was infecting our Android phones was called Counterclank.
As it turns out Counterclank is just an aggressive advertising network, but not actually Malware. The folks at NQ Mobile clarified that to thedroidguy directly:
The app is not considered malware because it uses a legitimate SDK enabled techniques used by a number of other applications and is, at some level, agreed to by the end user. The controversial part is that in this instance it is behaving in an a way that is aggressive and may not be intended by the end user. As a result, it may lead to reduced customer satisfaction and/or annoyance.
In regards to “Counterclank” or more precisely, the underlying “Apperhand” SDK embedded in the app, did not perform any malicious behavior, such as trojan horses, bots, or rootkits. But it did aggressively push ads or even updated the browser’s bookmarks, but such update is “approved” by the user when the app is being installed.
Note that malware is a generic term that broadly represents existing malicious software which is introduced to a device without the user’s knowledge. We have seen many kinds of malware, such as Trojan horse, virus, worm, bot, and rootkit. With the adoption of new technology, the malware threat will continue to evolve. In the mobile space, it will reflect new methods or ways mobile malware uses to infect vulnerable devices or propagate itself.
At NQ Mobile, our scientists and engineers are actively monitoring any new mobile threats and will continue detect these and protect subscribers from new threats.
When Carrier IQ was first exposed by Geek.com’s Russell Holly it sparked a whirlwind of information and debate even at congressional levels. Key members of congress like Senator Al Franken and Congressman Edward Markey, both wanted to hear from Carrier IQ in regards to protecting citizens privacy.
The debate over Carrier IQ sparked a new bill being introduced now in the House of Representatives called the “Mobile Device Privacy Act”. The bill would call for all of the U.S. mobile carriers to properly inform customers whenever tracking software, like Carrier IQ, is installed on a mobile phone, regardless of how they are tracking the consumer.
The online world did a double take when it was announced that Megaupload had been shut down by the US government, and frontman Kim DotCom was taken into custody in New Zealand. The hacktivist group, Anonymous, went after multiple sites in retaliation to the megaupload take down and as a post protest to SOPA’s blackout day.
Megaupload was shut down and it was alleged that Dotcom and his coherts made off with hundreds of millions of dollars at the expense of recording artsits, movie stars, Hollywood and other creators of content. The funny part about that is a number of those allegedly affected had appeared in ads and in support of megaupload in their years of doing business.
If you were lucky enough to be in the stands in Miami or catch a telecast of the Miami Heat’s 92-85 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this week than you would have caught NQ Mobile’s advertising on the sidelines.
Pictured above NQ Mobile, the largest mobile security provider in the world, with over 122 million users, has recruited some big guns as of late. Former Samsung CTO/CSO Omar Khan and former Samsung Director of Public Relations are now spearheading efforts at NQ Mobile to educate consumers about mobile security and privacy threats and the comprehensive suite of Security tools offered in NQ Mobile’s 6.0 software.
And on a side note we learned in an interview with Khan yesterday, despite the fact that he lives in Dallas (Mavericks), used to work at Motorola (Bulls) and was educated at MIT (Celtics), Khan is a die hard Miami Heat fan.
You can download NQ Mobile here and catch their ad when the Heat play at home!
The hacktivist group Anonymous is back at it again. They’re all riled up right now because of SOPA, PIPA and Kim Dotcom (Mega Upload). Anonymous is looking to bring as much attention as possible to the rights that Americans can loose if laws like SOPA and PIPA are passed. They’re also bringing to light the fact that businesses like Mega Upload can be shut down with or without SOPA or PIPA.
SOPA and PIPA have been temporarily halted. Of course Congress can reintroduce the legislation under another guise or try for SOPA and PIPA later when the undercurrent and murmur dies down but it’s not likely.
While most sites are reporting that Anonymous has taken down a laundry list of websites in response to the federal indictment of megaupload that is only half the story. We are hearing from some of the anonymous sources that brought us great stories a few months back, that part of the attack was coordinated in response to SOPA, remember SOPA blackout day was yesterday.
The federal government unsealed an indictment in eastern Virginia today as it was served against megaupload.com and their top executives. As the day went on more and more music industry and government related sites went down.
After we published this story we had heard and confirmed that fbi.gov was down, and now whitehouse.gov is down as well.
Anonymous is a group of hacktivist that has heavy handedly responded to social problems involving the internet by shutting down offending sites.
Megaupload was shut down by the federal government early on Thursday. Soon afterwards the hacktivist group Anonymous took responsibility for the take down of both the Department of Justice, RIAA, MPAA and Universal Music Group websites.
“It was in retaliation for Megaupload, as was the concurrent attack on Justice.org,” Anonymous operative Barrett Brown told website rt.com on Thursday afternoon.
After the takedown of the RIAA, MPAA, Universal Music Group and Department Of Justice, Anonymous still wasn’t down. As the day went on the government’s copyright website at copyright.gov went down and 30 minutes later BMI, one of the major licensing and royalty websites fell as well.
It seems that this coordinated attack of websites may have been planned for the day after SOPA blackout day and that megaupload was just the icing on the cake, leading to one of the biggest hacker take down days in history.
Big things are about to happen for NQ Mobile. NQ Mobile is one of the world’s leading providers of consumer centric mobile security software in the world. They currently boast over 120 million worldwide subscribers.
NQ Mobile just recently added Kim Titus, former PR Director for Samsung Mobile as their head of communications. To top that off, Omar Khan, former Chief Strategy Officer at Samsung Mobile, has joined the China based company as Co-CEO.
Titus and Khan are in the process of setting up a North American headquarters in Dallas Texas and have a road map of big things coming our way. At CES though, we got a chance to talk to Titus and get a walk through of the NQ Mobile software product.