Could Android be safe from a WannaCry-like attack

The WannaCry cyberattack has ensnared more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries by taking advantage of outdated versions of Windows that never got Microsoft’s crucial security patches. Millions of devices that are stuck on older versions of an operating system and don’t have access to the latest updates.

Image result for ransomware on mobileOnly 7.1 percent of its 1 billion users are on Nougat, better known as Android 7.0, the latest version of the mobile operating system. Nearly a third run on Android KitKat or older — versions that came out more than three years ago.

“Over time, the more that Android versions age out, you’re going to have an increasing attack surface for bad guys,” said Josh Feinblum, vice president of information security at Rapid7.

There are key differences between Windows and Android that keep the mobile operating system safe from WannaCry’s clutches. Even with so many different flavors of Android, including versions tweaked by phone makers like Samsung or LG, it’s unlikely that users are in for a wide-scale attack.

While Android isn’t susceptible to WannaCry, it could be open to other attacks, including closed-off ransomware incidents.

But for now, the WannaCry ransomware — a cyber shakedown in which hackers lock your computer and demand money to fix it — is solely a problem found on Windows. Read more

Innovation and tech disruption potential for Africa

A new study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo estimates “large and robust negative effects of robots on employment and wages” in the United States.

Image result for mobile in africa

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The study appears to contradict the authors’ 2016 study, which concluded that a rise in automation lowers the cost of production using labor, “and thus discourages further automation and encourages the faster creation of new complex tasks.”

But in an attempt to calm public anxiety over technological disruption among those often derided as technophobes, Satyajit Das argues that the world economy has reached “peak technology”. He suggests that 85% of the economic benefits of technology has already been reaching and is projected to reach 95% by 2038.

Read more from Professor Calestous Juma

How to remove Android virus from your phone

[Image: Android pop-up virus]The most common Android malicious apps will do at least one of the following:

  • Collect and send GPS coordinates, contact lists, e-mail addresses etc. to third parties
  • Send SMSs to premium-rate numbers
  • Subscribe infected phones to premium services
  • Record phone conversations and send them to attackers
  • Take control over the infected phone
  • Download other malware onto infected phones
  • “Push notifications ads” delivering alerts to a phone’s notification bar – when the user swipes to pull down the notification bar from the top of the screen, an ad shows up under Notifications.
  • “Icon ads” inserted onto a phone’s start screen – when the user touches the icon, it usually launches a search engine or a web service.
  • STEP 1: Uninstall the malicious apps from Android

    Android phone will get infected with viruses from a malicious app that is installed on the smartphones. In this first step, we will try to identify and uninstall any malicious app that might be installed on your Android phone.

    1. To uninstall the malicious app from your Android device, go to the Settings menu, then click on Apps or Application manager (this may differ depending on your device).
    2. This will bring up a list of installed apps, including the malicious app. If you cannot find the malicious app, we advise you to uninstall all the recently installed applications.
    3. Touch the app you’d like to uninstall.This won’t start the app, but will open up the program’s App Info screen. If the app is currently running press the Force stop button. Next we will clear the cache and data, and we will uninstall the unwanted app.
      1. First tap on the Clear cache button to remove the cache.
      2. Next, tap on the  Clear data button to remove the app data from your Android phone.
      3. And finally tap on the Uninstall button to remove the malicious app.
    4. A confirmation dialog should be displayed for the malicious app, click on “OK” to remove the malicious app from your Android phone.
    5. Restart your Android device.
  • STEP 2: Scan your device with Zemana Mobile Antivirus

    In this step, we will scan your Android phone for malware with Zemana Mobile Antivirus application. Zemana Mobile Antivirus is a free anti-malware application which will help us detect if any malicious app or file is installed on your device.

  • STEP 3: Clean-up the junk files from Android with Ccleaner

    In this step we will clean the cache of your device with the Ccleaner application. CCleaner is a free app, which will help us clean up your device from junk files.

    1. You can download Ccleaner from the below link:
      CCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download Ccleaner)
    2. Click on the “Install” button, and when the app permissions will be displayed click on “Accept” to install Ccleaner on your device.
  • (OPTIONAL) STEP 4: Reset your router to the factory settings

    In recent attacks, cyber criminals are infecting the router to redirect the Android devices to different websites. Resetting the router to the default settings will remove the malicious redirects, however you will need to reconfigure all the settings.

    When you reset your router the following settings are changed:

    • Router username and password
    • Wi-Fi username and password
    • ISP username and password
    • Any port-forwards you have set up
    • Any firewall settings you have made
    • Basically, any configuration changes that you have made to your router.

Android malware has a new variant called FalseGuide

Mirror Online has reported an eye-watering number of gamers have been tricked into downloading game guides on their Android devices.

android falseguide news malwareAnd these guides contains dangerous malware which spreads through Android smartphones. The malware, dubbed FalseGuide, was hidden in more than 40 “guide apps” for mobile games. Games affected include Pokemon Go and FIFA, on the Google Play app store.

While Google has been pushing monthly security updates, manufacturers like Samsung unfortunately often delay on pushing these updates to customers. The result? According to Google, half of Android devices did not receive security updates in 2016. That’s particularly problematic when malware like FalseGuide shows up, as it gives that malware an opportunity to take advantage of more unprotected phones.

“FalseGuide creates a silent botnet out of the infected devices for adware purposes. A botnet is a group of devices controlled by hackers without the knowledge of their owners,” says Check Point in a blog post. “The bots are used for various reasons based on the distributed computing capabilities of all the devices.”

Issues arise when the apps are downloaded, after which they’ll request administrator permissions, which can then be used against the owner of the phone. For now, it appears as though those permissions allow the app to deliver “illegitimate pop-up ads out of context,” but they could also be used to instigate DDoS attacks.

The malware was first discovered a few days ago, and appeared in a hefty 44 game guide apps. Those apps were since removed, but another five apps with the malicious code were then discovered. Scarily enough, some of these apps were uploaded as early as November 2016 — so they stayed on the Google Play Store for around 5 months before being taken down. As far as users impacted by the malware, Check Point estimates between 500,000 to 1.8 million users. Thankfully, of the 49 infected apps, 28 of them were downloaded less than 10 times and seven of them were apparently never downloaded.