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Beware! This Android Malware is Stealing Passwords

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Google recently boasted about the success of its efforts to protect Google Play Store and Android devices last year mostly using advanced machine learning technology. That, however, doesn’t cover apps acquired outside of the Play Store and the phones that install those. Sometimes, Android’s own open nature sometimes works against it because of that, as the case of this FluBot malware that’s spreading rapidly like a real virus, spreading to people in your phone’s address book to steal their passwords.

The way the malware works isn’t exactly that sophisticated and relies on good old-fashioned social engineering. Victims receive a text message claiming to be from popular courier service, like DHL or Amazon. The message includes a link that it recommends people tap on to track their package.

As most would have probably guessed, that link opens up a web page that instead downloads an Android APK and asks users to install it. By default, Android doesn’t allow installing from unverified, third-party sources but the site is kind enough to provide instructions on how to change that. Once a phone has been infected, it reportedly steals passwords, online bank details, and other sensitive information stored on the phone.

Like the flu, this FluBot malware also looks into your phone’s address book to send the same phishing message to people there, which is how it is spreading quickly to Android phones. Given how locked down iPhones are, owners of Apple’s iOS devices are immune to this trick but it is still recommended that iPhone users should play it safe and don’t open those links anyway.

The report does raise the question of how passwords and login credentials, which are often encrypted or protected on Android and most browsers, can get so easily stolen, though that isn’t exactly unheard of. Unfortunately, there is no fix for those already infected other than to factory reset their phone. It might not be so bad for those with backups but users should be careful when restoring backups made after getting infected by the FluBot.

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Apps

WhatsApp Now Transcribes Voice Messages on Android

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Calling all Android users who dread lengthy voice messages: rejoice! WhatsApp is rolling out voice message transcription to its beta app.

This feature, already available for iOS users since May 2024, is now part of the WhatsApp Beta version 2.24.15.5 for Android. It automatically converts voice messages into text, making it easier and faster to understand conversations.

Currently, transcriptions are supported in five languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, and Hindi, with more languages promised in the future. Users opting in will need to download an additional data package to ensure all transcripts are generated directly on their devices, maintaining message privacy.

This update brings Android users closer to iOS users in terms of features and highlights WhatsApp’s commitment to improving the overall user experience.

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Gadgets

Apple Detects Spyware Targeting iPhones in Multiple Countries

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Apple has issued a second spyware attack warning to iPhone users in 98 countries, raising concerns about the growing threat to mobile security. This follows a similar alert in April targeting users in 92 countries.

While specific details about the latest attacks remain under wraps, the alert serves as a stark reminder of the evolving threat landscape. India is one confirmed country where users received the notification.

Spyware, a particularly invasive type of malware, can grant attackers complete access to an iPhone, including encrypted messages, audio, and video. The notorious Pegasus spyware from NSO Group is a well-known example.

“Apple detected that you are being targeted by a mercenary spyware attack that is trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID -xxx-,” Apple wrote in its new spyware alert.

Adding to the concern, researchers recently revealed the return of LightSpy, a “particularly dangerous” campaign capable of pinpointing a target’s location with “near-perfect accuracy.”

The worrying aspect of these attacks is their ability to exploit “zero-click” vulnerabilities, meaning infection can occur without any user interaction, such as opening a malicious link or attachment.

This highlights the importance of remaining vigilant and following Apple’s security recommendations, which may include updating your device to the latest iOS version.

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Gadgets

Acer Launches Chromebox Mini

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As the digital landscape evolves, businesses are increasingly seeking ways to engage with audiences. Digital signage and interactive kiosks are at the forefront of this trend, with the market expected to reach $30.56 billion by 2028. Acer addresses this demand with mini-PCs designed for digital signage and kiosks. Their Chromebox Mini CXM1 is a secure and reliable mini-PC that can drive up to three displays simultaneously. It’s compact, silent, and features the latest connectivity options like Wi-Fi 6E and Gigabit Ethernet.

Powered by ChromeOS, the Chromebox Mini CXM1 offers fast deployment, automatic updates, and long-term support. Additionally, the cloud-based Google Admin console allows for remote management and customization. The Chromebox Mini CXM1 complements Acer’s existing line-up of digital signage solutions, including Large Format Displays (LFDs). Acer offers LFDs in various configurations, from high-resolution 4K displays to interactive whiteboards. These LFDs seamlessly integrate with the Chromebox Mini CXM1 using a VESA mounting kit.

Acer’s large format displays are designed for consistent performance and stunning clarity. They cater to various needs, including promotional signage, education, and corporate collaboration. With robust management tools and automated security, Acer displays require minimal maintenance, allowing businesses to focus on creating engaging content. Acer’s Chromebox Mini CXM1 and LFDs provide businesses with a comprehensive suite of tools for impactful advertising, information sharing, and customer interaction.

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