Android smartphones being shipped with pre-installed ‘Cosiloon’ malware: Report

According to Avast, thousands of Android smartphones are being shipped with adware pre-installed, including the devices from manufacturers like ZTE and Archos. Interestingly, the majority of these devices are not certified by Google. The malware is named ‘Cosiloon’ creates an overlay to present an ad over a webpage within the users’ browser.

Avast claims that the adware has been active for at least three years, and is difficult to remove as it is installed on the firmware level and uses strong obfuscation. Whats scarier is that thousands of users are affected, and in the past one month the latest version of the adware is found in around 18,000 devices located in more than 100 countries including Russia, Italy, Germany, the UK, as well as in the U.S.

The company says that it is in touch with Google who is aware of the issue and is also taking steps to mitigate the malicious capabilities. Google is working on fixing the malware’s app variants on Android smartphones using internally developed techniques. Though there is Google Play Protect, the malware comes pre-installed which makes is harder to address. Google is reaching out to firmware developers to bring awareness to these concerns and encourage in taking steps accordingly.

It is also unclear how …

According to Avast, thousands of Android smartphones are being shipped with adware pre-installed, including the devices from manufacturers like ZTE and Archos. Interestingly, the majority of these devices are not certified by Google. The malware is named 'Cosiloon' creates an overlay to present an ad over a webpage within the users’ browser. Avast claims that the adware has been active for at least three years, and is difficult to remove as it is installed on the firmware level and uses strong obfuscation. Whats scarier is that thousands of users are affected, and in the past one month the latest version of the adware is found in around 18,000 devices located in more than 100 countries including Russia, Italy, Germany, the UK, as well as in the U.S. The company says that it is in touch with Google who is aware of the issue and is also taking steps to mitigate the malicious capabilities. Google is working on fixing the malware's app variants on Android smartphones using internally developed techniques. Though there is Google Play Protect, the malware comes pre-installed which makes is harder to address. Google is reaching out to firmware developers to bring awareness to these concerns and encourage in taking steps accordingly. It is also unclear how ...

Huawei MediaPad M5 WaterPlay with 8-inch display, eSIM, dual rear-cameras passes through the FCC

Huawei is busy prepping to launch the MediaPad M5 tablet as the device is now spotted passing through the FCC. According to the FCC listing, it sports an 8-inches display, support for eSIM. The tablet has passed through the FCC Huawei MediaPad M5 wp; the WP might stand for WaterPlay so, it might be introduced as Huawei MediaPad M5 WaterPlay.

Since it has water in the naming, it is fairly obvious that the tablet is waterproof so that would fit nicely into Huawei’s WaterPlay lineup. In terms of camera department, the tablet might feature a 13MP camera+2MP camera with bokeh effect even after taking the picture and an 8MP front camera. It also packs Harman/Kardon audio, and a fingerprint reader embedded in the home button.

It sports an 8-inch Full HD display, packs 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. It will have a 4980 mAh battery too. The chipset details are unknown for now since it is expected to come with eSIM support. It measures 8mm thickness and weighs 310 grams. The tablet is expected to be launched in August, and it comes in silver-grey, champagne gold. In Japan, the tablet will be part of Docomo Dtab series, while in other places it may be …

Huawei is busy prepping to launch the MediaPad M5 tablet as the device is now spotted passing through the FCC. According to the FCC listing, it sports an 8-inches display, support for eSIM. The tablet has passed through the FCC Huawei MediaPad M5 wp; the WP might stand for WaterPlay so, it might be introduced as Huawei MediaPad M5 WaterPlay. Since it has water in the naming, it is fairly obvious that the tablet is waterproof so that would fit nicely into Huawei’s WaterPlay lineup. In terms of camera department, the tablet might feature a 13MP camera+2MP camera with bokeh effect even after taking the picture and an 8MP front camera. It also packs Harman/Kardon audio, and a fingerprint reader embedded in the home button. It sports an 8-inch Full HD display, packs 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. It will have a 4980 mAh battery too. The chipset details are unknown for now since it is expected to come with eSIM support. It measures 8mm thickness and weighs 310 grams. The tablet is expected to be launched in August, and it comes in silver-grey, champagne gold. In Japan, the tablet will be part of Docomo Dtab series, while in other places it may be ...

PayPal is now integrated as payment solution within Gmail, YouTube, Google Pay and Google Store

PayPal and Google already work together to allow users to pay via PayPal in-store, online and in-app with Google Pay and on Chrome mobile web at millions of online merchants using their PayPal accounts. Today both the companies are extending their partnership across Google ecosystem. 

As a part of this partnership, users in the U.S. who add PayPal to any one of Google’s services will be able to pay across the Google ecosystem, and anywhere PayPal is supported as a payment method. It is available as a payment option across Google services like Gmail, YouTube, Google Pay and Google Store, including where Google offers peer-to-peer payments, without the user needing to log in again.
Bill Ready, COO, and EVP, PayPal said:

PayPal and Google Pay share common goals of creating simple payment solutions across our platforms that enable people to shop more seamlessly. We look forward to continued collaboration that helps increase conversion for merchants and gives users the flexibility, security and speed that digital payments can offer.
Source

PayPal and Google already work together to allow users to pay via PayPal in-store, online and in-app with Google Pay and on Chrome mobile web at millions of online merchants using their PayPal accounts. Today both the companies are extending their partnership across Google ecosystem.  As a part of this partnership, users in the U.S. who add PayPal to any one of Google’s services will be able to pay across the Google ecosystem, and anywhere PayPal is supported as a payment method. It is available as a payment option across Google services like Gmail, YouTube, Google Pay and Google Store, including where Google offers peer-to-peer payments, without the user needing to log in again. Bill Ready, COO, and EVP, PayPal said: PayPal and Google Pay share common goals of creating simple payment solutions across our platforms that enable people to shop more seamlessly. We look forward to continued collaboration that helps increase conversion for merchants and gives users the flexibility, security and speed that digital payments can offer. Source

President Trump orders ZTE to pay $1.3 billion for sanctions, change management for ban to be lifted

Back in April, US Govt has banned ZTE for violating the terms of a sanctions settlement. The company was caught illegally shipping goods to Iran, the U.S said the officials. ZTE then responded and said the verdict is unfair and threatens the survival. However, Earlier this month, American President Donal Trump Tweeted and pledged to reverse course saying that President Xi of China and him are working together to give ZTE a way to get back into the business, fast.

Senator Schumer and Obama Administration let phone company ZTE flourish with no security checks. I closed it down then let it reopen with high level security guarantees, change of management and board, must purchase U.S. parts and pay a $1.3 Billion fine. Dems do nothing….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 25, 2018

…but complain and obstruct. They made only bad deals (Iran) and their so-called Trade Deals are the laughing stock of the world!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 25, 2018

This move from President Trump drew criticism from many government officials as this was the second time ZTE broke US law. However, Trump in a series of Tweets announced course action for ZTE to get the ban lifted. The company now requires purchasing U.S. parts; this move is confusing …

Back in April, US Govt has banned ZTE for violating the terms of a sanctions settlement. The company was caught illegally shipping goods to Iran, the U.S said the officials. ZTE then responded and said the verdict is unfair and threatens the survival. However, Earlier this month, American President Donal Trump Tweeted and pledged to reverse course saying that President Xi of China and him are working together to give ZTE a way to get back into the business, fast. Senator Schumer and Obama Administration let phone company ZTE flourish with no security checks. I closed it down then let it reopen with high level security guarantees, change of management and board, must purchase U.S. parts and pay a $1.3 Billion fine. Dems do nothing.... — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 25, 2018 ...but complain and obstruct. They made only bad deals (Iran) and their so-called Trade Deals are the laughing stock of the world! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 25, 2018 This move from President Trump drew criticism from many government officials as this was the second time ZTE broke US law. However, Trump in a series of Tweets announced course action for ZTE to get the ban lifted. The company now requires purchasing U.S. parts; this move is confusing ...

Apple iOS 12 said to include new NFC features beyond payments

Apple’s WWDC 2018 event is about to kickstart on June 4th where the company will be introducing the iOS 12. But before the official announcement, it is now revealed that iOS 12 will be giving some third-party developers full access to the NFC chip inside iPhones for additional features beyond just payments. 

The report further says that Apple wants users to use iPhone in many more contactless interactions beyond just Apple Pay payments including hotel door key or as a virtual transit card for easier transportation. Going back in time, Apple with iOS 11 started going down this road by adding the CoreNFC framework which will allow apps to use the NFC chip as an arbitrary scanner of RFID tags. The only drawback to this NFC API is that the app must be in the foreground and the app must present a specific system modal sheet to start scanning.

It is also reported that Apple is in the final stages of this feature and is already experimenting with these features in the Apple Park. Apple employees are already using their iPhones to gain access to Apple Park buildings. Some hotels already support ‘contactless’ activation of iPhones as a door key, by using low energy …

Apple's WWDC 2018 event is about to kickstart on June 4th where the company will be introducing the iOS 12. But before the official announcement, it is now revealed that iOS 12 will be giving some third-party developers full access to the NFC chip inside iPhones for additional features beyond just payments.  The report further says that Apple wants users to use iPhone in many more contactless interactions beyond just Apple Pay payments including hotel door key or as a virtual transit card for easier transportation. Going back in time, Apple with iOS 11 started going down this road by adding the CoreNFC framework which will allow apps to use the NFC chip as an arbitrary scanner of RFID tags. The only drawback to this NFC API is that the app must be in the foreground and the app must present a specific system modal sheet to start scanning. It is also reported that Apple is in the final stages of this feature and is already experimenting with these features in the Apple Park. Apple employees are already using their iPhones to gain access to Apple Park buildings. Some hotels already support ‘contactless’ activation of iPhones as a door key, by using low energy ...

Weekly Roundup: Samsung Galaxy J6, J8, A6, and A6+, HTC U12+, Vivo Z1, Razer Blade laptop and more

This week Samsung has introduced J6, Galaxy J8, A6, and Galaxy A6+ smartphones in India. Huawei’s Honor brand has launched the Honor 7A and 7C smartphones in India. LG has announced the Q7, Q7+, and Q7α. Let’s take a look at the more stuff that happened this week in our weekly roundup.

Samsung has launched the Galaxy J6 and Galaxy J8, the company’s latest smartphone in the ‘J Series’ in India, as expected. The Galaxy J6 and J8 have  5.6-inch and 6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED 18.5: 9 Infinity 2.5D curved glass displays. The J6 is powered by an Octa-Core Exynos 7870 14nm SoC, while the J8 comes with Snapdragon 450 with up to 4GB of RAM. Both the phones run Android 8.0 (Oreo) with Samsung’s own UI on top.

The Samsung Galaxy J6 and J8 come in Black, Gold and Blue colors. The Galaxy J6 is priced at Rs. 13,990 for the 3GB RAM with 32GB storage version and the 4GB RAM with 64GB storage version costs Rs.16,490. It will be available starting from May 22nd exclusively on Flipkart as well as Samsung Shop, Paytm Mall with cashback and Rs. 1500 cashback on ICICI bank cards as well as one-time screen replacement offer.  The Galaxy J8 is priced at Rs. 18,990 and will be available from …

This week Samsung has introduced J6, Galaxy J8, A6, and Galaxy A6+ smartphones in India. Huawei's Honor brand has launched the Honor 7A and 7C smartphones in India. LG has announced the Q7, Q7+, and Q7α. Let's take a look at the more stuff that happened this week in our weekly roundup. Samsung has launched the Galaxy J6 and Galaxy J8, the company’s latest smartphone in the ‘J Series’ in India, as expected. The Galaxy J6 and J8 have  5.6-inch and 6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED 18.5: 9 Infinity 2.5D curved glass displays. The J6 is powered by an Octa-Core Exynos 7870 14nm SoC, while the J8 comes with Snapdragon 450 with up to 4GB of RAM. Both the phones run Android 8.0 (Oreo) with Samsung’s own UI on top. The Samsung Galaxy J6 and J8 come in Black, Gold and Blue colors. The Galaxy J6 is priced at Rs. 13,990 for the 3GB RAM with 32GB storage version and the 4GB RAM with 64GB storage version costs Rs.16,490. It will be available starting from May 22nd exclusively on Flipkart as well as Samsung Shop, Paytm Mall with cashback and Rs. 1500 cashback on ICICI bank cards as well as one-time screen replacement offer.  The Galaxy J8 is priced at Rs. 18,990 and will be available from ...

Google One Android app released on Play Store, service expected to go live soon

Google, earlier this month introduced the ‘Google One’ brand where it will be replacing the non G-suite Google Drive storage plans with a new cheaper paid storage plans. All paid consumer Google Drive storage plans will be upgraded to Google One and this change doesn’t affect G Suite business customers.

Today, Google has released the Google One app in the Play Store, but since the service isn’t live yet, the app does nothing for now. Google One has a lot of storage options, ranging from 100GB to 30TB for you to pick the right option that suits you. Interestingly, Google One also includes plans that are sharable within a family, you can add up to five family members to your plan and simplify storage under one bill.

The base-level storage plan with 100GB storage costs $1.99 per month (or $19.99 per year). There is a new 200GB plan which will be available for $2.99 a month and the 1TB deal is replaced by 2TB for the same price of $9.99 a month. Installing the app is of no use just yet, except for signing up for updates. Interestingly, digging inside the code revealed a string ‘subscription.red” similar to YouTube Red, but considering YouTube Red is now re-branded to YouTube …

Google, earlier this month introduced the 'Google One' brand where it will be replacing the non G-suite Google Drive storage plans with a new cheaper paid storage plans. All paid consumer Google Drive storage plans will be upgraded to Google One and this change doesn’t affect G Suite business customers. Today, Google has released the Google One app in the Play Store, but since the service isn't live yet, the app does nothing for now. Google One has a lot of storage options, ranging from 100GB to 30TB for you to pick the right option that suits you. Interestingly, Google One also includes plans that are sharable within a family, you can add up to five family members to your plan and simplify storage under one bill. The base-level storage plan with 100GB storage costs $1.99 per month (or $19.99 per year). There is a new 200GB plan which will be available for $2.99 a month and the 1TB deal is replaced by 2TB for the same price of $9.99 a month. Installing the app is of no use just yet, except for signing up for updates. Interestingly, digging inside the code revealed a string 'subscription.red" similar to YouTube Red, but considering YouTube Red is now re-branded to YouTube ...

Motorola schedules an event on June 6th in Brazil, Moto Z3 Play expected

Motorola has scheduled an event in Brazil on June 6th where the company is expected to launch the Moto Z3 Play. The smartphone has been in the news for quite some time now and most of the specifications and press images are already out in the open. The company has started sending out media invites, but as expected there is nothing in the mail that links to the Z3 Play launch. 

The Motorola Moto Z3 Play was spotted back in March passing through the FCC. The FCC certification has revealed specifications which said that it will come with a 6.1-inch Full HD+ display and will be powered by the Snapdragon 636 SoC, 4GB RAM with 32GB or 64GB storage variants. It will come in single SIM and dual SIM variants depending on the region.

The Z3 Play also like any Z-series phone comes with 16-pin connector down below the camera module. It is also said to feature a 12-megapixel and 8-megapixel rear cameras and a 3000mAh battery on board.

Moto Z3 Play rumored specifications

6.1-inch (1080 x 2160 pixels) Full HD+ display with Corning Gorilla Glass  protection
1.8GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 636 14nm Mobile Platform with Adreno 509 GPU
4GB LPDDR4 RAM with 32GB / 64GB storage, …

Motorola has scheduled an event in Brazil on June 6th where the company is expected to launch the Moto Z3 Play. The smartphone has been in the news for quite some time now and most of the specifications and press images are already out in the open. The company has started sending out media invites, but as expected there is nothing in the mail that links to the Z3 Play launch.  The Motorola Moto Z3 Play was spotted back in March passing through the FCC. The FCC certification has revealed specifications which said that it will come with a 6.1-inch Full HD+ display and will be powered by the Snapdragon 636 SoC, 4GB RAM with 32GB or 64GB storage variants. It will come in single SIM and dual SIM variants depending on the region. The Z3 Play also like any Z-series phone comes with 16-pin connector down below the camera module. It is also said to feature a 12-megapixel and 8-megapixel rear cameras and a 3000mAh battery on board. Moto Z3 Play rumored specifications 6.1-inch (1080 x 2160 pixels) Full HD+ display with Corning Gorilla Glass  protection 1.8GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 636 14nm Mobile Platform with Adreno 509 GPU 4GB LPDDR4 RAM with 32GB / 64GB storage, ...

Facebook and Instagram launch political ad labelling

Facebook has faced a lot of criticism over the Russian-backed ads on its platform before, during and after the 2016 US presidential election. This made the company look back at some changes it needs to make to offer better transparency, especially with political ads. 

In a detailed blog post, the company has explained that it is creating a new standard of transparency for online political ads. While there are arguments that say why don’t the company rid of these ads from Facebook since is the only sure way of guarding against foreign interference. On the flip side, the arguments were not only about revenue as verifying the advertisers who run them, is going to be costly.

Starting today, all election-related and issue ads on Facebook and Instagram in the US, users will be able to see who’s running the political ad, how much money was spent on it, how widely it was seen, and who the ad reached. This is part of the broader authorization process that lets the company verify that the people running these ads are who they claim to be. Helping people to understand who’s trying to influence their vote will help us better defend against foreign interference and …

Facebook has faced a lot of criticism over the Russian-backed ads on its platform before, during and after the 2016 US presidential election. This made the company look back at some changes it needs to make to offer better transparency, especially with political ads.  In a detailed blog post, the company has explained that it is creating a new standard of transparency for online political ads. While there are arguments that say why don't the company rid of these ads from Facebook since is the only sure way of guarding against foreign interference. On the flip side, the arguments were not only about revenue as verifying the advertisers who run them, is going to be costly. Starting today, all election-related and issue ads on Facebook and Instagram in the US, users will be able to see who’s running the political ad, how much money was spent on it, how widely it was seen, and who the ad reached. This is part of the broader authorization process that lets the company verify that the people running these ads are who they claim to be. Helping people to understand who’s trying to influence their vote will help us better defend against foreign interference and ...

Amazon explains why Echo recorded a conversation and sent it to a random contact

Amazon Alexa digital assistant is part of the Echo devices that Amazon ships out. The job of Alexa is to answer questions when asked and respond to commands among many others. In what can be seen as the most embarrassing moment, according to an Oregon family who claims that their Amazon Echo has recorded a conversation and then sent it to a random person on their contact list.

Two weeks ago, the person who happens to the employee of the husband has sent the couple the audio files of their chats that he received from their smart speaker. Like everyone, the couple has set up their Alexa-equipped devices to control heat, lights, and security. As soon as the incident happened, the family unplugged them all and has contacted Amazon.

According to the couple, Amazon responded saying that they have checked the logs and reciprocates to what the couple is claiming. The Amazon support has also appreciated for bringing the issue to their attention since this is something that needs to be fixed. The company has also offered to de-provision’ the family’s Alexa communications to keep it from using the device suite’s smart home functionality, but it looks like the couple is seeking for a full refund.

Amazon even provided …

Amazon Alexa digital assistant is part of the Echo devices that Amazon ships out. The job of Alexa is to answer questions when asked and respond to commands among many others. In what can be seen as the most embarrassing moment, according to an Oregon family who claims that their Amazon Echo has recorded a conversation and then sent it to a random person on their contact list. Two weeks ago, the person who happens to the employee of the husband has sent the couple the audio files of their chats that he received from their smart speaker. Like everyone, the couple has set up their Alexa-equipped devices to control heat, lights, and security. As soon as the incident happened, the family unplugged them all and has contacted Amazon. According to the couple, Amazon responded saying that they have checked the logs and reciprocates to what the couple is claiming. The Amazon support has also appreciated for bringing the issue to their attention since this is something that needs to be fixed. The company has also offered to de-provision' the family's Alexa communications to keep it from using the device suite's smart home functionality, but it looks like the couple is seeking for a full refund. Amazon even provided ...