Tag Archives: texts

Android app with 20 million downloads could have exposed your web history and texts

Android app with 20 million downloads could have exposed your web history and texts

A vast number of Android users will be hugely concerned to hear news about a worrying flaw that was recently discovered in one of the world’s most popular applications. The Google app, which has been downloaded a staggering 19.8 million times from the Play Store, allows users to gain instant access to the web, find answers to questions, and search local weather and traffic reports.

However, according to one security expert, it could also hand hugely personal details including full web history over to hackers. Sergey Toshin, from cyber threat firm Oversecured, has exposed a vulnerability within the Google app that could offer thieves a convenient way to steal data from a device. The flaw was disclosed in his blog post.

All hackers would need to do is get Android fans to install a fake app on their devices which, once opened, would set about infiltrating the Google app and steal all of the personal data held within it.

As Toshin explains, “While securing pre-installed apps on Android devices, we discovered persistent arbitrary code execution in the Google app. This could have allowed any app installed on the same device to steal arbitrary data from it, for example, accessing a Google account, user’s search history, voice assistant interaction data, mail from Gmail, and to intercept app rights, including access to read and send SMS messages, contacts, call history (as well as making and receiving calls), calendar, microphone, camera, location, Bluetooth and NFC.”

READ MORE: Why millions of Virgin Media and BT users are missing out on the fastest broadband speeds

According to AVAST, the main problem facing Android users comes from adware, which has accounted for around 45 percent of threats so far this year. Although adware doesn’t steal data it can fill devices with highly intrusive adverts that can make phones almost unusable.

The next big threat comes from fake apps which appear very genuine but, once downloaded can spy on the user, to expose them to ads or other malicious activity.

Finally, there are terrifying banking Trojans or “Bankers”. These often disguise themselves as genuine apps to access the banking details of unsuspecting users and trick them into giving up their bank account details by posing as a legitimate banking application and mimicking the login screen or supplying a generic login screen with the respective bank’s logo.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Vodafone is giving one million customers free data, calls and texts

Vodafone is giving one million customers free data, calls and texts

One million people will soon be offered free data, calls and text messages thanks to a new charitable initiative from Vodafone. Dubbed “Buy One, Give One”, the new offer will allow consumers who are struggling financially the chance to get a Vodafone SIM card that will keep them connected for a year. For every new and existing Vodafone Together household, which is connected entirely by Vodafone, the network will then provide a person in need with a SIM card.

Each SIM will come pre-loaded with 20GB of data plus free calls and texts each month for up to a year. These SIMs will be distributed through the Trussell Trust’s network of 1,300 food bank centres.

Vodafone says it has launched this offer in a bid to tackle digital exclusion with the network saying it hopes to meet its target of issuing one million SIMs to customers by the end of 2022.

Speaking at Vodafone’s Reinvent conference, Ahmed Essam, Vodafone UK CEO, added: “Over the last year, people across the UK have realised just how important connectivity is, and the major role it plays in many aspects of our lives – work, play, education, healthcare and keeping in touch with those closest to us.

“Today we are committing to helping one million more people get connected, and to developing the knowledge and confidence necessary in a society that increasingly demands a digital connection. ‘Buy One, Give One’ puts tackling digital poverty, and doing the right thing, at the heart of our business.”

READ MORE: There are 3 cheaper ways to stream Sky TV this month as NOW shakes things up

Along with this generous “Buy One, Give One” free SIM incentive, Vodafone has also revealed its new EVO plans which are aimed at giving customers more features and flexibility. EVO will launch later this month and allow users to choose how much they want to pay upfront for their phones and how long they want the contract to run for.

Like a mortgage, the more money you’ll willing to pay upfront for a smartphone, the smaller the monthly repayments will be. So, if you don’t have quite enough for a SIM-free iPhone 12 (£999) from the Apple Store, but have enough to make a dent – you won’t have to pay over the odds each month with your contract. And you won’t be roped-in for multiple years, either.

According to Vodafone, its EVO plans will include easier ways to upgrade each year and, for those who want to keep hold of their devices, Vodafone will even offer a free battery replacement so that your battery life is as good as new when you finish your contract.

Speaking about EVO, Max Taylor, Consumer Director at Vodafone UK, said: “In 2019, we shook up the market with 5G at no extra cost and Unlimited data plans. Now we’re changing the market again. With budgets squeezed for so many people, we’re launching a completely new way of buying a smartphone focused on ensuring our customers are in control and getting the best possible value.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

DVLA scam messages: Drivers warned over new fraud texts sent out in 2021

DVLA scam messages: Drivers warned over new fraud texts sent out in 2021
The messages range from emails claiming drivers have had their car tax direct debit cancelled to claims motorists have been overcharged. Many of the emails included hyperlinks that encouraged drivers to submit their personal details.
The message said: “The latest payment for your vehicle tax has failed because there is not enough money on your debit card.

“Your vehicle is no longer taxed.

“We have generated a new invoice and we suggest you to use a credit card instead of a debit, to avoid any other consequences that might appear in case again won’t be enough funds inside.”

The DVLA warned drivers of the scam through Twitter, urging drivers to be cyber aware at all times.

“Do not give out private information (such as bank details or passwords), reply to text messages, download attachments or click on any links in emails if you’re not sure they’re genuine.”

The DVLA has previously warned any tax refund messages are generated automatically meaning they would never ask anyone to get in touch to claim a refund.

DVLA chief information security officer David Pope said GOV.UK was the only trusted source for information.

He said: “All our tax refunds are generated automatically after a motorist has told us they have sold, scrapped or transferred their vehicle to someone else so we don’t ask for anyone to get in touch with us to claim their refund.

“We want to protect the public and if something seems too good to be true, then it almost certainly is. The only trusted source of DVLA information is GOV.UK.

“It is also important to remember never to share images on social media that contain personal information, such as your driving licence and vehicle documents.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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Don't open these texts from Amazon, Argos and Asda – Three Mobile issues important alert

Don't open these texts from Amazon, Argos and Asda - Three Mobile issues important alert
UK smartphone owners should remain vigilant as dangerous text scams continue to spread across the country. Just last week, Vodafone warned its customers to watch out for text messages that claim to be from delivery firm DHL, with the mobile network saying the “attacks will gain serious traction very quickly.”
Soon after this warning from Vodafone, Express.co.uk reported that even more consumers were being targeted by these delivery scam texts with a flurry of messages appearing on devices.

And now, carrier Three is warning its customers of a new version of the threat and even launched a dedicated webpage with a fresh alert about the dangers of the FluBot malware. Three says that it’s aware of a growing number of fake text messages, which are not only claiming to be from delivery firms but also popular high street supermarkets and online retailers, including ASDA, Argos and Amazon.

“We are aware that a significant number of people across the UK have been targeted with an SMS message that has been faked to look as if it has come from a delivery service,” explained Three. “While initial messages claimed to be from DHL, the scam also has taken on other company brands including Asda, Amazon and Argos, to name a few.

“This fraudulent attack has affected all network operators, and as an industry, we are advising customers to be vigilant and careful about clicking on any links received in an SMS.”

READ MORE: BT broadband will be much cheaper for millions of customers from next month

The simple texts attempt to trick unsuspecting users into clicking on a link which then downloads nasty FluBot malware which is capable of allowing cyber thieves to steal personal data including online banking credentials.

It’s worth noting that this threat only works on Android devices and Apple’s iPhone is not currently at risk. This is due to the way the malware is downloaded and installed via something called an APK.

Unlike Apple, which only allows apps to be installed via its official App Store, Android is a much more open platform with users able to add extra software to their devices away from the Google Play Store. It’s one thing many Android users love about owning these phones as they feel less restricted but it can also have serious consequences.

If you own an Android phone and think you have clicked on the link then it’s vital to act fast. In its alert to customers, Three says, “If you have received the message and have clicked on the link and downloaded the file on an android device you should be advised that your contacts, SMS messages and online banking details (if present) may have been accessed and that these may now be under the control of the fraudster.”

“We strongly advise that you perform a factory reset immediately Failure to do this will leave you at continuing risk of exposure to a fraudster accessing personal data. When you set up the device after the reset, it may ask you if you want to restore from a backup. “You should avoid restoring from any backups created after you downloaded the app, as they will also be infected.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed