Tag Archives: threats

Android warning: DON’T download another app until know about these nasty new threats

Android users are constantly being warned of fresh threats to their devices but 2021 could be the worst year yet. A new report from security experts at McAfee has revealed the scale of the problem with the firm saying that “2021 is shaping up to be a year of malware misinformation and sneak attacks.” These new threats range from annoying adware that fill devices with endless pop-ups to more serious banking malware which has the ability to steal personal financial data and access accounts.

Google has been hard at work making its Play Store far more robust, but it seems hackers are now using new techniques to infiltrate devices. One of the most popular ways of accessing smartphones is by getting Android users to install apps via text messages or posts on social media.

Unlike Apple’s iPhone, Android is a much more open platform which means applications can be installed from sources outside of the Play Store. This makes it a prime target for hackers intent on stealing data.

So, if you own an Android phone here are four of the biggest threats to watch out for this year.


Banking Malware has boomed in recent months with McAfee Mobile Security detecting a 141 percent increase between Q3 and Q4 2020.

Most Banking Trojans are distributed via mechanisms such as phishing SMS messages to avoid Google’s screening process. These malicious apps appear as some type of security scanner, with names such as OutProtect, PrivacyTitan, GreatVault, SecureShield, and DefenseScreen

Once activated they pretend to scan the phone for issues but they are simply looking for apps related to the targeted financial institutions such as online banking. If one is found, the malware notifies the user that a popular app, such as Google Chrome, WhatsApp, or a fake PDF reader, is out of date and urging an immediate update.

Clicking the “Update Now” button downloads additional malicious code and asks the user to enable accessibility services, which gives the app broad control of the user’s device.


Scammers will stop at nothing in a bid to access devices and have even sunk as low as to use the COVID pandemic for financial gain.

With most of the world still anxious about COVID-19 and getting vaccinated, cybercriminals are targeting these fears with bogus apps, text messages, and social media invitations.

McAfee says malware and malicious links hidden inside these fakes display ads and try to steal banking information and credentials.

One of the earliest coronavirus vaccine fraud campaigns was recorded in India in November 2020, before any vaccines had been approved in the country. This operation started with SMS and WhatsApp messages that encouraged users to download an app to apply for the vaccine. However, it was simply a trick to gain personal data.


Another nasty threat called Etinu has the ability to steal incoming SMS messages using a Notification Listener function. Where this malware is clever is that it can read a message without triggering the SMS read permission or read receipts.

As a result, the app can process information in the messages without alerting the user that messages have been read.

It can use these capabilities to make purchases and sign up for premium services and subscriptions that get charged to the user’s account.

Speaking about its latest threat report McAfee said: “To avoid security screening, many malware authors try to distribute their apps via SMS messages or links on popular social media sites.

“Others are writing apps with minimal but legitimate functionality, inserting malicious code during an update when scrutiny is lessened, and then downloading additional encrypted packages to obfuscate the real malware.

“Last year, cybercriminals expanded the methods they used to hide attacks and frauds, making them more difficult to identify and remove.

“Before downloading something to your device, do some quick research about the source and developer. Many of these have been flagged by other users.”

“Many malicious apps get the access they need by asking the user to grant them permission to use unrelated privileges and settings. When installing a new app, take a few moments to read these requests and deny any that seem unnecessary, especially for accessibility services and message notification access.”

Author: David Snelling
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Tech

Threats of another collapse, storm challenge Miami-area condo search and rescue

SURFSIDE, Florida — With days of tireless recovery efforts behind them, search and rescue teams face added challenges with a storm in the forecast and the rest of the Surfside, Florida, condo building threatening to collapse.

Rescue teams have been combing through up to 16 feet of concrete since part of the Champlain Towers South came crashing down early last Thursday. So far, 18 people have been confirmed dead and 145 people are still unaccounted for.

But concerns about the integrity of the parts of the building still standing could add another level of difficulty to the painstaking recovery efforts.

Work was halted for much of the day Thursday as engineers assessed the structure still standing.

WATCH: Tourist records water pouring from Florida condo, rubble moments before collapse

Access to the collapse zone was then restricted due to safety concerns, but engineers are conducting tests to expand the search into more areas as it becomes safe to do so, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Thursday evening.

“Our firefighters looked really, really excited to get back there,” she said, adding, “I am grateful to their hard work that got us back to work on the search and rescue.”

Officials estimated it could be weeks before the rest of the building was demolished.

However, State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said the demolition “might be sooner than we’re anticipating” because of the heavier equipment needed and potential complications to the weight that keeps the still-standing sections in place,

MORE:9/11 fire commissioner sees ‘less hope’ in finding condo collapse survivors

“The timing of it is still yet to be determined, but in order to complete what it takes, in order to finish the mission, the building will have to go,” he said. “It’s just too much of a risk.”

Another timing obstacle is that Tropical Storm Elsa has Surfside in its extended forecast cone. Division Director for Office of Emergency Management Charles Cirillo said the county faces the risk of heavy rainfall and strong winds from Elsa from Sunday night into Monday morning.

Other buildings to be evaluated

Teams going through the debris have still not yet found a single trigger for the collapse. And as investigators look into what caused the devastation, city officials are working to prevent damage elsewhere.
The town of Surfside has requested that all buildings over the age of 30 and more than three stories high begin to examine their structures before the 40-year building recertification program, a letter to property owners said Thursday.

Buildings will need to hire a registered structural engineer to perform an analysis of the building and are also requested to hire a registered geotechnical engineer “to perform an analysis of the foundation and subsurface soils.”

Repairs to the Champlain Towers South as part of the 40-year-recertification process had just begun when the collapse happened.

Some reports have surfaced of wear and damage to the building in the years leading up to the collapse, and some officials and residents have accused the building of not doing enough to prevent the incident.

SEE ALSO: What we know about those missing, dead in the Miami-area condo collapse

A lawsuit on behalf of a family suing the Champlain Towers South condo association alleges Morabito Consultants, which performed a structural analysis of the building in 2018, did not do enough to keep occupants safe by failing to examine the building’s sub-surface foundation.

The suit was filed by attorneys for the family of Harold Rosenberg, who remains unaccounted for, and further alleges that after the 2018 report was completed the condo association and Morabito Consultants should have submitted a written report to the town of Surfside certifying that the condo was structurally safe. “The Morabito report did not certify that the building ‘is structurally and electrically safe…for continued occupancy,'” the suit states.

“Instead, in an apparent attempt to wash away its failures in the wake of this tragedy, Defendant Morabito submitted this report… approximately 16 hours after the Champlain Towers South building collapsed,” the suit states, referring to a document filed with the town of Surfside on June 24.

WATCH: Little fingers, screams lead dog walker to find boy trapped in Florida condo collapse rubble

The report was conducted by engineer Frank Morabito for the building’s condo association as part of the Champlain Towers South’s 40-year recertification effort.

In a statement to CNN, a spokesperson for Morabito Consultants, said: “While we cannot comment on active or pending litigation, the firm’s 2018 report for the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association offered detailed findings and recommendations regarding extensive and necessary structural repairs for the condo building. We continue to work closely with the investigating authorities to understand why the structure failed and are praying for the families and loved ones of all who are have been impacted by this tragic event.”

President Biden’s emotional visit

On Thursday, President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden met with the search and rescue personnel, first responders and some the families of the 145 people still unaccounted for.

“Unfortunately, I’ve done a lot of these circumstances where I’ve met with families who’ve had great loss,” the President said after the three-hour meeting. “And what amazed me with this group of people was the resilience, the absolute commitment, their willingness to do whatever it took.”

He added: “I walked away impressed by their strength.”

But after the eighth day of searching, he also noted the devastating understanding in the families.

“The families here are very realistic — they know the longer it goes,” he said, his voice trailing.

He noted that local FEMA personnel and local first responders took all of the families of those unaccounted for to the site of the collapse to see it up close, describing painful details.

“They’re all realists. They all look and they see those floors — it’s literally feet — cement upon cement upon cement,” he said.

That didn’t suggest efforts should stop, he said.

Steve Rosenthal, whose condo was one unit away from where the building collapsed, said Biden’s visit to survivors and families of those missing was “very uplifting.”

He said, “There must’ve been 200 people in that room. And he walked around and talked to every single person. And as long as that person was talking to him, he listened. And I’m not embellishing this at all. If a person talked for six minutes, he sat there and listened for six minutes.”

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Author: CNNWire
This post originally appeared on ABC13

Burnham slams 'prima donna' Andrew Lloyd-Webber over threats to flaunt lockdown rules

Andy Burnham has branded Andrew Lloyd-Webber a “prima donna” on Sky News over the composer’s pledge to reopen theatres on June 21 even if the Government delays the lifting of lockdown measures. Lord Lloyd-Webber has warned his production of Cinderalla will go ahead at his West End theatres “come hell or high water.” The musical director is also willing to face arrest in order to put the shows on, according to Sky’s Kay Burley.

Ms Burley said: “We have heard from Andrew Lloyd Weber and he says he is going to open his theatres on June 21 come hell or high water.

“He has got a big production of Cinderella.

“Even if freedom day has been pushed back he will still open his theatres and if the police want to come and arrest him so be it.”

She asked the mayor of Greater Manchester: “Do you think he should be arrested?”

Mr Burham replied: “Well probably if he is completely flouting the government’s decision, they might even be the law.

“Well yes you can’t do that and I think talking in those terms is unhelpful, lets be honest about it.

“Of course everyone wants him to be able to reopen.

“But he can’t just assert his right to do that we are in the middle of a pandemic.”

Reacting to Lord Lloyd-Webber’s remarks, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told LBC: “I’d love to see theatres reopening, I know he’s got a great production of Cinderella opening in the West End, would love to be taking my kids to it.

“But I would just urge him having been so patient over the last 18 months, I know it’s been devastating for his industry and his own businesses, just wait a few more days as the prime minister analyses the data.

“We don’t want to keep restrictions in place a day longer than is necessary.

“But equally we always said 21 June was the earliest date in which we could move to the next stage of the roadmap.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

U.S. Faces Outbreak of Anti-Semitic Threats and Violence

A brick shattering a window of a kosher pizzeria on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Jewish diners outside a sushi restaurant in Los Angeles attacked by men shouting anti-Semitic threats. Vandalism at synagogues in Arizona, Illinois and New York.

In Salt Lake City, a man scratched a swastika into the front door of an Orthodox synagogue in the early morning hours of May 16. “This was the kind of thing that would never happen in Salt Lake City,” said Rabbi Avremi Zippel, whose parents founded Chabad Lubavitch of Utah almost 30 years ago. “But it’s on the rise around the country.”

The synagogue has fortified its already substantial security measures in response. “It’s ridiculous, it’s insane that this is how we have to view houses of worship in the United States in 2021,” Rabbi Zippel said, describing fortified access points, visible guards and lighting and security camera systems. “But we will do it.”

The past several weeks have seen an outbreak of anti-Semitic threats and violence across the United States, stoking fear among Jews in small towns and major cities. During the two weeks of clashes in Israel and Gaza this month, the Anti-Defamation League collected 222 reports of anti-Semitic harassment, vandalism and violence in the United States, compared with 127 over the previous two weeks.

Incidents are “literally happening from coast to coast, and spreading like wildfire,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the A.D.L.’s chief executive. “The sheer audacity of these attacks feels very different.”

Until the latest surge, anti-Semitic violence in recent years was largely considered a right-wing phenomenon, driven by a white supremacist movement emboldened by rhetoric from former President Donald J. Trump, who often trafficked in stereotypes.

Many of the most recent incidents, by contrast, have come from perpetrators expressing support for the Palestinian cause and criticism of Israel’s right-wing government.

“This is why Jews feel so terrified in this moment,” Mr. Greenblatt said, observing that there are currents of anti-Semitism flowing from both the left and the right. “For four years it seemed to be stimulated from the political right, with devastating consequences.” But at the scenes of the most recent attacks, he noted, “no one is wearing MAGA hats.”

President Biden has denounced the recent assaults as “despicable” and said “they must stop.” “It’s up to all of us to give hate no safe harbor,” he wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.

The outbreak has been especially striking in the New York region, which is home to the world’s largest Jewish population outside of Israel.

Last Thursday a brawl broke out in Times Square between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters, and it soon spread to the Diamond District, a part of Midtown that is home to many Jewish-owned businesses.

At least one roving group of men waving Palestinian flags shouted abuse at and shoved Jewish pedestrians and bystanders. Video of the scenes spread widely online and drew outrage from elected officials and a deep sense of foreboding among many Jewish New Yorkers.

The New York Police Department arrested 27 people, and two people were hospitalized, including a woman who was burned when fireworks were launched from a car at a group of people on the sidewalk.

The Police Department opened a hate crimes investigation into the beating of a Jewish man, and a Brooklyn man, Waseem Awawdeh, 23, was charged in connection with the attack.

The next day, federal prosecutors charged another man, Ali Alaheri, 29, with setting fire to a building that housed a synagogue and yeshiva in Borough Park, a Brooklyn neighborhood in the city’s Hasidic Jewish heartland. Mr. Alaheri also assaulted a Hasidic man in the same neighborhood, prosecutors said.

The Police Department’s hate crimes task force was also investigating anti-Semitic incidents that took place last Thursday and Saturday, including an assault in Manhattan and aggravated harassment in Brooklyn.

Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt, an Orthodox Jewish writer on the Upper East Side, said she had encountered a palpable anxiety among congregants at Park East Synagogue, where her husband serves as a rabbi.

“Quite a few” synagogue members had in recent months asked for help planning a move to Israel, she said, and she secured Swiss passports for her own children after watching a presidential debate in October.

“I know this sounds crazy because on the Upper East Side there was always this feeling that you can’t get safer than here,” she said.

But her fears are not unfounded. Last year, while out in the neighborhood with their young son, her husband was accosted by a man “shouting obscenities, and ‘You Jews! You Jews!’” she said.

Her son still “talks about it all the time,” she said. Recently, he built a synagogue out of Lego blocks and added a Lego security patrol outside, she said. He is 5 years old.

“Nobody cares about things like this because it is just words,” she added. “But what if this person was armed? And what if the next person is armed?”

The recent spike is occurring on top of a longer-term trend of high-profile incidents of anti-Semitism in the United States.

In Charlottesville, activists at the Unite the Right rally in 2017 chanted “Jews will not replace us!” as they protested the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. The next year, a gunman killed 11 people and wounded six who had gathered for Shabbat morning services at the Tree of Life — Or L’Simcha synagogue in Pittsburgh. At a synagogue in a suburb of San Diego in 2019, a gunman opened fire at a service on the last day of Passover.

The A.D.L. has been tracking anti-Semitic incidents in the country since 1979, and its past three annual reports have included two of its highest tallies. The organization recorded more than 1,200 incidents of anti-Semitic harassment last year, a 10 percent increase from the previous year.

The number of confirmed anti-Semitic incidents in New York City jumped noticeably in March to 15, from nine the month before and three in January, according to the Police Department.

Sgt. Jessica McRorie, a department spokeswoman, said that as of Sunday there had been 80 anti-Semitic hate crime complaints this year, compared with 62 during the same period last year.

The attack in 2018 at Tree of Life, in the distinctly Jewish neighborhood of Squirrel Hill, was galvanizing for many Jewish leaders. “Every synagogue across the country has increased security since the attack in Pittsburgh,” said Rabbi Adam Starr, who heads Congregation Ohr HaTorah, one of several synagogues along a stretch of road in the Jewish neighborhood of Toco Hills in the Atlanta area.

“You look across the street from our synagogue and there’s a big church,” he said. “And the big difference between the church and the synagogue is the church doesn’t have a gate around it.”

Rabbi Starr has stepped up security again within the last two weeks, increasing the number of off-duty police officers on site during Shabbat morning services.

For some Jews, the last few weeks have accelerated a sense of unease that has been percolating for years.

“We’ve all read about what Jewish life was like in Europe before the Holocaust,” said Danny Groner, a member of an Orthodox synagogue in the Bronx. “There’s always this question: Why didn’t they leave? The conversation in my circles is, are we at that point right now?”

Mr. Groner does not think so, he was quick to say. But he wonders, “What would have to happen tomorrow or next week or next month to say ‘enough is enough’?”

Jews and others were particularly stung by comments by Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who has spent the past week repeatedly comparing mask and vaccine mandates to the treatment of Jews by Nazi Germany, and by the Republican leadership’s slow response to her remarks.

In Salt Lake City, Chabad Lubavitch hosted an event for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot less than 12 hours after the discovery of the swastika on its front door. Rabbi Zippel told his congregation, “I hope it annoys the heck out of whoever did this.”

He was proud, he reflected later, of the way his congregation responded to the defacing of its house of worship. “We do not cower to these sorts of acts,” he said, recalling emails and conversations in which congregants vowed to continue wearing the kipa in public, for example. “The outward desire to be publicly and proudly Jewish has been extremely inspiring.”

Author: Ruth Graham and Liam Stack
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News