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      Web browser suspended because it can browse the web is back on Google Play

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 29 November - 19:31

    A large Google logo at a trade fair.

    Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Alexander Koerner)

    Google Play has reversed its latest ban on a web browser that keeps getting targeted by vague Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices. Downloader, an Android TV app that combines a browser with a file manager, was restored to Google Play last night.

    Downloader, made by app developer Elias Saba, was suspended on Sunday after a DMCA notice submitted by copyright-enforcement firm MarkScan on behalf of Warner Bros. Discovery. It was the second time in six months that Downloader was suspended based on a complaint that the app's web browser is capable of loading websites.

    The first suspension in May lasted three weeks, but Google reversed the latest one much more quickly. As we wrote on Monday , the MarkScan DMCA notice didn't even list any copyrighted works that Downloader supposedly infringed upon.

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      Google Play keeps banning the same web browser due to vague DMCA notices

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 27 November - 23:10

    Screenshot of the Google home page displayed on Downloader, an Android app with a built-in browser.

    Enlarge / The Downloader app that was suspended from Google Play. (credit: Elias Saba )

    App developer Elias Saba has had some bad luck with Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedowns. His Android TV app Downloader, which combines a web browser with a file manager, was suspended by Google Play in May after several Israeli TV companies complained that the app could be used to load a pirate website.

    Google reversed that suspension after three weeks. But Downloader has been suspended by Google Play again, and this time the reason is even harder to understand. Based on a vague DMCA notice, it appears that Downloader was suspended simply because it can load the Warner Bros. website .

    Downloader is similar to standard web browsers in that it lets users access both legal and illegally shared content. The app can be used for general web surfing and can download files from a website when a user inputs the desired URL. According to Saba, the app itself contains no infringing content, nor does it direct users to infringing content.

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      Android 4.4 KitKat is truly dead, loses Play Services support

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 25 July, 2023 - 16:46 · 1 minute

    Android 4.4 KitKat is truly dead, loses Play Services support

    (credit: Google)

    The Android ecosystem rightfully gets a lot of slack for being unable to deliver operating system updates to everyone in a timely manner, but there's more to Android updates than just OS support. App updates can keep a phone chugging along even after the updates have stopped, and Google's do-it-all super app, Google Play Services, contains a ton of app APIs and features and enables the really important stuff like Play Store transactions and advertisements.

    Google just announced Play Services is dropping support for an old version of Android, and while OS development might stop at just three or four years, Play Services goes back way longer than that. Google announced Play Services is dropping support for Android 4.4 KitKat, which is now 10 years old. Support isn't really being artificially cut off, either. Google says KitKat's active device count is "below 1 percent," so there's not much reason to support it anymore.

    These devices will stop getting Play Services updates after July, and then it's anyone's guess as to how much longer they will work. At some point, Google will change something, and your device will become a brick. Old, unsupported Android devices can't log in to a Google account, which is a prerequisite for opening half of the apps that come with your phone. You'll be locked out of the Play Store, Gmail, Google Maps, and other Google products, with no way to see these old versions again. Luckily, someone saw all this coming and took screenshots of every old version.

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      App with 50,000 Google Play installs sent attackers mic recordings every 15 minutes

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 24 May, 2023 - 17:49 · 1 minute

    App with 50,000 Google Play installs sent attackers mic recordings every 15 minutes

    Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

    An app that had more than 50,000 downloads from Google Play surreptitiously recorded nearby audio every 15 minutes and sent it to the app developer, a researcher from security firm ESET said.

    The app, titled iRecorder Screen Recorder, started life on Google Play in September 2021 as a benign app that allowed users to record the screens of their Android devices, ESET researcher Lukas Stefanko said in a post published on Tuesday. Eleven months later, the legitimate app was updated to add entirely new functionality. It included the ability to remotely turn on the device mic and record sound, connect to an attacker-controlled server, and upload the audio and other sensitive files that were stored on the device.

    Surreptitious recording every 15 minutes

    The secret espionage functions were implemented using code from AhMyth , an open source RAT—short for remote access trojan—that has been incorporated into several other Android apps in recent years. Once the RAT was added to iRecorder, all users of the previously benign app received updates that allowed their phones to record nearby audio and send it to a developer-designated server through an encrypted channel. As time went on, code taken from AhMyth was heavily modified, an indication that the developer became more adept with the open source RAT. ESET named the newly modified RAT in iRecorder AhRat.

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      Android barcode scanner with 10 million+ downloads infects users

      Dan Goodin · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 8 February, 2021 - 19:46

    Android barcode scanner with 10 million+ downloads infects users

    Enlarge (credit: portal gda / Flickr )

    A benign barcode scanner with more than 10 million downloads from Google Play has been caught receiving an upgrade that turned it to the dark side, prompting the search and advertising giant to remove it.

    Barcode Scanner , one of dozens of such apps available in the official Google app repository, began its life as a legitimate offering. Then in late December, researchers with security firm Malwarebytes began receiving messages from customers complaining that ads were opening out of nowhere on their default browser.

    One update is all it takes

    Malwarebytes mobile malware researcher Nathan Collier was at first puzzled. None of the customers had recently installed any apps, and all the apps they had already installed came from Play, a market that despite its long history of admitting malicious apps remains safer than most third-party sites. Eventually, Collier identified the culprit as the Barcode Scanner. The researcher said an update delivered in December included code that was responsible for the bombardment of ads.

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      Robinhood : pourquoi l’app de trading se fait toujours torpiller sur Google Play

      Julien Lausson · news.movim.eu / Numerama · Wednesday, 3 February, 2021 - 15:20

    Robinhood logo

    Robinhood est loin d'être tirée d'affaire. Outre la perspective d'une enquête sur ses agissements, l'application mobile spécialisée dans le trading est malmenée par des internautes en colère. [Lire la suite]

    Abonnez-vous à notre chaîne YouTube pour ne manquer aucune vidéo !

    L'article Robinhood : pourquoi l’app de trading se fait toujours torpiller sur Google Play est apparu en premier sur Numerama .

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      Google et Apple exigent que le réseau social Parler modère ses contenus sous peine d’exclusion

      Julien Lausson · news.movim.eu / Numerama · Saturday, 9 January, 2021 - 12:34

    Google a temporairement suspendu la disponibilité de l'application mobile Parler sur Google Play. De son côté, Apple réclame un plan de modération sur ce réseau social de la droite dure américaine, sous peine d'être exclu de l'App Store. [Lire la suite]

    Abonnez-vous à notre chaîne YouTube pour ne manquer aucune vidéo !

    L'article Google et Apple exigent que le réseau social Parler modère ses contenus sous peine d’exclusion est apparu en premier sur Numerama .

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      “Joker”—the malware that signs you up for pricey services—floods Android markets

      Dan Goodin · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 28 September, 2020 - 21:21

    “Joker”—the malware that signs you up for pricey services—floods Android markets

    Enlarge (credit: portal gda / Flickr )

    September has been a busy month for malicious Android apps, with dozens of them from a single malware family alone flooding either Google Play or third-party markets, researchers from security companies said.

    Known as Joker, this family of malicious apps has been attacking Android users since late 2016 and more recently has become one of the most common Android threats. Once installed, Joker apps secretly subscribe users to pricey subscription services and can also steal SMS messages, contact lists, and device information. Last July, researchers said they found Joker lurking in 11 seemingly legitimate apps downloaded from Play about 500,000 times .

    Late last week, researchers from security firm Zscaler said they found a new batch comprising 17 Joker-tainted apps with 120,000 downloads. The apps were uploaded to Play gradually over the course of September. Security firm Zimperium, meanwhile, reported on Monday that company researchers found 64 new Joker variants in September, most or all of which were seeded in third-party app stores.

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      Epic gives Fortnite players discounts for skirting Apple, Google fees

      Kate Cox · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 13 August, 2020 - 17:19 · 1 minute

    <em>Fortnite</em> seen in the App Store on an iPhone on May 10, 2018.

    Enlarge / Fortnite seen in the App Store on an iPhone on May 10, 2018. (credit: Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images )

    In a move seemingly calculated to be both an enticement to players and a middle finger aimed directly at Apple and Google, game developer Epic today began offering a discount for Fortnite players who use Epic's own direct payment system for in-game purchases.

    The "Fortnite Mega Drop" is a permanent 20 percent discount on purchases across all platforms, Epic announced today . Players on traditional consoles (Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch) and on PC or Mac computers will get the discount automatically. Players on iOS and Android can choose between Apple App Store / Google Play Store at the regular price or, immediately below, the same item through Epic direct payment at a discount. Players who purchased V-Bucks or real-money items since July 14 will also see a retroactive bonus, Epic said.

    Epic is not shy about explaining its reasoning. "Currently, there are no savings if players use Apple and Google payment options, where Apple and Google collect an exorbitant 30% fee on all payments," the company said . "If Apple and Google lower their fees on payments, Epic will pass along the savings to players."

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