April 17, 2014

Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: Just a Feature or is it Malware?

Symantec is reporting that a bug is starting to infect Android-powered devices that is capable of receiving and executing some commands as well as stealing information from the infected devices.

Called Android.Counterclank the company said that it is a variation of a previous bot like threat called Android.Tonclank and has been grafted onto a range of applications availaboe for Android devices in a package called “apperhand”.

Symantec said that the malicious app is the most widely downloaded infection so far this year. Among the infected apps is Counter Elite Force, Wild Man and Sexy Girls Puzzle. Go here for a complete list.

Or is the Malware threat all hype?
A counterpoint to Symantec’s warning that there is a growing threat from Android.Counterclank comes from Lookout Security, as reported by Computerworld, which takes the position that the technology is simply a version of an ad network.

The company’s researchers do admit that the apps, 13 in all, do alter a browser and enters a bookmark in a user’s device but said that the moves were not malicious and just part of an ad network’s business model.

I have to say that if something I did not know was even present on my device then started altering my settings I would call that malicious. I wonder where this will end up because if it becomes common for apps to include a feature like this I believe that it will have a very detrimental effect on their popularity.

Wi-Fi Only Xyboards ready for the market
The Unwired View had a good catch by noting that Motorola has quietly started taking orders for the Wi-Fi only version of its recently released Xyboard tablets and said that the tablets are expected to ship this week.

There will be a pair of Xyboards available, all without cellular capability and without the co-branding with Verizon that is one the initial models that featured cellular. The models are the Xyboard 10.1 that starts at $499.99 for the 16GB model, the smaller Xyboard 8.2 that starts at $399.99 for the 16GB version.

Did Apple win big in Patent ruling?
Over at the Foss Patent blog the opinion is that a ruling issued by United States Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner could have a huge impact in the ongoing Apple/Android lawsuits in the US and in Apple’s favor.

Judge Posner ruled that agreed with Apple’s interpretation of the term, “realtime API”, in its ’263 patent and that it appears that Motorola, and by inference all-devices running the Android operating system are infringing on the patent.

However as the blog notes, the ruling on this issue has gone back and forth as it has moved up the legal chain and its next stop is the US Court of Appeals. However the ruling has to boost the confidence of the Apple legal team.

An Open Source Tablet is in the works
iTWire notes that KDE developer Aaron Seigo has announced on his blog the development of an open tablet, one that is operating on free open source code software. It will be on unlocked hardware and have open source content.

The 7-inch tablet will use the KDE developed Plasma Active interface and include a capacitive multi-touch screen and will have a basic configuration that includes a 1GHz ARM processor, a Mali-400 GPU, 512 MB RAM, 4GB internal storage plus an SD card slot. It will feature Wi-Fi connectivity.

Details as to availability and price are expected later in the week. No word if it will play Angry Birds.

ZTE 7-inch tablet details leaked
Slashgear has found that the kindly FCC has revealed details on the forthcoming 7-inch tablet from ZTE. The details on the device, which is listed as ZTE V66 include it running Android 3.0 powered by a 1.2GHz dual core processor.

It will include a 1200 x 800 pixel resolution display. It is expected to be on the Verizon network and will have full 4G LTE support. It looks now that there will be a growing competition in the 7-inch form factor in early 2012 (assuming this comes out in early 2012), and so Barnes & Noble and Google may get a run for their money in the near future.

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  2. [...] Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: Just a Feature or is it Malware? iTWire notes that KDE developer Aaron Seigo has announced on his blog the development of an open tablet, one that is operating on free open source code software. It will be on unlocked hardware and have open source content. The 7-inch tablet will use … Read more on Mobile Sports Report [...]

  3. [...] was a battle of opinions last week between Symantec and Lookout Security in regards to a bit of code that is attached to a [...]

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