Week in Geek: Malware for Android has Increased 472% since July

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By Akemi Iwaya on November 20th, 2011

This week we learned how to safely eject your USB devices from the desktop context menu, make the Kindle Fire Silk Browser *actually* fast, “disable Windows startup programs, use DNS names on your home network, & restore a vintage keyboard”, print or save a directory listing to a file, make your computer press a key every X seconds, and more.

Weekly News Links

We have extra news link goodness to share with you this week.

  • Report: Android malware continues to rise
    According to a report from the Juniper Networks Global Threat Center, malware targeting Google’s open source Android mobile operating system has increased by 472 per cent since July of this year.
  • You say ‘rootkit,’ I say ‘diagnostic tool’
    Android developer Trevor Eckhart recently noticed something odd on several EVO HTC devices: hidden software that phoned home to the carrier with details about how the phone was being used and where it was.
  • Android antivirus freeware ‘near to useless’
    Free antivirus apps published on Google’s Android Market are popular with consumers despite their inability to detect malware and were “near to useless”, new study revealed, which endangers users who use and trust these apps.
  • Mobile malware threats to escalate in 2012
    Organizations and Internet users will see an increase in mobile malware next year, in addition to an escalation of targeted attacks and growing social media threats.
  • F-Secure finds rare digitally signed malware
    Researchers at F-Secure have uncovered a rarity–malware that is signed with a valid code-signing certificate stolen from a government.
  • Security researcher gets root on Windows 8 with bootkit
    At the upcoming MalCon security conference in Mumbai, Austrian independent developer and security analyst Peter Kleissner is scheduled to release the first known “bootkit” for Windows 8-an exploit that is able to load from a hard drive’s master boot record and reside in memory all the way through the startup of the operating system, providing root access to the system.
  • Holes in Apple’s Mac OS X sandbox
    Security firm Core Security has warned that the default pre-defined Apple sandbox profiles such as “no-network” can be bypassed relatively easily using suitable events.
  • DevilRobber Trojan now disguised as PixelMator
    One of the latest trojan horse malware attempts on OS X is a bitcoin mining and data stealing bot called “DevilRobber” that uses the system’s parallel processing capabilities of systems (the GPU and CPU) to run Bitcoin mining operations to rapidly generate Bitcoins (an experimental digital currency).
  • Linux Kernel Vulnerability Affects Ubuntu 11.10 OMAP4
    A Linux kernel security vulnerability was discovered in the Linux kernel for OMAP4 packages, affecting the Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) operating system.
  • Hacker says he broke into Texas water plant, others
    A twentysomething hacker said this past Friday that he hacked into a South Houston water utility to show that it can easily be done, after U.S. officials downplayed the risks from a report yesterday of an intrusion at an Illinois water plant.
  • Iran detects Duqu virus in system
    Iran said this past Sunday that it detected Duqu computer virus, which security players have debated is based on Stuxnet, believed to be aimed at sabotaging Islamic Republic’s nuclear sites, according to a report.
  • US probing Chinese networking firms over national security risk
    The U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) has launched an investigation to assess potential threats to national security posed by the presence of China’s networking vendors and their expasion plans in the country.
  • SOPA’s latest threat: IP blocking, privacy-busting packet inspection
    A little-noticed portion of a controversial House of Representatives copyright bill could require Internet providers to monitor customers’ traffic and block the addresses of Web sites suspected of copyright infringement, a significant expansion of requirements in an earlier version of the bill.
  • Google details location services opt-out for Wi-Fi access point owners
    As previously promised, Google has detailed how users with wireless access points can opt-out of the company’s location-based services.
  • W3C privacy workgroup issues first draft of Do Not Track standard
    W3C has published the first draft of a new Web standard that addresses online privacy. It establishes an official specification for the mechanism that browsers use to broadcast the “Do Not Track” (DNT) privacy preference to websites.
  • Mozilla hatches plan to tackle memory leaks in Firefox add-ons
    Mozilla began an aggressive campaign earlier this year to trim Firefox’s memory footprint with a new initiative called MemShrink. As a result, Firefox’s memory consumption is now between 20 to 50 percent lower. Building on that success, Mozilla is expanding the scope of its MemShrink initiative and looking to address memory consumption in additional areas.
  • Google adds 24-7 phone support for Google Apps
    Continuing its push into the corporate software applications business, Google has added round-the-clock phone support for its Google Apps customers.
  • Google HTML converter becomes Flash Pro plug-in
    Google has released a plug-in that lets Flash Pro users convert Flash’s SWF files into HTML code directly from the Adobe Systems developer tool.
  • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Will Not Support Old CPUs
    During the Ubuntu Developer Summit event for the upcoming Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) operating system, the developers talked about removing the non-PAE i386 supported kernel flavor.
  • The most popular Linux is…
    No it’s not Fedora, openSUSE, or even Ubuntu. It’s Linux Mint.

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Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 11/20/11
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