A Bunch of Loopholes in Apple’s iMessage App?


Apple’s devices could be vulnerable to attacks owing it to a few flaws that the researchers have uncovered in its iMessage app.

Where, in one case, the extent of severity of the attack happens to be so large that the only way to safe-guard the device would be to delete all data on it.

The other case saw some files being copied off the device without needing the user to do anything. The fixes were released last week by Apple.

But somehow there was a problem which couldn’t be fixed in the updates, which was brought to the attention of the company by the researchers.

Google’s Project Zero Team was established in July 2014 with an aim to dig all the “previously undocumented cyber vulnerabilities”.

Samaung, Microsoft, Facebook and a few others were warned off by this team regarding the problems in their code.

The unrepaired flaw, according to Apple’s own sources could aid the hackers to crash an app or execute commands of its own accord on iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches.

Installation of new version of the iOS (iOS 12.4) has been strongly advised by the organization. The attacks/dangers could be easily handled by keeping the software up-to-date.


An iMessage Vulnerability Patched by Apple Allowed Potential Attackers to Read Contents of Files





An iMessage vulnerability was discovered by Google Project Zero security researcher was as of late fixed by Apple as a component of the 12.4 iOS update which enabled potential attackers to peruse contents of many files put away on iOS devices remotely with no user interaction.

The security flaw tracked as CVE-2019-8646 was reported in Apple during May. Natalie Silvanovich, the researcher who found the vulnerability created the proof of concept works just on devices running iOS 12 or later and said that it is structured as "a simple example to demonstrate the reach-ability of the class in Springboard. The actual consequences of the bug are likely more serious."
Describing the issue in detail on Project Zero's bug tracker she says:

 “First, it could potentially allow undesired access to local files if the code deserializing the buffer ever shares it (this is more likely to cause problems in components that use serialized objects to communicate locally than in iMessage). Second, it allows an NSData object to be created with a length that is different than the length of its byte array. This violates a very basic property that should always be true of NSData objects. This can allow out of bounds reads, and could also potentially lead to out-of-bounds writes, as it is now possible to create NSData objects with very large sizes that would not be possible if the buffer was backed.”

Later adding the Google security researcher says that ‘the iMessage issue is caused by the _NSDataFileBackedFuture class which can be deserialized even if secure encoding is enabled. This class is a file-backed NSData object that loads a local file into memory when the [NSData bytes] selector is called.’

Apart from this Silvanovich discovered two other iMessage vulnerabilities in collaboration with Google Project Zero's Samuel Groß, flaws that additionally got fixed in the iOS 12.4 update.
The first is memory vulnerability in Core Data tracked as CVE-2019-8660 fixed with improved length checking and the second, a Core Data use after free issue tracked as CVE-2019-8647 that may enable a remote attacker to cause arbitrary code execution on iPhone 5s or iPad's.

In general, five iMessage bugs were found by Silvanovich, with the last two being an input validation issue which could block devices with a contorted message, that was fixed in iOS 12.3 and released on May 13 and an 'out-of-bounds read' read prompting a memory leak which was fixed in watch iOS 5.3 issued on July 22.


Google’s Trying to Buy Faces For as Less as $5?







After already owning lots of information about the people who use it, Google’s up for trying to own people’s faces, that too just for $5!

Allegedly, individuals from Google are meeting up with people and are asking them to use the “selfie” mode in various angles.

Many teams of Google representative across several different cities are panning out people to collect “facial” data.

When asked the say that they are collecting data to “improve the next generation of facial recognition” while unlocking the phone.

What does that person get in exchange for their valuable face? Merely a gift card worth $5 to Starbucks or Amazon.



After the person agrees to participate in this new development initiative, a relatively large phone is handed out in an inconspicuous looking case that hides its shape.

Also, the participant then is apparently asked to sign a waiver. 

It is being conjectured that the device given to the participants is a pre-release version of Google’s Pixel 4s still in its testing stage.

The data that gets fed into the prototype machine apparently gets worked into an algorithm to recognizes faces by way of a varied assortment of sensors.

As is in the air already, Google’s all set for losing its 2D face recognition sensors and is about to embrace official support for 3D face unlock.

Between all these assumptions, suppositions and surmises Google haven’t officially uttered a word.


Google, Facebook tracking porn preferences of users








Researchers at Microsoft, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pennsylvania found out that Google and Facebook are tracking users porn consumption data, even in incognito mode. 

The experts analyzed 22,484 porn sites and 93 percent of them send data to several domains that are owned by third-party companies.

“[E]veryone is at risk when such data is accessible without users’ consent, and thus can potentially be leveraged against them,” write the authors. “These risks are heightened for vulnerable populations whose porn usage might be classified as non-normative or contrary to their public life.” 

According to the study, Google is the No.1 company who receives data from the third parties. The research found that Google or its subsidiaries had trackers on 74% of the pornography sites, while  Facebook had trackers on 10% of the sites. 

“[M]any sites and apps include code from other parties of which users are typically unaware,” the authors say. “Such ‘third-party’ code can allow companies to monitor the actions of users without their knowledge or consent and build detailed profiles of their habits and interests.”

Only 17 percent of all the analyzed sites in the research sample were encrypted. More ever, 49.97 percent of porn site URLs expose or strongly suggest the identities, sexual orientation, and intimate interests of visitors.

“[T]hese porn domains contain words or phrases that would likely be generally understood as an indicator of a particular sexual preference or interest inherent in the site’s content,” the researchers say. [T]hese might also likely be assumed to be tied to the user accessing that content.”

The study found that only 17 percent of porn sites have a privacy policy and encrypted data transfer. 


“The policies were written such that one might need a two-year college education to understand them,” the authors note. 

Israeli spyware firm NSO can mine data from social media accounts









An Israeli spyware firm has claimed that they can scoop  user data from the world’s top social media, the Financial Times report. 

The powerful malware Pegasus from NSO Group is the same spyware that breached WhatsApp data earlier this year. 

The firm said that this time their malware can scrap data from the servers of Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft. 

According to the reports of the Times, the NSO group had “told buyers its technology can surreptitiously scrape all of an individual’s data from the servers of Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, according to people familiar with its sales pitch”.

However, the companies spokesperson denied the allegation in a in written statement to AFP’s request for comment. 
“There is a fundamental misunderstanding of NSO, its services and technology,” it said.

“NSO’s products do not provide the type of collection capabilities and access to cloud applications, services, or infrastructure as listed and suggested in today’s FT article.”

In the mean time, Amazon and Google told AFP that they have started an investigation on the basis of report, but so far found no evidence that the software had breached their systems or customer accounts.





Google now pays more for disclosing vulnerabilities in Chrome OS and some Play Store apps

One of the hardest aspects of maintaining a cross-platform product is ensuring its security. Vulnerabilities can be exploited on various platforms in various scenarios, and it’s almost impossible for literally any company’s security department to fix all of them on their own. That’s why companies often use vulnerability disclosure rewards programs, which basically means giving money to someone who finds an issue in your product. Google has several programs of this kind. One of them is the Chrome Vulnerability Rewards Program, which awards security researchers for exploiting vulnerabilities in Chromium, Chrome, and Chrome OS. As you already know, there are a lot of Chromium-based browsers on the market, so the security of this product is crucial.

Today, Google is increasing the minimum rewarding amount for this program. Currently, security researchers receive a maximum amount of $5,000 on baseline reports. These exploits are mostly around escaping the sandboxing. Google is tripling the amount of reward for high severity baseline reward, bringing it up to $15,000. The price of high-quality reports with functional exploits of the same category got doubled. Previously it was $15,000, but after today Google will pay $30,000 for these kinds of exploits. Google is also increasing the bonus from $500 to $1,000 for exploits found via Chrome Fuzzer, which lets security researchers use Google’s hardware and scale to replicate the exploits.

The Google Play Security Reward Program got an update, too. This program only covers apps that have specifically opted-in.

- The reward for remote code execution bug went from $5,000 to $20,000
- The reward for theft of insecure private data went from $1,000 to $3,000
- The reward for accessing protected app components went from $1,000 to $3,000

To put it in short, Google decided to show more appreciation for all the security researchers that help ensure the security of their product. The changes will go into action today. You can start looking for vulnerabilities if you are competent enough. Maybe you’ll get some reward from Google.

Google removes 16 apps infected by 'Agent Smith' malware

Every now and then, Android keeps getting visited from deadly malware attacks that put user and their data at lots of risks. This time, it's a new malware called Agent Smith and like its name, this malware is sneaky in what it's designed to do - bombard your phone with ads. Agent Smith also has properties to stick to other apps installed on the phone and ensure that the malware infection stays the same. The malware was first detected by Check Point and after working with Google, the infected apps have been removed from Google Play Store.

After it was informed of the infection, Google has identified and removed 16 apps from the Play Store that are known to be infected by Agent Smith. These apps are no longer available for download from the Play Store and there won't be further updates for these apps via the Play Store. However, Google can only remove the app from the Play Store but it can't wipe these apps from an individual's Android phone. Hence, if you have the following apps installed on your Android phone, you should uninstall them immediately.

Ludo Master - New Ludo Game 2019 For Free

Sky Warriors: General Attack

Color Phone Flash - Call Screen Theme

Bio Blast - Infinity Battle Shoot virus

Shooting Jet

Photo Projector

Gun Hero - Gunman Game for Free

Cooking Witch

Blockman Go: Free Realms & Mini Games

Crazy Juicer - Hot Knife Hit Game & Juice Blast

Clash of Virus

Angry Virus

Rabbit Temple

Star Range

Kiss Game: Touch Her Heart

Girl Cloth Xray Scan Simulator

However, Agent Smith can cling on to other popular apps and make it difficult for users to identify which app has been affected by it. Two most popular apps in India include WhatsApp - through which it has infected 1.5 crore Android phones, and Flipkart.

Google’s Language Experts Listen to Users’ Private Recordings





The technology superpower Google recently avowed that its employees listen to customers' personal audio recordings on Google Home smart speakers.


For allegedly improving the voice recognition quality, language experts analyze "snippets" of users' recordings.


Those recordings are used to further develop the Google assistant's artificial intelligence system which is used in the Android phones and Google Home smart speakers.


According to sources the company is a statement cited their experts did transcribe a few of the anonymous recordings.


An investigation had been launched after it was found out that some Dutch audio data had been leaked.


Per sources the technology giant also said that in the process of developing technology of its AI products, transcribing a small set of queries is critical for which they collaborate with language experts around the world.


And it was one of these reviewers who allegedly leaked the Dutch audio data hence violating Google's security policies.


Actually, only 0.2% of all audio snippets are reviewed by the language experts, which especially are never associated with user accounts.



The investigation launched by the Security and Privacy Response teams is Soon to reach some result and all possible actions are being taken to deduct all chances of repetition.


Amazon also indulges in similar actions of listening to recordings of customers in relation with Alexa, its voice based assistant, mentioned a report.


Later Amazon admitted to the process and mentioned that the number of recordings was pretty small and imperative to train AI's responses.


There's a special provision for users though. They can always delete their recordings linked to their account by way of the Alexa Companion App.



Google has been listening to recordings from Home smart speakers


Google has admitted that it listens to voice recordings of users from its AI voice-assistant Google Assistant after its Dutch language recordings were leaked by Belgian public broadcaster VRT. “Most of these recordings were made consciously, but Google also listens to conversations that should never have been recorded, some of which contain sensitive information,” VRT claimed in its report.

Google’s product manager of Search David Monsees admitted, in a company blog post, that its language experts globally listen to these recordings to help Google better understand languages to develop speech technology.

“These language experts review and transcribe a small set of queries to help us better understand those languages. This is a critical part of the process of building speech technology, and is necessary to creating products like the Google Assistant,” the post read.

Google, however, insists that only around 0.2 per cent of all audio snippets are reviewed. The clippings, the company says, are anonymous or not associated with user accounts and do not reveal a user’s personal information. The post adds that no background noise is transcribed by the language experts to maintain privacy.

However, of over 1,000 recordings from Assistant, which is used on smartphones, smart home speakers like Google Home and other products, VRT reported that 153 were recorded accidentally and even revealed some personal information of users such as their address in one case and names of grandchildren of a family in another.

Notably, to activate the Google Assistant, users need to say the phrase “OK, Google” or physically trigger the Assistant button on devices, after which it starts recording. Though rare, Google admits that Assistant may falsely accept recording request sometimes when triggered by interpreting something else as “Ok Google”. According to the post, this tends to happen when there is too much background noise.

A New Smartphone Malware Infects 25 Million Devices Worldwide


A new smartphone malware that has infected 25 million devices around the world, including 15 million in India has been recently discovered by a team of cyber security specialists. Being dubbed as "Agent Smith”, the malware camouflages itself as a Google-related application and then replaces the installed applications with pernicious versions of them utilizing known Android vulnerabilities without the users' knowledge.

'Agent Smith' utilizes its access to Android devices in order to display fake ads for financial gain, yet given its access, it can likewise be utilized for increasingly accursed purposes.

Checkpoint research team which specializes in analysing global cyber threats , notes that the activity of Agent Smith takes after how other malware like CopyCat, Gooligan, and HummingBad have operated in the recent years and each of the three campaigns have utilized infected devices to generate fake ad revenue 'to the tune of millions of dollars'.

'Agent Smith' is said to have been originated on prevalent third-party application store 9Apps and has focused predominantly on Arabic, Hindi, Indonesian, and Russian speakers. Majority of the malware's victims were reported to be from India and neighbouring nations like Bangladesh and Pakistan yet as indicated by certain confirmations there are quite a few infected devices in nations like Australia, UK, and USA too.
 
Agent Smith infection world heat map
Some of the apps that have been utilized to infect devices by means of 9Apps store are Color Phone Flash – Call Screen Theme, Photo Projector, Rabbit Temple, and Kiss Game: Touch Her Heart, and Girl Cloth XRay Scan Simulator.

What's more is that, after the inceptive attack vector by means of 9Apps, the makers of Agent Smith shifted their focus towards Google Play Store and had the option to push at least 11 malware laden app in the store.

Android apps infected with Agent Smith in Google Play Store and 9Apps


While Google has removed all the apps from Google Play, users are cautioned against having any of these applications installed as they will be no doubt infected by the Agent Smith malware. Check Point Research adds further, saying that the Android users should only utilize trusted application stores to download applications as "third party app stores often lack the security measures required to block adware loaded apps."


Gamers’ Google and Facebook Credentials Unsafe; Android’s “Scary Granny ZOMBYE Mod: The Horror Game” To Blame!






A horror game from Android which has more than 50,000 downloads to its name. The Scary Granny ZOMBYE Mod: The Horror Game showed malicious behavior and is allegedly stealing users’ credentials after they log into their accounts.

The game is specifically designed to hoard downloads from the success of another Android game dubbed “Granny” with 100 million installs as of now.

After the researchers informed Google about the game’s phishing and siphoning abilities, the fully functional game was taken down from the Google Play Store.

A prominent research team realized that the game wouldn’t exhibit any malicious activity up to 2 days to steer clear of security checks.

It would turn in its data-stealing modules lest it were being used on older Android versions with users with new devices which run up to date.

Quite obviously it starts asking for permissions to launch itself on the smartphone or tablet and tries to gain the trust of the users.

Even after the Android users reboot their systems the game still shows full-screen phishing overlays.

Firstly it shows “a notification telling the user to update Google Security Services” and the moment they hit ‘update’ a fake Google Login page appears which looks almost legitimate except for the incorrectly spelled “Sign in”.


Scary Granny, after stealing the users’ credentials it will go on to try to harvest account information like recovery emails, phone numbers, verification codes, DOBs and cookies.

Obfuscated packages are other ways of mimicking official components of the Android apps. For example, com.googles.android.gmspackage attempts to pass itself as the original com.google.android.gms

The Scary Granny would also display some really legitimate looking ads from other prominent applications like Messenger, Pinterest, SnapChat, Zalo or TikTok.

The malicious horror game would make it appear that apps like Facebook and Amazon were actually open when actually they are only ads pretending to be actual applications.

In one of the cases the researchers tried out, the ad directed the user to a page which Google blocked flagging it as being deceptive which clearly implies that it hosts malware or a phishing attack.

After connecting with an ad network by way of com.coread.adsdkandroid2019 package, the ads would get distributed to the compromised Android devices.

At the end, to maximize the profit for its creators, the Scary Granny would try to wrest money form the users by asking them to pay for their playing privileges via a “pre-populated PayPal payment page”.


Over 2,000 malicious apps exists on Play Store

If you thought that the quality control issues plaguing the Google Play Store for Android were finally being ironed out, it couldn't be further from the truth. A two-year-study by the University of Sydney and CSIRO’s Data61 has come to the conclusion that there are at least 2,040 counterfeit apps on Google Play Store. Over 2,000 of those apps impersonated popular games and had malware. The paper, a Multi-modal Neural Embedding Approach for Detecting Mobile Counterfeit Apps, was presented at the World Wide Web Conference in California in May documenting the results.

The study shows that there is a massive number of impersonated popular gaming apps available on Play store. They include fake versions of popular games such as Temple Run, Free Flow and Hill Climb Racing. The study investigated around 1.2 million apps on Google Play Store, available in Android, and identified a set of potential counterfeits for the top 10,000 apps.

Counterfeit apps impersonate popular apps and try to misguide users`. “Many counterfeit apps can be identified once installed. However, even a tech-savvy user may struggle to detect them before installation,” the study says.

It also points out that fake apps are often used by hackers to steal user data or infect a device with malware. “Installing counterfeit apps can lead to a hacker accessing personal data and can have serious consequences like financial losses or identity theft,” reads a blog post by the university.

The study also found that 1,565 asked for at least five dangerous permissions and 1407 had at least five embedded third-party ad libraries.

To investigate these applications on Google Play store the researchers used neural networks.

Google has acknowledged the problem of “malicious apps and developers” in a blog post by Google Play product manager Andrew Ahn on February 13, 2019.

According to Google, the company now removes malicious developers from Play store much faster when compared to previous years. The company says that in 2018 it stopped more malicious apps from entering the store than ever before.

A Google spokesperson, in response to a TOI email, said, “When we find that an app has violated our policies, we remove it from Google Play.”

Fake Businesses On Google Maps; WSJ Outs The List!




Per Wall Street Journal’s latest report, Google Maps is brimming with scam campaigns imitating to be genuine businesses enterprises.


As of now there has been a listing approximately of 11 Million fake businesses on Google Maps and reportedly new numbers and addresses get added every month.

Motives behind Fake Listings
·       Creating fake profiles for competitors
·       Listing wrong phone numbers and addresses for rivals
·       Impersonating legitimate businesses to lure customers in
There have been several cases in one of which a woman was swindled off by a fake company contractor by doing a terrible job and charging twice.


The identified fake listings were in turn taken down by Google in addition to adding better safeguards for the “high-risk” categories in its business listings.

Allegedly, contractors and repair services are the most common fake business up there as customers hardly take any time to dig deep into their profiles.

Last year Google had to take down over 3 million fake business accounts and disable over 150,000 profiles which were used to make them.

Over 85% of the eradicated were flagged by Google’s internal systems and over 250,000 fake accounts were reported by the consumers.

Google very well understands how important it is for the users and how deep the need runs to make it as safe as possible because people will always try to create obstructions and hence it’s committed to it.

Creating a listing on Google Maps is sort of easy. Businesses could verify their listings’ address and phone number via SMS, a phone call or even their listed location.

Google My Business is currently home to around 150 million business enterprises probably owing to the ease of joining.


Mozilla advices its users' to update their web browser to fix critical vulnerability






Mozilla has issued a warning to its users and asked them to upgrade their web browser Firefox, after company found some critical vulnerabilities.

The company has issued an advisory on Tuesday, 18 June, 2019, it includes a details about security vulnerabilities that have been fixed in Firefox 67.0.3 and Firefox ESR 60.7.1.

 The advisory detailed flaws stating, “A type confusion vulnerability can occur when manipulating JavaScript objects due to issues in Array.pop. This can allow for an exploitable crash.”

It further read “We are aware of targeted attacks in the wild abusing this flaw.” The company has marked the update as ‘critical’. 

According to reports, the bug is classified as critical because  it allows outside users to remotely execute code on your machine without your permission.


The bug was spotted for the first time by Samuel Groß, who is reportedly a security researcher with Google Project Zero and Coinbase Security.

Beware of new phishing scam that’s attacking Google Calendar

No matter which corner of the internet you visit, you'll find scammers trying to take advantage of you. You may already know to be skeptical of emails, Facebook posts, and dating profiles that seem too good to be true. And some times they even try to take control of our data - primarily the financial data - using the alleged calls from customer care executives. Quite frankly, no one is immune to receiving such unsolicited messages or emails. But thanks to their popularity, everyone knows the drill to safeguard themselves. Just don't click on suspicious emails or links and don't reveal your financial information to anyone and you are good to go. You know this. I know this and even scammers know this. And so now, reports are that there's a new type of security threat that targets your Google Calendar.

Scammers are using Google Calendar and other calendar apps to target innocent users in a new type of phishing scam, according to a global security firm.

Findings from the threat intelligence firm Kaspersky show there's been a recent wave of scam artists using hyperlink-embedded events to gain access to people's sensitive information. They start by spamming Google Calendar users with seemingly benign calendar invites. Anyone can accept the invitations, but the real targets are users with the default setting that automatically adds every event they're invited to to their Google Calendar. Once it's been added, Google sends notifications related to the event, making it seem more trustworthy.

The scam is thought to have happened throughout May this year.

The fake invitations contained a malicious website link that encouraged users to input their personal details, often in the form of a simple questionnaire that promised the chance to win money or other prizes if completed.

Kaspersky researchers say that users can safeguard themselves by turning off the automatic adding of invites to your Google Calendar app.

Google Confirms Several Android Devices Shipped With a Malware




Google tackles yet another vulnerability dubbed as Triada, a malware in the form of a code that affected some Android devices even before they shipped.

The malware is such cunningly structured by the hackers, that it displays ads and spam on a cell phone, on endless Android smartphones and stays undetected for long.

Google, in a rather detailed blog post, clarifies "Triada infects device system images through a third-party during the production process. Sometimes OEMs want to include features that aren't part of the Android Open Source Project, such as face unlock. The OEM might partner with a third-party that can develop the desired feature and send the whole system image to that vendor for development...Based on analysis; we believe that a vendor using the name Yehuo or Blazefire infected the returned system image with Triada."

The activities of Triada were first discovered by Kaspersky Labs through the two posts which had stayed profound into the workings of the malware, first was back in March 2016 and the other in a consequent post in June 2016.

What makes this Trojan progressively perilous is simply the way that it hides itself from the list of applications running and installed on the Android smartphone, making it unimaginable for the anti-virus applications and anti-malware applications to identify it, then again it makes it hard for the framework to distinguish if a peculiar or an undesirable procedure is running in the background.

Triada is additionally known to modify the Android's Zygote process too.

Google, upon finding out about the functions and workings of Triada in 2016, had immediately removed the malware from all devices utilizing Google Play Protect. In any case, the malevolent actors amped up their endeavors and discharged a much smarter version of the Trojan in 2017.

What's more, since this more 'smarter version' was implanted in the system libraries it could furtively download and run noxious modules. The most concerning fact being that it can't be erased utilizing the standard techniques and methods.

As indicated by a well-known software suite Dr.Web, the modified version of Traida is known to be found on several mobile devices, including Leagoo M5 Plus, Leagoo M8, Nomu S10, and Nomu S20.


Many Android devices had pre-installed backdoor: Google

Earlier this year, Forbes reported how a banking Trojan called Triada had been found on a bunch of brand new budget Android smartphones. Google has now confirmed that threat actors did, indeed, manage to compromise Android smartphones with the installation of a backdoor as part of a supply chain attack.

Two years later, on Thursday, Google has now admitted that criminals in 2017 indeed managed to get an advanced backdoor preinstalled on Android devices, even before these left the factories of manufacturers.

The list of affected devices includes Leagoo M5 Plus, Leagoo M8, Nomu S10 and Nomu S20.

To understand what has happened here, we need to go back to 2016 when Kaspersky Lab researchers first uncovered what they called one of the most advanced mobile Trojans Kaspersky malware analysts had ever seen. They named that Trojan "Triada" and explained how it existed mainly in the smartphone's random access memory (RAM) using root privileges to replace system files with malicious ones. Android phones were spotted to have Triada as a preloaded backdoor in 2017.

The firm, Dr. Web’s, researchers had found Triada embedded into one of the OS libraries and located in the system section. Not just that, the Trojan couldn’t be detected or deleted using standard methods.

Triada had, the researchers found, used a call in the Android framework log function instead. In other words, the infected devices had a backdoor installed. This meant that every time an app, any app, attempted to log something the function was called and that backdoor code executed. The Triada Trojan could now execute code in pretty much any app context courtesy of this backdoor; a backdoor that came factory-fitted.

The Mountain View, California-headquartered company initially removed Triada samples from all Android devices using Google Play Protect. But in 2017, it was found that Triada evolved and ultimately became a preloaded backdoor on Android devices. Notably, the latest phones aren't likely to be affected by what has been discovered by Google. The vulnerability did have an impact on various models in the past, though.

Live Status for Trains, Buses, now available on Google Maps in India



Google Maps by way of tracking live traffic data and public bus schedules will now be showing live status for trains and buses and a little something for the auto-rickshaws too.


The Google application, which at the onset was merely a direction tool, now has a fresh new updated set of features.

Other than the two major modes of conveyance status and traffic tracking will now also be available for auto-rickshaws.

The Maps will now redirect the users to the live train statuses of the trains as well as travel times for buses all in real-time.

Auto-rickshaws and other modes of public transport have all been combined for suggestions in the “mixed mode”.

Information regarding the delays and total time taken for their journey according to the traffic’s situation will now be available at a click or touch away.
The bus travel times could be easily checked by simply adding the starting location and the destination on the “transit tab”.

The buses that are on time will reflect the color green and the ones running late will show in red.

The feature will be available in 10 cities of India namely, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Mysore, Pune and Surat.

The real-time train status for trains will also be shown by Google Maps including if they are running late, where users will have to enter the location of their starting and destination.

Furthermore, the auto-rickshaw and other public transports will also get directional support with this feature being initially available in Delhi and Bangalore.

The fresh features of Google Maps will also help you decide whether taking a certain kind of journey is a good option or not after analyzing the traffic scenarios and all.

Allegedly, it will assist you to a level where you’d be prompted to take an auto-rickshaw to/from a particular stand to make your journey smooth.

Departure times for transit connection and rickshaw meters are other features that Google Maps is being said to have.


Gmail's Confidential Mode for G-Suite to be Launched on June 25




In an attempt to mature its email services, Google rolled out a privacy-centric feature called as ‘confidential mode’ which according to the announcements made by the company will be available for all the G suite users in the month of June. Reportedly, in 2018, a beta version of the feature has been launched in the month of August.
The feature is well-built to serve the users and their sensitive information; once available, the mode is configured to “be set to default ON for all domains with Gmail enabled, unless you choose to disable this feature" as per the Google announcements.
With the newly added Confidential Mode turned on, users are aided with inbuilt information rights management controls which allow them to set a specific expiration date for emails that will delete them automatically after the set deadline and they can also, revoke sent emails.
This groundbreaking feature of Gmail will also allow users to send self-destructing emails that will restrict forwarding and block printing to other users. 
As the officials further explained, “Because a sender can require additional authentication via text message to view an email, it’s also possible to protect data even if a recipient’s email account has been hijacked while the message is active."

How to use confidential mode

First of all, ensure that you are using the new version of Gmail which can be activated from the gear icon at the top.
Now open Gmail and click on compose, at the bottom of the mailbox will appear a tiny clock icon, click on that icon to configure the settings of that mail.  
You will have to go through this procedure for each mail you wish to use the feature with as the mode is configured on a per-email basis.



Google stored G Suite passwords in plaintext, apologises


Google says a small number of its enterprise customers mistakenly had their passwords stored on its systems in plaintext.

If you have a Google account, Google's core sign-in system is designed not to know your password.
The search giant disclosed the exposure Tuesday but declined to say exactly how many enterprise customers were affected. “We recently notified a subset of our enterprise G Suite customers that some passwords were stored in our encrypted internal systems unhashed,” said Google vice president of engineering Suzanne Frey.

The company said that only G Suite enterprise customers were impacted, but not regular Gmail accounts.

The tech giant said it had notified G Suite administrators to change the impacted passwords.

Google on Wednesday extended an apology to its G Suite customers.

"We apologise to our users and will do better," she added.

Most G Suite customers are companies that signed-up for enterprise versions of Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sites, Google Drive, and Google's various other services.

No consumer Gmail accounts were affected by the security lapse, said Frey.

Storing passwords without cryptographic hashes expose them to hacking risk as they become readable.

Passwords are typically scrambled using a hashing algorithm to prevent them from being read by humans. G Suite administrators are able to manually upload, set and recover new user passwords for company users, which helps in situations where new employees are on-boarded. But Google said it discovered in April that the way it implemented password setting and recovery for its enterprise offering in 2005 was faulty and improperly stored a copy of the password in plaintext.

Google has since removed the feature.

Google said the bug at the heart of this security breach was an old tool it developed back in the 2000s.

"The tool (located in the admin console) allowed administrators to upload or manually set user passwords for their company's users," the company said today.