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Daily News Summary: TouchPal's Sneaky Android Adware



Cooktek, developer of the popular TouchPal Android keyboard, has integrated adware into 238 apps. Steps have been taken to disguise the adware, and when enabled, the ads appeared everywhere on your phone. For some people, it made their phone unusable.

Lookout, a security firm, recently discovered that Chinese developer CooTek Adware has infiltrated many of its apps. CooTek is the developer of TouchPal, a keyboard with over 1

00 million installations.

This particular adware brand, provided through a BeiTaAd plug-in, was particularly unpleasant in part because CooTek took steps to hide its actions. During the first 24 hours and sometimes during the first two weeks, the plugin did nothing. When it was finally activated, ads were also shown on the phone when the app was closed.

Complaints that phone calls, music, emails, and more were interrupted by intrusive ads eventually accumulated, but thanks to this wait, this was the case of hard to tell which app was the culprit. And that's exactly what it was like, waiting for you to install other apps before the ads showed up and accusing the wrong app. Fortunately, Lookout discovered the problem and reported it to Google, which quickly took action.

Offensive apps have been removed from the store, although some have been left behind with the plugin removed.

It would be easy to blame this entirely on Google's open ecosystem, wondering why the company did not find this themselves (and the latter question) is reasonably legitimate), but concealing CooTek's attempts to do what it did helped him go through testing. Keep in mind that if your phone behaves strangely, you will need to review all the apps you have installed, not just the latest apps. [Tech Radar]

In other news:

  • Ride on e-scooter rental, here comes an e-bike: Bird, one of the companies behind many e-scooters, over which they repeatedly stumble on the road, has a new ride -sharing product in the works – a bike. The cruiser features a 52-volt battery, a padded seat for two and an LCD display showing the itinerary. Stay safe, friends, and wear a helmet. [VentureBeat]
  • YouTube Prohibits Solo Live Streaming for Children: To protect children from predators on its platform, YouTube has recently disabled comments on most children's videos. Now, the company is extending this step by banning the use of live streaming for young children without visible adult supervision. It may seem hard, but if actions like these protect children, that's a good thing. [Variety]
  • Spotify takes a Pandora Sender Page: If you love Pandora's music recommendation channel but prefer the Spotify catalog, then good news is Spotify is testing a similar service. The Spotify channels (even if the name is the same) curate similar music based on the preference history and music styles. And just as with Pandora, if you pay for Spotify, you lose the ads and get an unlimited number of omissions. The test started in Australia and took place recently in the US. [MacRumors]
  • Apple may terminate the dashboard: If you wish, you can download the beta for Apple's latest MacOS update, Catalina. (You should not, but you can.) Entrepreneurial developers who have completed the beta have noticed immediately that the dashboard has been completely removed (as opposed to disabled). If you've been using OS X, you may recognize the dashboard as a widget center or as "this stupid thing I accidentally restarted." Good solution, if you ask me. [AppleInsider]
  • Microsoft believes you smell bad and wants to make it worse: Lynx, also known as Ax in the US, is working with Microsoft to produce an Xbox wash and voice solution. The company is adorned with the Xbox logos and traditional greens and states that you can "raise" the spray before leaving the house. Gross. [The Verge]
  • Nintendo Announces Pokémon Sword and Shield Games: Pokémon never disappears, at least not as long as it continues to earn a lot of money. Nintendo announced the next expansion in the franchise: Sword and Shield . New in this game? You can make your Pokémon in huge size. You know what they say about Pokémon games: I have to buy them all. [Engadget]
  • Skype Wins Screen Sharing Ability: How many times have you tried to help a relative or friend find a shot on their phone when they were calling on this phone? "Too many" is probably the correct answer. Skype wants to help you with screen sharing. With the new feature, you can see your screen and guide you through each step. Once you've explained the installation of Skype, that's the case. [XDA developers]
  • Researchers show proof-of-concept malware that mimics your input: Some security companies have investigated a method of identity verification using keyboard input habits. The idea is simple: everyone taps a little differently, so pay attention to how the keyboard is used to check who is using it. But researchers have now shown concept malware that mimics a target's keystrokes and fools people's identification software. Unfortunately, security is always an escalation game. [ZDNet]

For seven years, scammers managed to steal $ 19 million worth of iPhones. Even if they are newer iPhones worth $ 1000, these are many phones.

The scammers have built a sophisticated network that consists of several parts. They used runners and grunts in 34 states. The runners presented themselves with stolen credentials and fake documents as buyers who wanted to upgrade their phones. You would of course choose a payment plan to get the iPhone for the lowest possible price.

The runners would leave the state, pick up the iPhone and return it to the ring leaders, who called themselves "Top Dogs". "

The most striking detail is not how long they've got away with it or how many have stolen it, but how they've let the fraud fall apart. An eagle-eyed employee who worked for one of the freight forwarders noticed that the packages were suspicious.

Normally, when shipping a significant number of packages to an address, an account is used by the shipping company, but cash or credit card was the payment method here. And although packages came from abroad, they gave New York the sender address.

At some point, the shipping company opened 39 parcels to find 253 phones. Further investigation resulted in the remainder, and investigators charged six people with the post-fraud, the conspiracy to commit the post-fraud and the tighter identity theft. Someone gives the ship's employee a salary increase. [Gizmodo]


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