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  1. HONG KONG (Reuters) - Huawei will delay the launch of its much-touted foldable 5G Mate X smartphone by three months, the latest setback for the company that was slapped with U.S. sanctions last month. FILE PHOTO: A staff member shows the new Huawei Mate X smartphone with 5G network The Mate X, a competitor to Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Fold, is expected to be rolled out globally in September, Vincent Pang, Huawei’s head of corporate communications, said on the sidelines of the WSJ Tech D.Live conference in Hong Kong. It was originally slated for a June launch. The delay comes as Huawei phones face being cut off from updates of Google’s Android operating system (OS) in the wake of the U.S. blacklist that bans American companies from doing business with the Chinese firm. Pang, however, denied the delay was due to the ban, saying Huawei was in the process of running certification tests with various carriers that were expected to be completed in August. He also told Reuters that Huawei, the world’s second-largest maker of smartphones, could roll out its Hongmeng operating system (OS) - which is being tested - within nine months. “Our preference will of course be Google and Android as we have been partners for many years,” said Pang, also a senior vice president at Huawei. “But if the circumstances force us to, we can roll out Hongmeng in six to nine months.” Hongmeng is based on the version of Android that is publicly available via open-source licensing and is mainly meant for phones, Pang said. Hongmeng will support other devices later. Alphabet Inc’s Google has earlier said it would no longer provide Android software for Huawei phones after a 90-day reprieve granted by the U.S. government expires in August. Source
  2. Internet service provider Frontier Communications will pay $1,000 to a candidate of its choosing that's willing to trade in their smartphone for a flip phone for a full week. But the person selected will have to document their entire experience. The contest comes as concerns over the amount of time we're spending on our phones have increased, resulting in new features from Apple and Google designed to manage screen time. Could you live without your iPhone for a week? If you're willing to find out, you could end up winning $1,000. Internet service provider Frontier Communications has launched a contest in which it will choose one candidate to use an old-fashioned flip phone in place of their smartphone for seven full days. If this person can do so successfully, he or she will be rewarded with $1,000. The company will also provide the participant with a so-called "survival kit"that includes a physical map to be used in place of apps like Google Maps, a physical phone book for jotting down phone numbers, a pen and notebook, and retro CDs with 90s-era music. The catch? Other than giving up your smartphone, Frontier is asking that you document the whole experience. The details make it sound more like a job than a contest, as it lists the candidate's "responsibilities" and refers to the prize money as "compensation." "Our ideal candidate will be a self-proclaimed smartphone fiend who's always up to date on the latest tech news. They'll be organized, detail-oriented, and willing to persevere," the page reads. As part of the contest, you'll have to keep track of the amount of time it takes to complete tasks such as texting and checking email. The company is also interested in learning about each instance in which you wished you could have Googled something, how many hours you slept during the contest period, how your productivity changed, and if you were late to any appointments. What the contest page doesn't say is how Frontier will verify that you haven't used a smartphone at all during the seven-day period. It also doesn't state any rules about staying away from other gadgets like tablets or laptops, potentially rendering the whole experiment useless. It's clearly a marketing ploy for Frontier — after all, the listing says it prefers applicants with an "active social presence," which would ultimately result in more brand awareness for the company. But the contest comes as concerns over tech addiction have heightened, prompting tech firms to help us manage the amount of time we spend on our smartphones. Apple launched its Screen Time feature last year, for example, which allows iPhone owners to see how much time they're spending on their phone and where they're spending it. Google's Pixel phones have a similar feature called Digital Wellbeing. Frontier isn't the only company looking to put our reliance on smartphones to the test. Brooklyn-based startup Light launched a"dumb" phone in 2015 that can only handle basic tasks like making calls and telling the time. The company recently unveiled a newer model that can also send texts, but still doesn't run apps. The company says it sold more than 10,000 units in more than 50 countries. That certainly pales in comparison to the number of smartphones major tech firms usually sell, but it's evidence that at least some people see the appeal of using a distraction-free phone. Source
  3. Wireless charging can be tricky to understand—these devices make it a no-brainer. Enlarge Valentina Palladino Wireless charging has a long way to go before it replaces wired charging, but the technology has advanced dramatically in the past few years. Everyone with the newest smartphones, wearables, and other gadgets can get behind the idea—simply place your device on a charging pad or stand and let it sit. Within a few minutes, you'll have more battery power than you did before, and you didn't have to fuss with wires or cables to get it. But quite a bit of technology goes into making an accessory that makes your life that much easier. Most wireless chargers come in the form of circular or rectangular pads, some of which are propped up on legs to make stands that take up minimal space and work well as nightstand or desk accessories. But don't be fooled by their minimalist exteriors—there are a number of things you should know before investing in a wireless charging pad. To navigate this murky world, Ars tested out some of the most popular devices available now to see which are worth buying. Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs. Table of Contents How does wireless charging work? Qi standard and your smartphone Wired or wireless charging? A note about Qualcomm Quick Charge How we tested Best overall RavPower RP-PC034 Fast Charger The Good The Bad Runner up Mophie Charge Stream Pad+ The Good The Bad Best budget charger RavPower RP-PC063 Wireless Charger The Good The Bad Best wireless charging stand Belkin Boost Up Stand The Good The Bad <snip> Poster's note: The original article is multi-page with several image galleries and tables. To view the full article, please visit the link below. Source: Guidemaster: The best Qi wireless charging pads for your smartphone (Ars Technica)
  4. Fierce 5G competition and poor sales see company retreat from once booming sector TOKYO -- Sony is cutting up to half its smartphone workforce as sales shrink in the face of stiff global competition. The job cuts come as the global smartphone industry suffers one of the severest downturns of recent years. Worldwide shipments are expected to decline for the third straight year in 2019 to about 1.3 billion units, according to U.S. research company IDC. Sony's share of the smartphone market has fallen sharply in recent years -- from more than 3% in 2010, according to the research portal Statistica -- to less than 1% currently. It has struggled to compete against leaders Apple, Samsung Electronics and Huawei Technologies, all of which are racing to develop new 5G devices. The decision to scale back its smartphone workforce, which could see up to 2,000 of the total 4,000 jobs cut by March 2020, is part of a move to reduce fixed costs in the business, and also includes procurement reform. Some of the Japanese employees affected by the decision will be transferred to other divisions, but the company will offer voluntary retirement in its Europe and China operations. Sony will limit smartphone sales in Southeast Asia and other areas to focus on Europe and East Asia. The company's smartphone sales for fiscal 2018 are projected to come in at a dismal 6.5 million units, half the previous year's figure and just one-sixth that of five years ago. In fiscal 2014, Sony pulled 1,000 employees from its smartphone operations, but sales have plunged faster than expected, necessitating a further round of cuts. Sony's smartphone business generates annual revenue of about 500 billion yen, but is expected to post an operating loss for the third straight year through fiscal 2019. By halving operating expenses from fiscal 2017, the company hopes the business will turn a profit by fiscal 2020. Sony has restructured before, selling off its personal computer unit and paring costs at its TV business. Now, its smartphone business remains the only loss-making unit. Source
  5. Smartphone users are usually torn between the two choices — Android or iOS. Their dominance is such that other competing OS like Windows, BlackBerry OS, or Symbian have almost been abandoned. Those who don’t want either of them can opt for Pine64’s Linux phone dubbed the PinePhone, which offers good hardware and software at an affordable rate of $149. Pine64 had announced the phone a few months ago and now the company is ready with the prototypes and plans to ship development kits in Q1 2019. The PinePhone is expected to be ready for end-users by this year itself. The phone will strictly be running mainline Linux and it will be powered by a SOPine module with an Allwinner A64 ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core processor. It has a 1440x720p IPS display and the phone looks like your regular Android smartphone. On the back, it has a 5MP camera and a 2MP camera on the front. The Linux-based phone packs 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM, a 32GB eMMC module, and 4G LTE Cat 4 support. On the connectivity front, it has 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. The phone also comes with a headphone jack and sensors including a gyroscopic sensor and light sensor. Pine64 aims to provide physical switches through this phone to allow users to disable or enable the wireless components, cameras, and speaker for privacy. Source
  6. Apple and Samsung are not outliers with respect to declining smartphone sales. Global mobile device shipments were down 4.9% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to a new report from IDC. The slide in sales is now a bona fide trend with five consecutive quarters of declines on record, and the outlook for 2019 doesn’t look any better. “The challenging holiday quarter closes out the worst year ever for smartphone shipments,” the research firm wrote. During the full year of 2018, global smartphone shipments declined 4.1% to 1.4 billion units total. Smartphone vendors shipped 375.4 million units during the end-of-year quarter, according to IDC. “Globally the smartphone market is a mess right now,” Ryan Reith, vice president of IDC’s worldwide mobile device trackers program, said in a prepared statement. “Outside a handful of high-growth markets like India, Indonesia, Korea and Vietnam, we did not see a lot of positive activity in 2018. We believe several factors are at play here, including lengthening replacement cycles, increasing penetration levels in many large markets, political and economic uncertainty, and growing consumer frustration around continuously rising price points.” Volumes in China, which accounts for roughly 30% of the smartphone market, were down 10% in 2018. However, the top four Chinese brands—Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi—collectively grew their share of the market to 78%, up from 66% in 2017. Globally, the top five smartphone vendors—Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi—grew their collective share of the market to 69%, up from 63% a year ago. Samsung also unseated Apple as the top smartphone company in the world with 18.7% of the market share on 70.4 million units during the fourth quarter, compared to Apple’s 18.2% market share on 68.4 million units. Both companies saw their market shares decline in 2018, but Apple slid further with an 11.5% year-over-year decline in units shipped, compared to Samsung’s 5.5% annual decline in total units. Rounding out the top five, Huawei’s global shipments jumped 43.9% during the year to reach 16.1% of the market share during the fourth quarter on 60.5 million units shipped. OPPO shipped 29.2 million units during the end-of-year quarter, reaching a 7.8% share of the market. Finally, Xiaomi shipped 28.6 million devices during the quarter resulting in a 7.6% share of the market during the same period. Source
  7. Yandex, the internet titan often referred to as the “Google of Russia,” has launched its first smartphone. The Yandex.Phone is a 5.65-inch Android-powered phone that will cost 17,990 rubles ($270) when it goes on sale tomorrow. In terms of specifications, Yandex.Phone is a fairly mid-range device, sporting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of expandable storage, and a 16-megapixel / 5-megapixel dual rear camera. In place of Google Assistant, which is standard on most Android phones, the company is also pushing its own intelligent assistant, Alice. This isn’t the first piece of Yandex hardware to sport Alice since it was unveiled in 2017 — earlier this year, Yandex launched a $160 smart speaker that also included the virtual assistant. It’s not entirely clear what the default apps on the phone will be, but judging by the official photos it seems pretty clear Yandex is positioning its own services at the forefront of the device and favoring its own search engine. That said, Google’s apps are also bundled. Battles The launch comes nearly three years after Yandex emerged victorious in an anti-competition case against Google in Russia. Lawmakers found that Google had abused its dominant market position, hindering the ability of other companies to create competing services on Android by forcing manufacturers to bundle Google apps — such as Gmail, Google Search, and Google Play — on Android phones. As a result of the ruling, Google was not permitted to restrict the preinstallation of competing apps, including search engines. Google was also required to offer a “choice window” for its mobile Chrome browser, asking the user at launch what default search engine they wanted. In the year or so since this change has taken effect, Yandex has reportedly overtaken Google in terms of search market share on Android. Integrating Alice into the fabric of the phone means users in Russia will also have a deeply integrated voice assistant experience from the get-go, covering maps, calendar, music, weather, and even voice-calling. “Yandex.Phone is built to offer Russian users a smartphone equipped with all the localized tools needed for users to navigate their daily routines,” said Fedor Yezhov, corporate VP of ecosystem products at Yandex. “Users can interact with Alice and the most widely used Yandex applications in a new way on this phone. Fully integrated into the phone, Alice provides users with comprehensive access to Yandex apps.” Meanwhile, Google is facing pressure in the rest of Europe similar to the heat it faced in Russia, and the company recently changed its Android business model so that device makers will be charged a licensing fee to preinstall its apps in Europe. The Yandex.Phone will go on sale on December 6 through the Yandex Store at the company’s Moscow HQ, followed a day later by other retailers across the country. Source
  8. Chinese selfie app and smartphone maker Meitu has announced that Xiaomi is effectively taking over its hardware business. Future phones will carry the Meitu brand, but Xiaomi will be responsible for design, R&D, and sales, while Meitu will still be involved in camera software. Basically, it’s a safe bet that Xiaomi’s Mi Home stores across the world will start carrying a bunch of wild selfie-focused cameraphones in the near future. As for why this deal is taking place, Meitu says its “mission is ‘to inspire more people to express their beauty,’ and the board believes that entering into this Strategic Cooperation Agreement will accelerate our pace in carrying out this mission.” Meitu isn’t a major smartphone player by any means — it’s only sold 3.5 million handsets in the five years its hardware business has been around — and has identified Xiaomi as the “perfect partner” to help increase its growth. Xiaomi will initially pay a percentage of phone profits to Meitu, moving to flat per-phone licensing fees after five years or when a certain number of units have been sold overall. Meitu also says that the deal will allow it to focus on expanding its social network user base through pre-installations, though it’s unclear whether that would apply to Xiaomi-branded phones as well. The Verge’s Ashley Carman tried out the Meitu T8 phone last year, though the company’s most notable Western exposure to date came when its beautification selfie app hit a burst of popularity before sparking ad-tracking and privacy fears. Also it released a Sailor MoonPretty Soldier Edition of the T8 with a matching selfie stick, so there’s that. Source: The Verge
  9. If I turn on my smartphone HotSpot, how can I find out if someone else is using my data or trying to crack my password? Also how can I find out what site surfed or softwares was downloaded using my wifi/HotSpot?
  10. Does your smartphone’s battery drains faster? Or you want your phone’s power to last longer? Well, I think it’s every person’s wish that their phone’s battery lasts longer so that they don’t need to charge it frequently and they can play games, watch movies, surf internet etc. without any trouble. But what is the main reason behind this quick drainage of battery? If your battery power is good but still it doesn’t last longer then the problem might not be with the battery but with your phone and the apps installed in it. Sometimes a lot of processes keep running in the background which consume a lot of battery. And some of the apps also tend to consume more battery power. Due to this, the phone’s battery drains faster. So, for resolving this problem you need to have an application which can improve the level of your phone’s battery life. There are many such applications and today I’m going to review one of the best such applications which can help you to extend the battery life of your smartphone and that application if Power battery – battery saver. Power Battery – Battery Saver app In-depth Review Power Battery- Battery saver application is an Android app developed by LionMobi. The app is designed such that it helps to prevent quick drainage of the phone’s battery. It lets you know that which apps are consuming excessive power so that you can stop them. The app also provides an estimate of how long your smartphone battery will last. It keeps checking your phone for the points of battery leak and tries to repair them. There are many other features of this app which are explained below. Interface Starting with the interface of Power battery- battery saver application, the app provides you a clean and systematic interface. All the main features are displayed in a perfect manner so that it doesn’t make it difficult to find any button or feature. When you first launch the app, you will see many panels with different information and functions. The color combination is also attractive and due to which its easily highlights all its control button and links. You need to scroll downwards for accessing all its functions. Also, there are controls such as WiFi, brightness, ringtone, data, etc. available in the app itself, so that you can quickly access these whenever required to enable or disable a particular function just to save more battery. Battery life estimation Now you can easily know how long will your battery will last in different scenarios. Power battery- battery saver app provides you a nearly accurate battery life estimation using special statistics algorithm for different situations. It tells you the hours, the battery will last if you use WiFi, Bluetooth, play games, etc. In our test, the app did a great job. The battery estimation was almost accurate. We tested the app in different mobiles and the results were quite good, the battery lasted for the hours which power battery application estimated. Power saving and protection The main cause of excessive battery draining is power-draining apps which cause your phone to use more and more power resulting in high battery drainage. But now, as power battery-battery saver app is all you need to have to stop all those power-draining applications which run in the background continuously. The power protection is one of the best features provided by this application. All you need to do for activating this tool is just tapping the Power protection option available at the home screen and rest of the work will be done by the app automatically, the app will show you a detailed list of the apps which are consuming more battery and then you can disable those apps from the background. This will eventually increase the battery life. Don’t worry the app will not close important apps that you are using. It will give you all the sources of battery drain and you can keep or close the app yourself. Memory management To speed up your phone for a better performance, it is quite necessary to clean the memory of your phone. Well, you don ‘t need any other app for the same as Power battery – battery saver app offers you the same. You can optimize the speed of your device just by tapping the optimize button given at the top os the screen of the app. Custom power safe The app provides a power save mode that you can activate according to your need. Besides you can even customize your own mode for the custom setting. The app offers you 4 modes of power saver viz. prolong, general, sleep and default. Each mode has its own setting such as if you activate prolong mode, the brightness will become 10%, screen timeout 15s, Wifi will be off, auto sync will be off and so on. And whenever you activate any of the modes all the settings for that mode will be applied immediately. Displays battery information Now you don’t have to search over the internet to get the information of your battery or peeling off the back cover to do the same. Power battery- battery saver application displays every detail of your battery such as health status, temperature, current power, full power voltage etc. You can even get the information about current day’s battery usage along with app name and the amount of power used by that app as you can see the below image. Some other features Charge This feature makes the charging process quicker. While charging your phone, the app blocks all the excessive power consumption apps which obviously boosts the charging and makes your phone get fully charged quickly. Also, the app shows you the charging record of 30-days. Battery skin This feature is just for changing the graphics. You can change the battery icon using battery skin option. Just tap on the app icon present at the top left corner of the main screen, it will show up the menu items from where you need to select battery skin. Now you can choose any of the icons of your choice. Personal community The personal community is a social interact action platform where your see the real time power consumption, environment emission reduction, newsletter etc. I found it quite interesting as we can compete with our friends that who is greener. Pros Save battery consumption. easy to use. speed up the mobile’s performance. Different saver modes. Accurate battery life free to download cons none Download Power Battery – Battery Saver Wrap up Power battery – battery saver is a free app for Android users. It performs its functions quite well. In our test, it did a great job. It extended the battery life about 60% which is quite enough. Additionally, it also helps to speed up the phone’s performance by optimizing it. Charge, personal community, battery skin, custom power saver mode etc. are some great tool provided by this app. So, I think it’s more than enough feature required in an app. You should definitely try this app. Article source
  11. Self-hosted crowdfunder out grosses combined funding of Purism’s previous three campaigns SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., October 9, 2017 — Purism, the social purpose corporation which designs and produces popular privacy conscious hardware and software, has reached its $1.5 million crowdfunding goal to create the world’s first encrypted, open smartphone ecosystem that gives users complete device control, the Librem 5. After amassing incredible support from GNU/Linux enthusiasts and the Free/Open-Source community at large, forging partnerships with KDE and the GNOME Foundation in the process, Purism plans to use the remaining two weeks of the campaign to push for its stretch goals and start working on the next steps for bringing the phone to market. Reaching the $1.5 million milestone weeks ahead of schedule enables Purism to accelerate the production of the physical product. The company plans to move into hardware production as soon as possible to assemble a developer kit as well as initiate building the base software platform, which will be publicly available and open to the developer community. Breaking away from the iOS/Android OS duopoly, the Librem 5’s isolation-based security-focused PureOS will offer basic communication services: phone, email, messaging, voice, camera, browsing, and will expand after shipment and over time to update with more free software applications, through shared collaboration with the developer community (not “read-only open source”, but true free software collaboration). In addition to the ability to integrate with both GNOME and Plasma Mobile, the $599 Librem 5 will come equipped with hardware kill switches, a popular feature in Purism’s laptops, that allow for users to turn on and off the camera, microphone, WiFi and Bluetooth at will. The impressive milestone has already generated celebration in the community: About Purism Purism is a Social Purpose Corporation devoted to bringing security, privacy, software freedom, and digital independence to everyone’s personal computing experience. With operations based in San Francisco (California) and around the world, Purism manufactures premium-quality laptops, tablets and phones, creating beautiful and powerful devices meant to protect users’ digital lives without requiring a compromise on ease of use. Purism designs and assembles its hardware in the United States, carefully selecting internationally sourced components to be privacy-respecting and fully Free-Software-compliant. Security and privacy-centric features come built-in with every product Purism makes, making security and privacy the simpler, logical choice for individuals and businesses. Media Contact Marie Williams, Coderella / Purism +1 415-689-4029 [email protected] See also the Purism press room for additional tools and announcements. Source Alternate Sources: Success — Linux Phone Crowdfunding Campaign Reaches Its Goal - OMG! Ubuntu! Security and Privacy Focused Librem 5 Linux Smartphone Successfully Crowdfunded - Softpedia News
  12. Seoul - Samsung Electronics heads into the latter half of 2017 with record quarterly earnings under its belt, hoping to sustain that momentum as Apple prepares to debut the 10th-anniversary iPhone. Samsung intends to use its well-received Galaxy S8 to extend its lead against its American rival. But it will also lean heavily on its position as the world’s largest maker of memory chips to grow its bottom line. The company’s ability to produce not only mobile devices but also some of the most vital parts of a phone, including displays, confers a unique advantage over Apple at a time the global market is losing steam. The company reported its best-ever operating profit on Friday. That result, which includes the first full quarter of sales from the bezel-less S8, underscores how it’s benefiting from higher prices for the memory chips that go into all computing gadgets. Samsung also happens to be the world’s largest supplier of organic light-emitting diode displays, which may soon become standard. “Samsung’s dominance in components that matter gives it the upper hand at least through the entire next year,” said Lee Jae-yun, an analyst at Yuanta Securities Korea. “There is only so much either Apple or Samsung can do right now to make their Smartphone’s stand out, unless technology like foldable displays reshapes the market.” Samsung may just end up outstripping Apple in profitability in the second quarter. Preliminary operating income rose to 14 trillion won ($12 billion) in the three months ended June, beating the 13 trillion-won average of analysts’ estimates. Its US rival is projected to post operating income of $10.5 billion in the same quarter a typically weaker period ahead of the release of new iPhones. Revenue rose to 60 trillion won, compared with the 58.4 trillion won projected. Its shares finished Friday little changed, taking this year’s gain to about 33 percent. While displays and semiconductors have picked up the slack since the Note 7’s recall, the company still gets a significant portion of revenue from Smartphone. It hasn’t divulged Galaxy S8 numbers but reviews for the device, which features a bezel-less display and voice-enabled digital assistant, have been favourable. Samsung is using the S8 to repair its reputation and regain ground lost to Apple and Chinese rivals from Huawei Technologies to Oppo following the well-publicized demise of the fire-prone Note 7 last year. It reclaimed its position as the world’s biggest Smartphone maker in the first quarter, after losing the lead due to the recall. It may be benefiting from the usual pre-iPhone lull. Apple is getting ready to unveil possibly the year’s most-anticipated electronic gadget around September or October, an event that typically draws global consumer attention. Beyond ensuring the S8 holds its own against the forthcoming iPhone, the company has scrambled behind the scenes to fine-tune its production machine. It’s keen to demonstrate the smooth working of the corporation in the absence of de-facto chief Jay Y. Lee, who’s on trial over charges which he denies he bribed a presidential confidante to secure support for an important 2015 merger. The resilience of global memory prices is working in its favour. DDR3 4-gigabyte dynamic random access memory chips averaged $2.97 in the second quarter, compared with $1.58 a year earlier, according to data from InSpectrum Tech Inc. “Samsung’s been successful with cutting manufacturing costs for memory chips, and that’s been a big factor, while display sales helped to boost the earnings,” said Greg Roh, an analyst at HMC Investment Securities. “Chip prices will keep rising and another record operating profit is in sight for Samsung in the third quarter.” Samsung won’t provide net income or break out divisional performance until it releases final results later this month. It probably earned 7.5 trillion won in chips, 3.8 trillion won in mobile devices and 1.5 trillion won in displays in the second quarter, according to Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at Eugene Investment and Securities. The company is on track to earn about 15.2 trillion won in the third quarter on the back of Galaxy S8 sales, with annual profit of 54 trillion won this year, Roh said. Samsung may displace Intel as the world’s biggest chipmaker by sales this year if it can maintain its current momentum, according to Eugene’s Lee. And despite its tussle with Apple, it will continue to reap the benefits of being a major supplier to Cupertino as devices get smarter, said Chung Chang-won, an analyst at Nomura Holdings. “Sleeping with the enemy would be the way to define their relationship going forward,” Chung said. “You can’t do AI without memory and Samsung has the memory to sell.” < Here >
  13. In some cases, like with 5.5-inch screens, AMOLED panels are now the cheaper option. AMOLED displays are popular for the pure blacks and energy efficient 'glance' displays they enable. Thus they are seen as a premium option for smartphone and laptop users, and AMOLED panels are only seen in really high-end TVs. However, thanks to competition and demand spurring greater production, prices are starting to become more competitive with TFT LCD panels, reports IT industry journal DigiTimes. According to the source report "The production cost for a 5.5-inch HD AMOLED panel has drifted to US$12.10 recently, compared to US$12.20 for a 5.5-inch HP LTPS LCD panel". This is a big change to the previous state of affairs where AMOLED panels had "much higher," prices due to the increased production costs. Thanks to the levelling off of prices and demand it's expected that AMOLED panels will be equipped on up to 50 per cent of smartphones by 2020. Back to the AMOLED panel pricing news, and there is hope that larger displays, not just those aimed at smartphones and tablets, will come down in price. LG Display's E4-2 fab, its second production line for AMOLED displays for TVs, will enter volume production in H2 2017, says DigiTimes. Thanks to the new production line AMOLED TV display production is set to more than double to 1.5 million units, say sources. Furthermore, several Chinese panel makers have been investing in AMOLED production facilities with output set to increase fivefold (comparing 2016 output to that estimated to come on line in 2018). View: Original Article
  14. Scientists have developed an innovative firewall programme that can protect smartphones from malicious codes and security threats. Earlier this year, researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel discovered a security vulnerability in the internal communications between Android cellphone components and a phone's central processing unit (CPU). They alerted Android developer Google and helped the company address the problem. "Our technology doesn't require device manufacturers to understand or modify any new code," said Yossi Oren from BGU. "It's a firewall that can be implemented as a tiny chip, or as an independent software module running on the CPU," said Oren. Some 400 million people change their phone's components, such as touchscreens, chargers, and battery or sensor assemblies, which are all susceptible to significant security breaches and attacks. These components, referred to as "field replaceable units (FRUs)," communicate with the phone CPU over simple interfaces with no authentication mechanisms or error detection capabilities. A malicious vendor could add a compromised FRU to a phone, leaving it vulnerable to password and financial theft, fraud, malicious photo or video distribution, and unauthorised app downloads. "This problem is especially acute in the Android market with many manufacturers that operate independently," researchers said. "An attack of this type occurs outside the phone's storage area; it can survive phone factory resets, remote wipes and firmware updates. Existing security solutions cannot prevent this specific security issue," they said. "There is no way for the phone itself to discover that it's under this type of an attack. Our solution prevents a malicious or misconfigured FRU from compromising the code running on the CPU by checking all the incoming and outgoing communication," said Omer Schwartz from BGU. The research team uses machine learning algorithms to monitor the phones' internal communications for anomalies that may indicate malicious code. The software allowed them to identify and prevent hardware-generated data leaks and hacks. The researchers are seeking to further test the patent-pending technology with phone manufacturers. Article source
  15. How I could have stolen my old car using my smartphone Charles Henderson loved his "awesome" convertible, particularly the fact that he could start, lock and unlock it remotely via his mobile phone. It was one of the first connected cars that synchronise wirelessly with smartphones for entertainment and work purposes. But after he sold the vehicle, he was astonished to discover that he could still control it using the associated smartphone app. "I could have found out where the car was, unlocked it remotely, started it and driven off with it," he tells the BBC. Mr Henderson, from Austin, Texas, is global head of X-Force Red, IBM's offensive security group, so he knows a thing or two about security. He tests companies' defences, both physical and digital. "We try to think like a criminal without actually acting like one," he says. "It's the coolest job in the world." So before selling his car back to the dealer he was sure to carry out a factory reset and wipe any personal data from the car's onboard computer. He didn't want the new owner getting access to his calendar, contacts and phone records. He then bought a new connected car made by the same manufacturer and was amazed when his old car still appeared alongside his new car on the app. "These IoT [internet of things] devices are really smart but they're not smart enough to know that you've sold them," he says. "I informed the car dealership but they didn't know how to handle this. So we went to the car manufacturer and it took a while before they took it seriously. They found it really difficult to cut off access." The issue of personal data being left behind in devices we rent or own poses a serious risk - hackers could get access to it and use it for blackmail purposes or to steal our money using cloned identities. "When they rent a car, many drivers sync their phones to the onboard Bluetooth without thinking that the data will stay in the car's computer. And they won't even think about clearing it before handing it back," says Mr Henderson. "Yet they could be revealing sensitive corporate or private data unwittingly." Ian Fogg, principal analyst at research firm IHS Markit, says: "Your smartphone is now the hub for a range of experiences, whether that's in your connected car or your smart home. "So it's a really critical to protect your data, and when selling it - or the devices it has synced with - to make sure all personal information is thoroughly removed from it." Richard Stiennon is chief strategy officer for Blancco Technology Group, a company that specialises in data erasure. He admits that deleting this data is easier said than done. "Simply going into a car's settings and deleting your phone from the list of previously paired Bluetooth devices does not guarantee that this will overwrite the data on the car's storage device," Mr Stiennon says. "It will only prevent casual hackers like the next renter from seeing it. A better option is to overwrite all user data or perform a factory reset - if the vehicle allows it - to ensure the data is 100% erased and cannot be recovered." More at Source
  16. Used An iPhone And Social Media Pre-2013? You May Be Due A Tiny Payout Twitter, Instagram, and others are stumping up $5.3m to settle a privacy suit with implications for those who used social-media apps on an iPhone in 2012 or earlier. Given the millions who downloaded the social-media apps in question, it's likely the settlement will result in a very small payment for each individual. Eight social-media firms, including Twitter and Instagram, have agreed to pay $5.3m to settle a lawsuit over their use of Apple's Find Friends feature in iOS. The main problem that complainants had with the accused firms was that their apps, which used Apple's Find Friends, didn't tell users that their contact lists would be uploaded to company servers. The lawsuit alleged the privacy incursions occurred between 2009 and 2012, the year the class action suit began. Instagram, Foursquare, Kik, Gowalla, Foodspotting, Yelp, Twitter, and Path have agreed to pay in to the settlement fund, which will be distributed to affected users via Amazon.com, according to Venture Beat. Yelp had previously argued it was necessary to store user contact lists to enable the Find Friends feature, which consumers understood would occur in the context of using a mobile app. However, US District Judge Jon Tigar countered that the key question was whether Apple and app developers "violated community norms of privacy" by exceeding what people reasonably believe they consented to. "A 'reasonable' expectation of privacy is an objective entitlement founded on broadly based and widely accepted community norms," said Tigar. If the judge approves the settlement, Apple and LinkedIn would be the only remaining defendants among 18 firms originally accused of the privacy violation. Given the millions of people who downloaded these apps, it's likely the settlement will result in a very small payment for each individual. However, people who took part in the class action suit could receive up to $15,000 each. Source
  17. Nokia To Smartphone Owners: Malware Infections Are Far Higher Than You Think Nokia warns that mobile malware infections grew dramatically in the second half of 2016. Overall, the monthly smartphone infection rate averaged 0.90 percent, an 83 percent increase over the first half of 2016. Nokia no longer makes mobile devices but it's carving out a new business in mobile and Internet of Things security. Now new research from the unit is reporting a 83 percent rise in monthly smartphone infections in the second half of 2016. Two years ago Verizon challenged assumptions about the spread of mobile malware, reporting that just 0.03 percent of smartphones on its network were infected with 'higher-grade' malware. It was much lower than the 0.68 percent infection rate estimated in Kindsight Security Labs' biannual report. But a new report from Nokia, based on data from mobile networks that have deployed its NetGuard Endpoint Security, suggests infections are actually far higher. According to Nokia, the monthly rate of infections in mobile networks peaked at 1.35 percent in October, and averaged 1.08 percent in the second half of 2016. The average infection rate in the first half was 0.66 percent, translating to a 63 percent rise between the periods. It also measured monthly infections on smartphones and says the average rate was 0.9 percent in the second half, up 83 percent from 0.49 percent in the first half. Over the entire year, it says smartphone infections rose a whopping 400 percent. Nokia's data included around 100 million devices across Europe, North America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. It says that 81 percent of infections were on Android devices, 15 percent on Windows devices, and four percent on iPhones and other mobile devices. It notes that Windows share of infections it counted shrank from 22 percent in the first half of 2016. Although Nokia's report doesn't exclusively deal with Android, it offers a contrast to Google's assessment of malware infections in its Android Security 2016 Year in Review report, released earlier this month. Google reported Android device infections at 0.64 percent in the first quarter of 2016 growing to 0.77 percent in the second quarter, and then moving to 0.67 percent and 0.71 percent in the third and fourth quarters, respectively. Google's measure is based on the frequency it finds PHAs or potentially harmful applications during a "routine full-device scan" with its Verify Apps Android anti-malware service. Google said since 2014 infections on Android have been less than one percent. It also noted that users were 10 times more likely to download malware from outside Google Play than inside its store in 2016. While Nokia reports that infections on mobile networks are increasing, infections on fixed-line residential networks have been falling since the beginning of 2015, despite a bump in early 2016 due to a surge in adware. Source
  18. Your Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, or other Android smartphone could be pre-loaded with malware Despite being based on the very secure Linux kernel, Android isn't necessarily a very secure operating system. Unlike iOS which does a great job of shielding its users from installing apps from outside Apple's own App Store, it is far too easy to do so on Google's mobile OS. Also, there is nothing requiring manufacturers to issue device updates, meaning many users are forced to use outdated and vulnerable versions of the operating system. For the most part, however, Android users can remain safe by acting intelligently, such as only installing apps from the Play Store. Well, that might not be so true anymore. You see, it has been discovered that many models of Android smartphones -- from manufacturers such as Samsung, LG, and even Google's own Nexus line -- are being sold with malware pre-installed. This is particularly bad malware, as it can steal user information. Some devices even came pre-loaded with ransomware! "The Check Point Mobile Threat Prevention has recently detected a severe infection in 38 Android devices, belonging to a large telecommunications company and a multinational technology company. While this is not unusual, one detail of the attacks stands out. In all instances, the malware was not downloaded to the device as a result of the users' use, it arrived with it," says Oren Koriat, Check Point Mobile Research Team. Koriat further says, "According to the findings, the malware were already present on the devices even before the users received them. The malicious apps were not part of the official ROM supplied by the vendor, and were added somewhere along the supply chain. Six of the malware instances were added by a malicious actor to the device’s ROM using system privileges, meaning they couldn’t be removed by the user and the device had to be re-flashed." Check Point shares the following make and models of Android devices, plus the associated infected APK. Smartphone Malware APK Asus Zenfone 2 com.google.googlesearch Google Nexus 5 com.changba Google Nexus 5 com.mobogenie.daemon Google Nexus 5X com.changba Lenovo A850 com.androidhelper.sdk LenovoS90 com.google.googlesearch LenovoS90 com.skymobi.mopoplay.appstore LG G4 com.fone.player1 Oppo N3 com.android.ys.services OppoR7 plus com.example.loader Samsung Galaxy A5 com.baycode.mop Samsung Galaxy A5 com.android.deketv Samsung Galaxy Note 2 com.fone.player0 Samsung Galaxy Note 2 com.sds.android.ttpod Samsung Galaxy Note 3 com.changba Samsung Galaxy Note 4 com.kandian.hdtogoapp Samsung Galaxy Note 4 com.changba Samsung Galaxy Note 4 air.fyzb3 Samsung Galaxy Note 5 com.ddev.downloader.v2 Samsung Galaxy Note 8 com.kandian.hdtogoapp Samsung Galaxy Note Edge com.changba Samsung Galaxy Note Edge com.mojang.minecraftpe Samsung Galaxy S4 com.lu.compass Samsung Galaxy S4 com.kandian.hdtogoapp Samsung Galaxy S4 com.changba Samsung Galaxy S4 com.changba Samsung Galaxy S4 com.mobogenie.daemon Samsung Galaxy S7 com.lu.compass Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 com.armorforandroid.security Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 com.example.loader vivo X6 plus com.android.ys.services Xiaomi Mi 4i com.sds.android.ttpod Xiaomi Redmi com.yongfu.wenjianjiaguanli ZTE x500 com.iflytek.ringdiyclient It is important to note that the phones are not coming from the manufacturers with the malware installed. Instead, third-party retailers (or their suppliers) are pre-loading malware on the devices, which are sold to unsuspecting consumers. In other words, if you purchased your phone new from a trusted retailer like Best Buy, for example, then you should be fine. If you bought a phone from, say, eBay or Craigslist, you could be infected -- but it is not a guarantee. To make matters worse, the malware cannot be easily removed -- an app cannot do it, sadly. Check Point found that the phones must be re-flashed entirely, with a clean version of the OS. This is likely beyond the capabilities of the average consumer. Article source
  19. anyone interested to know more about latest samsung? after what samsung yet to face from note7, do you think this time it will fix the problem? Site: http://www.leaksamsung.com Sharecode[?]: /2017/02/probably-best-leak-of-samsung-galaxy-s8.html
  20. Try These Cool Android Smartphone Hacks And Get The Best Out Of Your Mobile Here are some of the best Android smartphone hacking Apps Android is undoubtedly the world’s most popular mobile operating system. With over 1.5+ billion plus users, Android is way ahead of iOS. Similarly, in Apps space, Android hacking apps are also increasing. Many of these hacking Apps are meant for pros but some can become useful to you also. With such hacking Apps, you can remove unnecessary bloatware utilizing most of the internal storage memory. While other times, such hacking App may help you remove irritating ads or allow you to access blocked system Apps. We bring you such hacking Apps which let you get the best out of your Android smartphone. Remember most of these Apps require a rooted smartphone to try them out. INCREASE RAM Root your phone. Download ROEHSOFT RAM EXPANDER from Google Play Store. Convert desired amount of SD card space into system swap RAM. This will make apps perform better when you have lot of storage area in your SD card. Wi-Fi WPS/WPA TESTER Download WIFI PS/WPA Tester App from Google Play Store. It let’s you analyze your WiFi security and others in the vicinity and attempts to hack their password It only hacks WPS enabled WiFi networks. REMOVE UNWANTED SYSTEM APPS OR BLOATWARE Root your android phone and Download sSystem app remover (ROOT) from Google Play Store. Remove many unwanted inbuilt Apps which you don’t think are necessary from internal storage of your Android phone.\ HACKING HUB Download the app Linux Deploy from Google Play Store. This installs Linux Operating system on your Android phone. Then use use Aircrack and other hacking Apps on your phone to hack WiFi and website passwords. FREE STUFF Root your phone Download and install BusyBox App from Google Play Store. Install modded Play Store from Lucky Patcher. With Lucky Patcher App you hack in-App purchases and get free stuff or game coins ACCESS BLOCKED CONTENT Download CyberGhost App from Google Play Store. Use it to connect to a VPN of a country of your choice. Now you can download apps from Google Play Store which are blocked in your country and also use websites like torrent websites blocked in your country. BATTERY LIFE Root your phone Download Greenify App from Google Play Store Hibernate many user and system apps. Greenify allows you to hibernate apps that won’t use battery and memory in background. So, you can save battery life and RAM. BUILD PROP EDITING Most of the Android smartphones out promise you 8MP images but in fact deliver only 6MP picture quality on 8MP camera. If you are facing a similar issue, you can solve it using this hack. This also requires a rooted smartphone. Download BuildProp Editor App from Google Play Store. Goto –>add entry Ro.ril.max.jpeg.quality. And set it’s value to 100 so it looks like Ro.ril.max.jpeg.quality = 100 Once done, your 8MP smartphone camera will deliver you 8MP images TUBEMOTE Download Tubemote from Google Play Store. Now you can download any and all online videos, not just from YouTube but any website in your desired resolution and quality at high speeds. You can also download just mp3 or m4a sound files from videos. ANDROID ID CHANGER Root your phone. Download Android Device ID Changer App from Google Play Store. Change your Android ID, which apps use to identify you and restart the phone. Your Android smartphone has a new Android ID. DRIVEDROID Download Drivedroid App from Google Play Store. Once installed, open the App and download LINUX.iso file from the dropdown menu. Burn this image on your phone and use it as CD or USB drive to boot your PC. KABOOM THE SELF DESTRUCTING APP Download and install Kaboom App from Google Playstore This App lets you control the photos and messages you post online. You can use this App to make the images and posts disappear at a set time. FAKE LOCATION Download Fake Location GPS App from Google Play Store Go to —> Settings Tap on Build Number 7 times to unlock Developer Options. Enable Mock Locations. Open Fake Location GPS app and set your location to any place in the world you wish. Source
  21. Android User Locked Out Of Google After Moving Cities Image Courtesy: Techworm An Android user has been locked out of his Google account apparently because he moved cities, according to a post on Reddit. The explanation offered by Google support staff was that since his address details differed, billing information with Google wasn't current and hence the user's purchases could look fraudulent. The user in question does not know for sure that this is the reason; during his interactions with Google support to find out why he had been locked out, he was told that When asked what he could do, he was initially directed by Google staff to a site where he had to scan his driver's licence and credit card and told that he would have to wait 24 hours to get his account unlocked. But after this time passed, he was told that the account would not be unlocked and Google would not tell him why. He was advised to abandon his old account and start a fresh one. However, this meant he could not use the credit card that he had used on the old account and would have to obtain a new one to continue using Google's services. All his previous purchases would not be transferred to the new account, he was told. An email he sent to Google support resulted in the following reply: Source
  22. No doubt smartphone plays a vital role in our life and no matter what age group you belong to and in what profession you are, you must be using it like 24/7. Am I wrong? Smartphone has eased our lives in numerous ways. Since the mobile technology has completely engraved into life, we spend a lot of time on smartphone and tablets. You can save anyone’s number, dial it anytime and can have video or audio conversation, with Instant messaging apps, you can stay in touch with the person you want all the time. Internet utility has made smartphone the gem. Search for anything, buy products online, play games, watch movies, listen to music, pay online bills, book your flight tickets and what not. You can do anything you can think of. With such advantages, do you ever wonder if you are losing something? Well, these smart devices are not so smart when it comes to our health. There can be many health problems and diseases from your loving smartphone or tablet. Not only that it affects our posture but while using smart devices we are exposing ourselves to constant radiations. Almost everyone is addicted to their smartphone and it is unknowingly destroying health in a number of ways that you need to know. Here are some health risks of mobile phone that you must know. Have a look. 15 Diseases you can get from your smartphone 1. Sleeping Disorder Somehow in the busy and hectic schedule, the favorite chatting and gossiping time for adults has turned out to be night-time where they can freely talk to their boyfriend/girlfriend or friends in general. Not only that even for social freaks, it is too hard to put phones away at night as to watch the one last video or read one more article or not to miss out something important. . But the only trouble with the technology is that it doesn’t match well with sleep. Using smartphone or tablet until late nights or getting awake in the middle of the night because of mobile’s ring or vibration are the factors that interrupt our the sleep pattern. Many times we wake up in the middle of the night and check our phone and if there is a notification or Facebook update we start checking it. Sometimes it even takes 1-2 hours off our sleep time. It has happened to me a lot of times. 2. Hearing Impairment You might have seeing people with the earphone plugged in so that they could enjoy their time and never get bored. Walking with earphone plugged in on roads, streets is risky. Even most of the people have the habit of talking on phones for hours. According to a study talking on phone for more than two hours can harm your health and impair your hearing. . 3. Eye problems The health hazard that every youth is suffering from. Smartphone is used to read e-books, web surfing, texting and chatting like from day time to late night. The small screen of smartphone and small font type puts strain on eyes especially when you to do this thing at night by keeping all the light of your room turn off. When you look at your smartphone screen with one eye, it makes the eye temporarily less sensitive to regular light other than other eye. This could cause dry eyes, pain, irritation, puffiness and reddening. 4. Skin Allergies Nowadays, smartphone comes with typical metallic body to make it look more attractive and shiny. These smartphone contain skin allergies from metals like nickel, chromium and cobalt which may cause a reaction on skin called allergic contact dermatitis. Even the smartphone carries much more bacteria than anything and that dirt may accumulate and cause breakouts on your skin. 5. Dark Spots Remember talking to your high school or college boyfriend/ girlfriend late at night until your phone burned your cheeks. Or playing games until your phone heats up or drains out all the battery? This overheating can cause major skin issues and can cause to dark spots. The solution is to don’t let your smartphone rub against your face for too long. 6. Heart Problems Radiations from the smartphone cause heart problems. The radiations caused by cordless devices including smartphone or tablet contribute to abnormalities in heart functions. 7. Infertility Spending too long on smartphone could risk your sex life and could cause infertility. According to studies, it has been proved that there is a clear relationship between cell phone radiation and decreased sperm count. It is true that male fertility is more susceptible to be damaged from smartphone. So, males must not keep smartphone in front pockets or belt loops because the radiation is little too close for comfort. 8. Text Neck Text Neck is term used by physicians and doctors to describe the spinal disorder that arises due to excess usage of smartphones. Long term use of smartphone brings forth neck pain which is directly related to spine and thus causes spinal disorder. 9. Back Pain Smartphone has been linked to eye health, stress and sleep problems, smartphone causes bad impact on spin and can contribute to back pain. Today, back pain is becoming more and more common among the younger generation. It causes repetitive strain injury. 10. Wrist Problems Another health hazard related to smartphone is wrist problem. How long you hold smartphone in your hand strains the wrist. Usually, people hold smartphone using three fingers. Retaining this posture for longer duration everyday creates pain in the wrist. 11. Numb fingers With the excessive use of smartphone or tablet, fingers of hands become numb and causes tingling sensation. The hand above elbow experiences slow blood circulation and can have long-lasting effects. So, if you are regular texting freak, you can protect yourself from numb fingers by keeping the smartphone away for at least one minute after every fifteen minutes of texting. 12. Text-walking Texting while driving or moving across the streets or road is the most life-threatening. With doing such stuff you are only risking your life. According to survey, several deaths have been attributed to using smartphone while walking. . 13. Infections Being parents, you might have noticed your kids using smartphone in restrooms also. You know that this thing must not be done at all. Smartphone not only is a valuable device for storing your important files and documents but also carries millions of infectious micro-organisms. 14. Addiction One of the most famous health hazards of smartphone is addiction and almost 30% of the smartphone users are addicted to their smartphone. It can seem if you keep checking your phone more often than it necessary. We keep on checking our smartphone even if there is no notification or call. 15. Nerve Damage With an increased risk of brain tumours from the use of smartphone, longer use of smartphone can cause brain cancer risk. Smartphone doesn’t affect your health day-to-day but causes long-term and incurable side effects. Final Words When it comes to smartphone or tablet, on the go lifestyles are increasingly demanding it. It is certainly convenient to have smartphone or tablet for almost everything like for business, entertainment or social networking right away from the blink of eye and right at your fingertips. But it is more important to take care of your health and to know how to protect yourself from health hazards of smartphone. As there is a saying, “Your safety is in your hands only.” Article source
  23. CatchApp Tool Can Siphon Encryption WhatsApp Messages From A Distance Israeli company claims it has developed CatchApp tool which can siphon encrypted WhatsApp data from a distance You may have seen in many Hollywood movies in which the main protagonist, an agent from the CIA or FBI placing his/her mobile besides the victim’s smartphone and copying data from it. Up to now, siphoning data from any smartphone just by being in its proximity was considered fiction but now an Israeli cyber surveillance company claims it has developed a sophisticated tool called CatchApp which can siphon off all WhatsApp chats, including encrypted communications, from phones within close proximity of a hidden Wi-Fi hacking device in a backpack. Haifa-based Wintego has released brochures for its CatchApp tool which it calls as a WhatsApp interceptor. Wintego promises that the Catchall App has an “unprecedented capability” to break through WhatsApp encryption and grab full data from a target’s account. It does so through a “man-in-the-middle” (MITM) attack; in theory, the traffic is intercepted between the app and the WhatsApp server and somehow the encryption is decoded by the device, though that may not be possible with the latest upgrades to the software’s cryptography. The company did not elaborate on how its CatchApp tool manages to decode/decrypt the WhatsApp encryption but Forbes has noted that the tool works on most versions of WhatsApp. The company has released the brochures of the App to advertise it to different police and law enforcement agencies around the globe. The CatchApp tool is a part of larger Wintego arsenal called WINT. According to the company, WINT hacking tool can fit into backpack. The company calls WINT a “data extraction solution” and says that it can can obtain “the entire contents of your targets’ email accounts, chat sessions, social network profiles, detailed contact lists, year-by-year calendars, files, photos, web browsing activity, and more” just by being near the victim’s PC/laptop/smartphone. It does that by acquiring login credentials for distinct accounts and then silently downloads “all the data stored therein”. Wintego claims WINT first gains access to a device by intercepting Wi-Fi communications, whether they’re open or private encrypted networks. WINT uses four separate Wi-Fi access points so it can track multiple targets and high-gain antennas to catch those at a distance. It’s small enough to fit into any backpack, said Wintego, so is ideal for stealthy operations. The details about Wintego dealings are top secret but reports indicate that it was founded by alumni of Verint, another Israeli firm. Verint itself was the top cyber surveillance tools supplier for America’s National Security Agency (NSA). According to Forbes, Yuval Luria acts as the face of the company, promoting the kit at major surveillance shows. He recently presented at the ISS World Training event in Prague (also known as the Wiretappers’ Ball), giving a talk on A Hybrid Tactical-Strategic Approach for Extracting Cyber Intelligence. Nhevo Kaufman appears to act as company chief, having set up the firm’s website back in 2011. Both the above tools are for sale only to police, law enforcement and spy firms but it is nowhere stated that the same can’t be bought by rogue actors. Source
  24. Trend Micro Offers $250K to Hack iPhone in Pwn2Own Contest A new iteration of the P2wn2Own mobile hacking contest takes aim at iOS and Android. The mobile Pwn2Own hacking contest is back for 2016, this time offering top prize of $250,000 to any security researcher who forces an Apple iPhone to unlock. The Pwn2Own contest has undergone a bit of a transition as Hewlett Packard Enterprise sold the Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) group that sponsors the event to Trend Micro earlier this year. The browser edition of the Pwn2Own event was held in March and was jointly sponsored by HPE and Trend Micro. The mobile Pwn2Own 2016 contest being held next month will be the first time a Pwn2Own event doesn't benefit from HPE sponsorship. "To us, it's still Pwn2Own," Brian Gorenc, senior manager of vulnerability research at Trend Micro, told eWEEK. "We always hope each contest brings us something new we haven't seen before, but if you've seen the contest, it should look very familiar." During the 2016 Pwn2Own browser event, which was held at the CanSecWest conference in Vancouver, ZDI awarded a total of $460,000 in prize money to researchers for publicly demonstrating new zero-day exploits in web browsers. The mobile Pwn2Own event will be held Oct. 26-27 at the PacSec Security Conference in Tokyo, and the total available prize pool is set to top $500,000. For the 2016 mobile event, ZDI is asking researchers to target three specific mobile devices: the Apple iPhone 6x, the Google Nexus 6p and the Samsung Galaxy Note7. Across all of the targeted devices, ZDI is tasking researchers with a number of challenges. The first is to obtain sensitive information from a device. ZDI is awarding $50,000 to those who exploit a device to get access to sensitive information on the iPhone or the Google Nexus. A researcher who is able to get sensitive information off a Galaxy will be awarded $35,000. Another challenge at mobile Pwn2Own 2016 is to install a rogue application on a targeted device. A $125,000 prize will be awarded for the installation of a rogue app on the iPhone; on the Google Nexus, the reward is $100,000; and on the Samsung Galaxy, $60,000. "Each phone will be running the latest operating system available at the time of the contest, and all available patches will also be applied," Gorenc said. "This can lead to some late nights as ZDI researchers update phones in the days leading up to the contest, but we feel it's best to have the latest and greatest targeted." Gorenc said all of the targeted devices will be in their default configuration. On iOS, that means Pwn2Own contestants must target Safari, as this is the default browser and most common, realistic scenario for users of that device. In the past, Pwn2Own contestants have demonstrated many WebKit browser rendering engine related vulnerabilities. WebKit is the core rendering engine behind Safari and has many components that are also used in Google's Chrome. "The threat landscape shifts so much from contest to contest that it's hard to predict what component will be targeted," he said. "WebKit will likely make an appearance, but we're hoping to see some new techniques and research as well." For the installation of the rogue application, Gorenc said that ZDI has no requirements for the app. "We will leave it up to the contestant to express their creativity during the public demonstration," he said. iPhone Unlock The biggest single prize at the mobile Pwn2Own 2016 event goes to the researcher who is able to successfully force an iPhone to unlock. The challenge of unlocking an iPhone has been a hot topic in recent months. The FBI reportedly paid as much as $1.3 million to bypass the iPhone lock screen. And Apple started its own bug bounty program, with a $200,000 prize, while security firm Exodus Intelligence will pay a top prize of $500,000 for an iOS zero-day flaw. Gorenc believes offering $250,000 for an iPhone unlock exploit is a good size prize. "We feel this amount is not a bad payday for what will clearly be a significant amount of research needed to accomplish this hack," he said. "Along with the money, the researcher will get the recognition that comes with winning Pwn2Own." In the end, Gorenc said, it's the marketplace that will let ZDI know if $250,000 is a fair price; he's optimistic that someone will actually attempt to publicly force an iPhone to unlock. "Finally, by reporting this through ZDI, the bugs will actually get fixed by the vendor," Gorenc said. "That's better than some of the alternatives." Source
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