News

30 Nov 2016
by Reggie Pierce
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The Mac App Store Is Full Of Scams

The Mac App Store Is Full Of Scams

A new post by How-To Geek goes into great detail about how Apple’s “walled garden” fails to protect users from being scammed.

They detail examples of top results for searches such as “Microsoft Excel” and “Office Bundle”. The top results for “Office Bundle” gets you a $30 collection of templates- all useless without Microsoft Office.

The article notes that people were deceived, and goes on to say:

“These customers were ripped off, and Apple pocketed $10 each. Search for other Office applications and you’ll find more template bundles, disguised as official applications to varying degrees.”

The writer focused on Microsoft Office because this is a particularly egregious example. […]

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08 Nov 2016
by Max Jannetta
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NY Times Report: Fake Retail Apps Surging Before Holidays

NY Times Report: Fake Retail Apps Surging Before Holidays

The New York Times just reported on hundreds of fake retail apps that recently appeared in Apple’s App Store – just in time for holiday shopping.

Vindu Goel writes that the fraudsters “have masqueraded as retail chains like Dollar Tree and Foot Locker, big department stores like Dillard’s and Nordstrom, online product bazaars like Zappos.com and Polyvore, and luxury-goods makers like Jimmy Choo, Christian Dior and Salvatore Ferragamo.”

A number of app developers are cited in the article. “We’re seeing a barrage of fake apps” says one, noting that it was the first time they had seen so many counterfeit iPhone apps emerge in such a short period of time. […]

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07 Nov 2016
by David Jannetta
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Fake Android Flash Player App Targets Banks, Social Media

Over the weekend the International Business Times reported on a new Android malware that can steal the login credentials from 94 different mobile banking apps around the world.

According to Kai Lu, a security researcher at Fortinet, users who actively use banking applications on their mobiles need to remain cautious and beware of this new malware campaign.

She notes that “the malware masquerades as a Flash Player app that, once installed, appears in a phone launcher. If a phone owner launches the app they see a fake Google Play screen asking for permissions that grant the malware administrator rights. […]

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28 Oct 2016
by David Jannetta
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Record Quarter: China becomes World’s Biggest iOS App Store Market

App Annie’s Q3 2016 Index report shows China has smashed earnings records for Apple to become the leading iOS App Store market in the world, taking a massive $1.7b over the previous three months. The U.S. followed at $1.5b and Japan at $1.25b. According to estimates, there’s a lot more growth to come.

Until China’s sudden increase in revenue this quarter, the U.S. had been topping the chart since 2010.

It’s predicted China’s App Store revenue increase will continue into 2020, and the report said the growth will primarily come from games. Outside of games, App Annie states entertainment apps and social networking apps are the top categories, both with high levels of growth over the last year. […]

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29 Sep 2016
by David Jannetta
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Apps Dominate Path To Purchase

A few weeks ago we wrote about research showing that smartphone apps accounted for 50 percent of the time Americans spent online, now eclipsing all other digital media platforms combined.

Now, research firm Criteo has released a report that discovered mobile sales grew by 30% in the U.S. during the first half of 2016 compared to last year, and now represent 52% of all eCommerce sales.

The report noted:

  • For the first time ever, smartphones delivered the majority of mobile transactions in every major global market. […]

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23 Sep 2016
by Reggie Pierce
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GIF Keyboards: Infringement at Your Fingertips

GIF Keyboards: Infringement at Your Fingertips

The recently released iOS 10 Messages app can quickly search for and send animated GIFs directly to contacts.

The feature has been available from third parties in the past, but now it’s packaged into every iPhone.

While the legality of using IP in animated GIFs is still up for interpretation, it’s never been easier to quickly insert artwork created by others into your everyday messaging. For companies that rely on keyboards and online video for revenue, these results should be concerning.

To show exactly how easy it is to access content, we’ve reverse engineered both Apple and Google’s keyboards and created the following demos:

NFL – Apple iOS 10 Keyboard
NFL – Google Gboard

Harry Potter – Apple iOS 10 Keyboard
Harry Potter – Google Gboard

McDonalds – Apple iOS 10 Keyboard
McDonalds – Google Gboard

To try the demo yourself, click here, or see below. […]

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09 Sep 2016
by David Jannetta
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Smartphone Apps Make up 50% Of Americans’ Time On Digital Devices

The research firm comScore’s latest study says that in July, smartphone apps accounted for 50 percent of the time Americans were online, an amount that rose from about 46 percent last year.

“While the smartphone app has been the most important access vehicle to the internet for some time, growing its share to a point where it now eclipses all other digital media platforms combined speaks to just how central to our lives the smartphone has become,” comScore wrote in a blog post.

The reasons for the growth in smartphone app usage are no surprise:

“The high usage of smartphone apps compared to other media touchpoints shouldn’t come as much of a shock when you think about your daily online behavior. […]

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25 Aug 2016
by David Jannetta
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Thieves Target Mobile Banking

Thieves Target Mobile Banking

Criminals have found mobile phones to be excellent portals to use to steal from the financial services industry, says an article today in the Wall Street Journal. Robin Sidel writes:

“Malicious software programs with names like Acecard and GM Bot are gaining popularity around the world as criminals look for new and lucrative ways to attack the financial-services industry. Cyberthieves are using such so-called malware to steal banking credentials from unsuspecting consumers when they log onto their bank accounts via their mobile phones, according to law-enforcement officials and cybersecurity specialists.”

The FBI has been warning the banking industry about the trend as more consumers are using banking apps. […]

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11 Aug 2016
by David Jannetta
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Fake Prisma Apps Downloaded 1.5 Million Times

Research firm WeLiveSecurity just posted an article announcing that fake Prisma apps “flooded the Google Play Store” before the Android version of the popular iOS app was even released.

Researchers found “fake Prisma apps of different types, including several dangerous trojan downloaders. The Google Play security team removed them from the official Android store at ESET’s notice. Prior to that point, Prisma copycats reached over 1.5 million downloads by fans.”

The article noted the lack of any photo editing functionality of the fake Prisma apps, saying that most displayed ads or fake surveys in an attempt to lure users into providing personal information. […]

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21 Jul 2016
by David Jannetta
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Google and Anti-Piracy

Google and Anti-Piracy

Google just published an updated report detailing its anti-piracy efforts, and it maintains that it’s doing a lot to fight bootleggers, especially in the music industry. However, an Engadget report quotes sources in the music industry that say Google is doing little to block stolen content on YouTube.

But Google claims its Content ID system (which can automatically claim copyrighted material for licensing or takedowns) has paid over $2 billion to copyright owners since launch, and about 98 percent of copyright action uses it — just 2 percent comes down to formal copyright removal notices. […]

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