Snapchat app update to address security concerns


Snapchat finally addressed the hacking breach of 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers from it service, writing a blog post that promises an update to the app that will enable users to opt out of the Find Friends functionality that led to the all of the chaos. (more…)

Lockbox secures mobile files from hackers, government agencies

Image via Lockbox

Image via Lockbox

With the words “mobile security” sounding more and more like an oxymoron these days, not to mention, grabbing headlines around the world, secure-file sharing mobile app Lockbox boasts a solution the company guarantees can’t be broken by the NSA, or even the people at Lockbox themselves. (more…)

Manything turns old iOS devices into security cameras

Image via Manything

Image via Manything

As consumers start updating to the new line of iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C smartphones, shoppers may start looking for ways to make use of their older devices aside from simply selling them. Enter Manything, an iOS recording program that turns old iPhones, iPods and iPads into video monitoring cameras.


BillGuard on iOS protects credit card users from ‘grey charges’


Finance protection company BillGuard has announced the launch of its iPhone app, which now offers a tool for users to constantly keep tabs on their credit card accounts and monitor “grey charges,” purchases that may have been authorized but then forgotten about.


FBI issues confusing warning to smartphone users

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) issued an “Intelligence Note” last Friday warning smartphone users of malware targeting mobile devices.

The IC3 specifically named Loozfon, an information-stealing piece of malware, and FinFisher, a spyware capable of taking over the components of a mobile device, allowing for remote control and monitoring no matter where the device is located. Both Loozfon and FinFisher can get onto a device when a user visits a specific link.

The wording of the IC3 statement is a little confusing. The title directs the warning at smartphone users but the body of the message indicates that the malware in question exploits “Android operating system for mobile devices.” According to security solutions provider Symantec, Loozfon does indeed target Android devices, but as TNW reported, versions of FinFisher are able to exploit iOS, BlackBerry and Windows Phone devices, none of which are mentioned in the warning.

Most confusing is the timing of the IC3 issued warning, as it doesn’t follow any spike in malware activity that we’re aware of at this time.

However, the IC3 did also include in the statement a useful list of 13 tips to help users keep their mobile devices safe. We recommend you read it here.

Being free is no defense: Arxan finds 40% of free iOS, 80% of free Android apps have been hacked

Even making your app free isn’t much of a deterrent for hackers reports security company Arxan Technology.

The company found that over 40 percent of the top 15 most popular free iOS apps and 80 percent of the top 15 most popular free Android apps have been hacked. Unsurprisingly, the issue was even more common when an app was paid — the company reports 92 percent of the 100 most popular paid iOS apps and every single one of the top 100 most popular paid Android apps have been hacked.

Arxan reports the most common type of hack is to simply make a free copy of a paid app available. For apps that are already free hackers typically strip out advertising, unlock in-app purchases or bypass security measures.

Hacked versions of both free and paid apps are also commonly bundled with malware, a finding backed up by security and anti-virus software provider McAfee. The company recently reported mobile malware infections hit a 12 month high as hackers experimented with new kinds of mobile malware. The two fastest growing categories of malware are ransomware — code that holds a user’s data for ransom until money is received — and botnets that turn infected devices into “zombies” that are used to send spam or conduct DDoS attacks.

Although sometimes found in official app stores, hacked or cracked apps are most commonly found in unofficial third party app stores such as Cydia, torrent sites and app distribution sites run by third-parties and hackers.  While iOS users that wish to use hacked versions of apps need to first jailbreak their device to gain root access to the iOS operating system, Android users can simply change a setting in their device preferences to allow them to download apps from any source or market. This setting, combined with the fact that apps released through Google Play aren’t encrypted (as they are in the iTunes App Store) accounts for the higher level of Android app piracy according to Arxan.

Mobile app news roundup: Apple, Android malware, Big Fish Games and more

Apple helps devs complain about app copycats — Apple now gives developers the chance to report copyright infringing apps and content reports The Next Web. The revamped forms read in part:

If you believe that an application available in the App Store violates your intellectual property rights, you can use this form to submit a claim to the App Store Legal Team.

Apps on the App Store are made available by third party providers. Once you have identified the app and described the alleged infringement on the following pages, we will respond via email with a reference number and will put you in direct contact with the provider of the disputed app. 

Malware explodes, Android targeted the most — Security firm McAfee’s second quarter Threat Report has found 1.5 million pieces of new malware. On the mobile front, botnets and ransomware were the fastest growing category of malware. McAfee’s report was also bad news for Android owners — the firm found almost all the new mobile malware it detected during Q2 was targeted to Android devices.

Flurry expands mobile video ads to Android — Mobile analytics/advertising company Flurry has brought its mobile video ad service AppCircle Clips to Android, reports TechCrunch.

7 million Lumia phones sold — Nokia has sold 7 million Lumia model Windows smartphones, according to a tweet from VisionMobile founder Andreas Constantinou.

Rovio announces Bad Piggies – As heavily teased by the Finnish company, the green pigs from Angry Birds will soon have their own game. Bad Piggies will be available on iOS and Android. According to Fast Company’s exclusive preview, the game will be a physics puzzler.


Big Fish streaming service comes to Android tablets — Big Fish Games’ Unlimited Streaming service has made the jump to mobile, and is now available on Android. The service has been optimized for the Nexus 7, but doesn’t currently work on Android phones.

MoMinis brings PlayScape to entire game lineup — Israel’s MoMinis announced this week its PlayScape mobile social network and shared virtual currency will be available in all its titles. The service is available via Google Play.

Devs throw weight behind Kindle Fire HD – It may not be available yet, but developers are already announcing support for the Amazon’s new 8.9” Kindle Fire HD tablet. Gameloft has announced it will optimize The Oregon Trail: American Settler, Asphalt 7: Heat, Fashion Iconand Ice Age Village for the device with new features. Crytek’s physics Puzzler Fibble – Flick ‘n’ Roll will also land on the device with two new areas.

SocialCam’s API opens up — Third party developers can now create apps that use video creation and sharing app Socialcam’s API through its new developer program.

GREE signs 6 game deal with Capcom – GREE has signed a deal with Capcom that will see six mobile social games released on the GREE network by the end of the year reports Dr. Serkan Toto. Three of the titles, based on Dead Rising, Resident Evil and Monster Hunter, will be available on GREE’s global platform.

[Launch] Skylanders touches down on Kindle Fire – Activision has brought its lucrative children’s game Skylanders Cloud Patrol to Android via the Kindle Fire. Players will be able to purchase physical Skylanders toys from within the app. The game will cost $0.99.

[Launch] Zillow debuts iOS rentals app — Real estate listings company Zillow is expanding its mobile presence again, bringing its rental listings app to iOS. The app made its debut on Android earlier this year.

[Launch] Bubble Shot hits iOS – Independent Brighton-based developer Fat Fish Games has released its arcade bubble shooter Bubble Shot into the iOS app store.

[Funding] Ooomf nets $500,000 for app discovery platform — Montreal-based Ooomf has raised $500,000 from Real Ventures and BDC Venture Capital for its user-centric app discovery platform, reports TechCrunch.

[Funding] Snappli snaps up $1 million in funding – Mobile data compression service Snappli has raised $1 million in funding from VC firms Greylock Partners, Index Ventures and Angel Investors Simon Murdoch, Klaus Hommels and Alex Zubillaga.

AntiSec releases 1M+ UDIDs it claims are from FBI hack

A hacker group named AntiSec has released 1,000,001 iPhone Unique Device Identifiers (UDIDs) it claims it stole from an FBI tracking project that contains more than 12 million of the numbers — some of which are said to be linked to personal information including full name, cell number, address and zipcode.

UDIDs are 40-digit long, unique alphanumeric codes that are assigned to every iOS device. They are used to track users as they move from app to app, to target advertising and measure campaign conversions. Unlike other advertising tracking mechanisms, they can’t be cleared, blocked, removed or opted out of, and are easy to link to personal information such as a user’s contact book.

Security concerns like these that have pushed Apple to move away from UDIDs, although the movement to replace them has lost much of its momentum due to a lack of suitable replacements. For its part, AntiSec had the following to say about UDID tracking:

“We think it’s the right moment to release this knowing that Apple is looking for alternatives for those UDID currently and since a while blocked axx [sic] to it, but well, in this case it’s too late for those concerned owners on the list. we always thought it was a really bad idea. that hardware coded IDs for devices concept should be erradicated [sic] from any device on the market in the future.”

According to the group’s anonymous statement on, the data was released  in order to draw attention to the FBI’s project. Although most of the user info has been removed, AntiSec left enough for users to determine if their devices were among those being tracked. For those users who do not wish to download the entire list of UDIDs in order to see if their device is among those being tracked, The Next Web has created a custom search tool related to the breach.

MobileSpaces nets $3M from Accel to improve BYOD security

Mobile security startup MobileSpaces announced today it has received $3 million in Series A funding from Accel Partners.

Headquartered in Washington D.C., MobileSpaces creates enterprise security solutions for businesses with bring your own device (BYOD) smartphone policies. Although the growing practice has proven popular with employees and accountants, IT professionals have been less impressed. Aside from the risk of a personal smartphone with sensitive information ending up lost or stolen, IT staff need to make sure company data isn’t sent out over unsecure networks and that other apps a user could have installed aren’t able to access enterprise data — all while respecting the privacy of the person who actually owns the device.

MobileSpaces solves these problems by creating enterprise apps that run natively on a user’s device. This allows the company to isolate its data securely within its own app.  The apps run while they’re offline, can be set up to require passcodes and IT managers can restrict how information is shared. In case of a lost device, the app can be wiped remotely as well. Currently MobileSpaces only works on Android device, but the company is working on bringing its technology to iOS and Windows Mobile.

As part of today’s deal, Rich Wong of Accel Partners joins the MobileSpaces board. MobileSpaces isn’t the first mobile or enterprise security provider Accel has invested in — Accel has previously funded risk management software maker Imperva, Australian enterprise software solutions provider Atlassian, online and mobile privacy certification provider TRUSTe and mobile antivirus and security company Lookout.

Mobile app news roundup: mobile Mozilla, Apple fixes and Transformers heads to Mobage

Apple fixes IAP fraud with temporary fix, promises solution coming in iOS 6.0 — Apple has notified developers it has released a temporary fix for the bug that allowed a Russian hacker to circumvent Apple’s security and successfully make in-app purchases for free. According to 9to5Mac, the bug will be fully fixed with iOS 6.0.

PayPal acquires — PayPal has picked up, a company that allows developers to use a smartphone’s camera to read credit card information. The acquisition price was not disclosed.

Mozilla going mobile — Neowin reports Mozilla is throwing its hat into the mobile market with a new mobile operating system based on Linux and Gecko. The Firefox OS is scheduled to hit the market in 2013.

Mobile revenues at Yahoo up 50% — During this week’s Yahoo earnings call, the company said its mobile revenues had increased by 50 percent year-on-year, although they were up from a small base, reports TechCrunch.

Apple pulls Clueful — Apple has pulled the security app Clueful from the iTunes App Store, reports VentureBeat. The app analyzed the activity of other applications and informed users if an app was accessing a phone’s GPS or address book, connecting to their social media accounts or encrypting data.

Ouya’s first exclusive game announced — The still-in-development Android-based Ouya console has revealed its first exclusive title. The game will be developed by Robotoki, and will be a prequel to the upcoming survival horror game Human Element, which is slated for a PC and console release in 2015 according to PocketGamer.

Verizon offers 150 on-demand Android games for $5.99 a month – Verizon has partnered with on-demand gaming service Extent to offer its Android users a new service called GameTitanium. For $5.99 a month users will get access to 100 Android games and 50 Android tablet games, all free and ad free. Users will not need to download individual apps. Games included in the service include Doodle God, Fruit Ninja, World of Goo and Plants vs. Zombies

Rage of Bahamut passes 2 million users outside of Japan — DeNA and Cygame’s hit mobile game Rage of Bahamut has now racked up 2 million users outside of the game’s Japanese homeland. The app has been the top grossing Android app for 14 weeks in a row.

Google Chrome now accounts for 1.2 percent of iOS browsing – Online advertising network Chitika reports the new iOS version of Chrome now accounts for 1.2 percent of all web browsing on the platform. The company has launched a widget to track adoption of the new browser.

DeNA lands Transformers license — DeNA has signed an exclusive three-year licencing deal with Hasbro that will allow the company to produce mobile games based on the popular franchise. The games will be a part of DeNA’s Mobage network and will be available on iOS and Android everywhere except Japan.

PlayFirst teams with Sony for animated tie in – PlayFirst has announced it will release Hotel Transylvania Dash, a spin-off of the company’s Hotel Dash game that will use characters and settings from Sony’s upcoming animated film Hotel Transylvania.

Tom Hanks’ Electric City goes mobile – Jump Games has released two mobile apps based on Tom Hank’s animated series Electric City. Available on both iOS and Android, Electric City is free, and Electric City The Revolt is $0.99.

Gameloft raises money for sharks — Gameloft has teamed with the Discovery Channel and non-profit organization Wild Aid to raise money to support marine protection and raise awareness of the practice of shark finning. Gameloft is collecting the funds through its game Shark Dash. Users will be able to purchase exclusive in-game content, in exchange for a donation to the charity.

[Launch] Galaxy Life goes mobile – Digital Chocolate has brought its Facebook game Galaxy Life to the iPhone and the iPad as Galaxy Life: Pocket Adventures.

[Launch] Raved hits iTunes App Store — Location based recommendation service Raved launched its mobile app this week. The service allows users to share and recommend businesses and locations with their friends.

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