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Cybersecurity report reveals millions of Android devices affected by exploits

Affected phones include ASUS, Essential, LG, and ZTE

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Despite cybersecurity efforts, smartphones are still one of the most vulnerable devices you can ever own. Besides viruses, our handy phones constantly go through bugs and backdoors. Among all of the phones available today, no variant suffers more than Android devices.

According to cybersecurity firm Kryptowire, millions of Android phones might have already shipped with dangerous vulnerabilities. In the recent Black Hat security conference, the firm revealed that ten popular phones come with exploits out of the box.

Unfortunately, the report did not reveal all of the devices affected by the issue. In fact, the firm promises to uncover more exploits and affected devices in the future. Meanwhile, the concealment aims to give the devices’ companies a chance to respond. Thankfully, the report names five devices to use as examples.

These examples originate from one main source — unauthorized app installs. Because the conventional Google Play Store is usually a safe haven, these attacks rely on outside sources like APKs. Unlike installs from the former, malicious APK installs can bypass permissions to illegally access the phone’s data.

Despite sharing the same source, the results can vary greatly due to the device. Accordingly, the report names five devices from four companies — ASUS, Essential, LG, and ZTE — as examples.

For the most part, these exploits affect and obtain data from the phone. For example, attacks on the ZTE Blade Spark and Blade Vantage allows hackers to access sensitive data and personal information. On the other hand, attacks on the LG G6 and the Essential Phone can enable hackers to lock users out of their devices and reset the phone manually.

Sadly, the extent of the attacks spread far beyond illegal data access. Attacks on the popular ASUS ZenFone V Live completely surrenders the device to the whims of an attacker. This means that hackers can invariably control the phone as if it were their own.

To respond, all four affected companies have stated that they are working on patches to the devices. Unfortunately, Android’s open-source nature hinders the quick distribution of patches. Patch developers must adapt to both the device’s and the telco’s custom code.

Sadly, this means that the exploits still exist in one form or another. Currently, the only reliable course of action is to remain vigilant with security updates and patches.

SEE ALSO: US temporarily lifts ZTE sanctions for security updates, bans China Mobile

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Xiaomi X Leica partner for ‘Imagery Technology’

Something coming in July

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Xiaomi just dropped a huge bomb on their social media channels announcing a partnership with renowned camera maker Leica.

In the post, Xiaomi said it is ” a global strategic partnership in mobile imaging.”

“Combining the legendary image and innovative technology, let’s look forward to a new era of mobile photography in July,” the post added.

In their official blog, Xiaomi and Leica noted that this is a long-term partnership. It also says the two companies “share the same ideas regarding mobile imaging.” They promise to explore more in mobile imaging “through extreme technological breakthroughs and aesthetic pursuits.”

There isn’t much to go on at this point but this move is monumental considering what the partnership did for Huawei years back. Xiaomi and its fans have plenty of reason to be excited. The partnership could catapult Xiaomi to an even more premium territory and put it in the stratosphere to compete against Apple and Samsung overall.

Huawei and Leica

Huawei and Leica officially announced their partnership in 2016. The first result of that partnership are the Huawei P9 and Huawei P9 Plus. Huawei’s standing as a premiere smartphone camera skyrocketed with the Huawei P20 and P30 series. The partnership went on with the P40 and P50 series but it appears it has indeed come to an end.

Gizmochina reported in 2021 that the Huawei and Leica partnership will reach its conclusion with the P50 series.

Huawei official statement

Below is Huawei’s official statement sent to GadgetMatch on May 23, 4:16PM (GMT+8)

Huawei Consumer Business Group and Leica Camera AG have worked intensively together since 2015. The cooperation between the two companies ended on March 31 of 2022. 

 The two companies highly appreciate the partnership. The cooperation was based on each company’s excellent technical know-how and mutual trust resulting in ground-breaking innovations in the field of smartphone photography. 

Together, Huawei and Leica Camera have created new imaging standards and technical capabilities, bringing convenient and high-quality experiences to consumers worldwide, through which they have recorded the most memorable moments of their lives. 

Huawei is grateful to its global consumers for their support and will continue providing them with the ultimate in mobile photography experiences through its continued pursuit of innovation.

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Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1

And Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 1

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The second half of this year’s smartphones are coming. Naturally, each smartphone needs a capable processor to make itself more special among today’s crop of devices. Signaling the start of the next slate of devices, Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1.

A lot of current lineups have already launched for the year. However, we’re still missing some of the more premium offerings today. The new Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 will power the next generation for the year. And, according to Qualcomm, the chipset will deliver 10 percent faster CPU and GPU performance. It will also use 15 percent less power, squeezing out an extra hour of usage.

The chipset will focus more on performance. Even if the smartphone heats up from all the gaming, the processor can keep up with delivering sustained performance.

Though the list of confirmed devices is still a bit sparse today, companies have already promised to use the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. These include Honor, iQOO, Lenovo, Motorola, OnePlus, OPPO, realme, vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE. As expected, gaming brands are also signing up like ASUS’s Republic of Gamers and Black Shark.

Ironically, that’s not even the gaming processor, according to Qualcomm. The company also released the Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 1, which reportedly touts a 20 percent boost to GPU performance. Honor, OPPO, and Xiaomi are already making phones with the chipset.

SEE ALSO: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 beats Apple A15 Bionic in early tests

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Netflix is losing a lot of long-term subscribers

People are switching

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The Netflix revolution was indeed televised. However, after enjoying years of success as the streaming platform of choice, a lot of users are now leaving Netflix for greener pastures. Over the past few months, the company has struggled to patch its failures. A recently released data report does confirm that the platform has a right to worry. More and more long-term subscribers are reportedly cutting their subscriptions short.

According to The Information, around 13 percent of Netflix cancelers in the past quarter are from accounts that have been with the platform for over three years. The data, which was reportedly obtained from Antenna, pegs cancelations at around 3.6 million Americans, a big increase from the 2.5 million of the past five quarters.

Though 13 percent isn’t exactly a giant figure, it’s still a blow to Netflix’s empire. While streaming platform rightly focus on gaining new subscribers, losing the loyalty of long-term users isn’t something to shrug off.

Since announcing lost expectations, Netflix announced ways to save on costs and retain its subscribers. Other methods include canceling projects, opening a games division, and potentially charging users more for account sharing. Naturally, not every plan hits users the same way.

In the meantime, other platforms — like Disney+, HBO, and Hulu — are attracting more users with more varied and exclusive content. Regardless, Netflix is skidding down a slope. Only time will tell whether its latest strategies will stave off more losses.

SEE ALSO: Netflix is experimenting with livestreaming content

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