News

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

Dating

Quarantined man asks neighbor on a date through a drone, posts video on TikTok

Coronavirus can’t stop love

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Image by GadgetMatch

Needless to say, today is the worst time to go on a date. With social distancing in full effect, getting naughty in bed is a risky proposition. Regardless, even with physical distances, humans will always find a way to get intimate.

In New York, a man just upped his game in the coronavirus dating scene. Jeremy Cohen, a resident of Bushwick, invited his next door neighbor out on a date in the most creative way in the quarantine era.

In Brooklyn, rooftop antics and parties are commonplace. Recently, Cohen spotted his neighbor, Toni Cignarella, dancing alone on the rooftop next door.

“I looked out on the street, saw this girl dancing. I needed to say hi to her,” Cohen said in an NBC New York report. They waved at each other, but Cohen wondered how they could contact each other.

Of course, with the distance today, everyone needs to get creative. Cohen sent his number through a small drone. Naturally, his smooth moves didn’t go undocumented. Throughout the whole process, Cohen filmed the whole thing and posted the video on TikTok. (Where else? He also posted it on his Instagram.)

After Cignarella’s yes, the two went “out on a date.” Specifically, they had dinner on their respective rooftops and talked through FaceTime. Cignarelli commented that it was the “coolest thing anyone’s done for [her].”

Currently, the TikTok video already has 30 million views. Even then, Cohen’s cute gesture is a ray of hope in today’s desolate times.

SEE ALSO: 4 ways you can use TikTok to help during the COVID-19 crisis

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Accessories

Huawei Sound X with hi-end audio launches

Will work seamlessly with the P40 series

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Huawei is slowly but surely venturing out into more and more devices. After wearables, the company is now showing off a hi-end speaker — the Huawei Sound X.

It’s never easy to describe sound on text but Huawei claims the Sound X “will revolutionize high-end acoustic technology with sonorous audio that leaves an enduring, life-altering impression on the listener.”

It was made in collaboration with Devialet — a global audio brand known for its High-Fidelity products.

It’s not a smart speaker in the way that there’s a voice assistant integrated like the Google Home or the Amazon Echo, but it does have some ‘smart’ qualities.

For instance, it will work seamlessly with your Huawei P40 series phone. Gently tapping your phone against the Sound X transmits audio to the speaker.

The audio, Huawei says, is lossless and low-latency and can be tweaked thanks to a proprietary EMUI 10.1 multi-device control panel. Think of like Huawei’s own version of Apple’s AirPlay.

Another thing that Huawei is proud of about the Sound X is how compact it is compared to other speakers that promise to deliver the same level of hi-end audio. It’s able to deliver 60W of bass despite being relatively smaller than other speakers with the same capability.

The company says the “exterior design was inspired by the golden dome of the black, glazed surface hints at the robust sound that seems to emanate from a bottomless well.” But it really just reminds of Darth Vader from Star Wars.

The press photos even have the Sound X in this red room of sorts. Screams Sith to me.

Imagine playing the “Imperial Death March” on this thing! Whether you see the resemblance or not, it does kind of look cool.

SEE ALSO: Huawei P40 Series with ‘visionary photography’ now official

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News

Huawei Watch GT 2e unveiled with more than 100 workout modes

Designed for fitness freaks

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Continuing the Watch GT series, Huawei has unveiled the latest addition — the Watch GT 2e. The brand intends the watch to be a Fitbit-type replacement by equipping it with more than 100 workout modes. This ranges from outdoor activities to indoor exercises.

It has a 1.4-inch AMOLED display and the brand claims it has a “retina” grade display. It’s safe to assume the display has a higher pixel density, delivering sharper visuals. The Watch GT 2e is designed to look sporty and has an integrated strap. The primary body of the watch is built from stainless steel and the strap has four color options — Graphite Black, Lava Red, Mint Green, and Icy White.

For added comfort, the strap is made of TPU material that’s designed to withstand extreme movement caused during any kind of exercise. This shall ensure accurate data reading. The watch face is highly customizable and the user can also add dual time zones, reminders, and a photo gallery.

The watch supports 15 professional workout modes along with eight outdoor activities like running, walking, mountain climbing, hiking, trail running, cycling, open water swimming, and triathlon. Indoor activities include walking, running, cycling, pool, swimming, free training, elliptical machine, and rower.

That’s not all. The watch has 85 customized workout modes across groups like extreme, leisure, fitness, aquatics, ball games, and winter sports. It’ll constantly record the user’s duration, calories burnt, heart rate interval, exercise progress, recovery time, and more.

Lastly, it’s the first watch from Huawei to get blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) monitoring. Sleep and stress tracking, a commonly found feature today in fitness accessories, has also been included.

Powering the watch is Huawei’s proprietary Kirin A1 chip and it can last two weeks on a single charge. The company hasn’t announced pricing or availability yet.

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