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New Android malware called xHelper is not removable

Here’s why you should take security updates seriously

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A new Android malware package has been discovered and researchers claim it’s impossible to kill it. More than 55,000 Android devices worldwide have been infected and Igor Golovin from Kasperksy Labs says it just won’t die.

Known as xHelper, the malware has been spreading mainly in Russia, Europe, and Southwest Asia. So far, it has infected devices running on Android v6 or v7. Even though your first thought would be that they’re years old and outdated when the world has reached Android 10, it’s worth noting that nearly 15 percent of devices worldwide still run on that system.

The malware called xHelper downloads a few more companion files after an intrusion, including one known as Triada. Triada provides xHelper with root access of the device, basically making it impossible to remove.

“The main feature of xHelper is entrenchment,” Igor explained. “Once it gets into the phone, it somehow remains there even after the user deletes it and restores the factory settings.”

From Kaspersky Labs

The malware has been spreading via unofficial app stores. This is the exact reason why Google has always stressed that you don’t install external packages and rely on its secure Play Store. It even has a service called “Play Protect” that ensures all apps listed on the marketplace are safe.

The malware disguises itself as a legit device “cleaning” app. That’s why these are also called Trojan Horse — a misleading app that hides its real motive behind a curtain of legitimacy.

Further, Igor said, “Malicious files are stored sequentially in the app’s data folder, which other programs do not have access to.” This conceals its presence and the malware can continue using tools that are already known to cybersecurity experts but are still not able to remove it.

This is also the primary reason why Google regularly pushes out monthly security updates to all Android phones. They contain patches for discovered vulnerabilities. This also explains why continuous software updates are crucial for online safety.

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Lenovo Legion confirmed to launch on July 22

One of the first phones to have Snapdragon 865 Plus

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Between the ROG Phone 3 and the Lenovo Legion, the gaming smartphone wars is turning up the heat. As of late, ASUS’s ROG Phone 3 has made more waves than its Lenovo counterpart. Now, we know a lot about the device’s specifications and potential launch date. Of course, Lenovo will eventually take its turn in the limelight.

Recently, Lenovo has confirmed more details about its gaming phone, the Lenovo Legion. Posted on Weibo, the company is launching the Legion on July 22, at 7:30 p.m. (presumably in China).

Besides the official launch date, the included poster also confirms the device’s chipset. As was also confirmed by Qualcomm earlier, the Lenovo Legion will tout the Snapdragon 865 Plus — one of the first phones to have the new chipset.

Of course, we already know a lot about the Lenovo Legion based on previous rumors. Most notably, the device will have a high-RPM cooling fan, maintaining a good temperature for high-performance gaming. It might also get a side pop-up camera. It will have two USB-C ports; one on the bottom and another on the side, enabling easy charging depending on how you’re using the phone. Finally, it will have a sizable 5050mAh battery.

If you’re a fan of gaming smartphones, July is a perfect month to get a new model. Besides the Lenovo Legion, the ROG Phone 3 is also expected to launch sometime this month.

SEE ALSO: Lenovo Legion 5, Legion Tower 5i coming to Philippines

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Laptops

Apple: Don’t cover your MacBook webcams

Might damage your screen

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Lately, the conversation surround cybersecurity has ramped up. Users are making sure that no one is spying on them through their favorite devices. One of the most popular ways of doing so is placing a cover on a laptop’s built-in webcam. However, Apple has issued an official warning against the obscuring method.

Reported by MacRumors, Apple has posted a new support page on its official website about closing a MacBook with a cover attached. Apparently, doing so can severely damage your screen. The laptop wasn’t designed for such use, Apple says. Further, covering your webcam can affect the different sensors on the device.

In lieu of a physical cover, Apple is asking users to trust the green indicator light instead. According to the page, “the camera is engineered so that it can’t activate without the camera indicator light also turning on.”

Of course, trusting a device’s hardware isn’t always the best option. If absolutely needed, Apple has issued a few criteria for appropriate covers: thinner than 0.1mm (or about the thickness of a piece of printer paper), no adhesive residue, and removing the cover whenever closing the device.

With camera covers becoming all the rage, issuing some safety tips might be the best course of action for the MacBook maker. Certainly, people will still cover their devices despite warnings. And more certainly, people will still remain wary about malicious parties spying on their cameras.

SEE ALSO: Apple will stop using Intel in MacBooks next year

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India

Samsung starts making smartwatches in India

Includes an entire range of 18 smartwatches

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Samsung has launched the Galaxy Watch Active 2 4G Aluminium edition in India. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 has been available in the country for quite some time, but there’s something special about the Aluminium edition.

It’s the first Samsung smartwatch to be built in India. The brand said it has started manufacturing its entire range of 18 smartwatches in India as part of the Make for India program. The company has been making phones in India for years, but wearables were usually imported.

Samsung has a huge production facility in Noida, India. Smartphones are also built for export and the plant can be expanded further depending on demand. Amid the call to avoid foreign goods, Indians are actively looking for options that are made or designed in India.

Coming to the watch, it’s priced at INR 28,490 (US$ 378) and shall be available in Cloud Silver, Aqua Black, and Pink Gold color options.

It sports a 1.4-inch Super AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass DX+ for protection. The smartwatch is IP68 certified and rated to work at a maximum pressure of up to 5ATM. It runs on Tizen OS with 1.5GB RAM and 4GB internal storage.

Once connected to a phone, it can also access the smartphone camera, videos, and use Wireless PowerShare to transfer data quickly.

It has e-SIM connectivity that enables calls, messages, and notifications on-the-go. Lastly, it’s equipped with a heart-rate sensor, ECG sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, and ambient light sensor.

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