Chromecast with Google TV gets April security patch and bug fixes in latest update

Chromecast with Google TV owners have another update to look forward to, as Google continues its steady stream of improvements for the streaming dongle. This latest update, code-named STTE.240315.002, may seem minor on the surface, but nevertheless enforces those important security patches.

According to 9to5Google, the update bumps the Android security patch level up to April 2024, a welcome addition for users who value device security. While the official changelog might not reflect this change just yet, those who have received the update can corroborate the patch level change, assuring users that their devices are now better protected against potential vulnerabilities.

This 134MB update is the fourth one in just five months, outpacing the previous year’s update schedule. Tucked within the update are the usual “bug fixes and performance improvements,” which may seem vague, but they play a crucial role in the user experience. However, while this update focuses on security and stability, Google has been busy on other fronts as well. 
Recent reports have hinted at new developments in the Chromecast ecosystem. A new 4K model with an updated remote is reportedly in the works, while Google I/O 2024 revealed plans to turn the dongle into a full-fledged Google Home hub. These upcoming features promise to expand the Chromecast’s capabilities and further solidify its position as a central smart home device.To grab the latest update, simply browse to Settings > System > About > System update on your Chromecast with Google TV. The Voice Remote also gets a minor firmware update (26.6 -> 26.7), which is accessible through Settings > Remotes & Accessories.

With this update, Google continues to deliver on its promise of a refined and secure Chromecast experience. As the company gears up for future updates with the popular dongle, Chromecast users have much to look forward to, whether it be with promising new features or more powerful hardware.


Google Uses AI to Detect Fraud, Scams on Android Phones

Android users who opt in to the upcoming fraud and privacy features will receive scam warnings in real time. Gemini Nano, an Android version of Google’s AI technology, will listen for conversation patterns commonly associated with scams.

Possible fraud may be flagged when a caller asks you for private PINs and passwords or requests payments with a gift card. All the processing during such exchanges will be confined to the Android device, protecting user privacy, Google says. Here are additional security enhancements coming to Androids.

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How to make your Android phone easier to use

As your digital companion, your smartphone should make life easier. Thankfully, Android can be easily customized to save you time and effort. Here’s our favorite tweaks:

Make Quick Settings quicker

The Quick Settings section of your phone is a powerful and simple way to access key functions. You can quickly toggle Bluetooth and WiFi or access the cards stored in your digital wallet for instance. But you can make things even quicker…

Simply swipe down from the top of your screen and click the Pen icon at the bottom of the Quick Settings overlay. Now you can rearrange icons so that the ones you use most often appear at the top. You can even delete the functions you don’t use to reduce screen clutter.

Open the camera faster

In the time it takes to find and open the camera app, you could have already missed a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity. But there is a faster way to open the camera…

If you own a Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy phone simply double-tap the power button to launch your camera, no swiping required. This trick also works on other Android smartphones, so give it a try.

Delete unwanted apps

One of the many complaints about Android phones is how much ‘bloatware’ (unwanted apps) they ship with. These apps take up valuable storage space, clutter your homescreen and could cause your phone to slow down.

If there are any apps you don’t use regularly, consider deleting them for a smoother smartphone experience. Don’t forget, you can always reinstall these apps from the Google Play store if you change your mind.

Set your default apps

The Android operating system allows you to choose the default apps for key tasks, like making phone calls, sending instant messages or accessing your email. Setting defaults makes certain tasks, such as clicking web links in email messages much faster.

Open the Settings widget then select Apps -> Default Apps. This shows a list of apps like your default web browser, phone, app launcher, digital assistant and more. Tap the one you want to change and select the appropriate option from the list that appears to set your new defaults.

Create custom widgets

There are certain things we do over and over again on our…


Android Banking Trojan Antidot Disguised as Google Play Update

A banking Trojan impacting Google Android devices, dubbed “Antidot” by the Cyble research team, has emerged, disguising itself as a Google Play update.

The malware displays fake Google Play update pages in multiple languages, including German, French, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Romanian, and English, indicating potential targets in these regions. 

Antidot uses overlay attacks and keylogging techniques to efficiently harvest sensitive information such as login credentials.

Overlay attacks create fake interfaces that mimic legitimate apps, tricking users into entering their information, while keylogging captures every keystroke made by the user, ensuring that the malware collects comprehensive data, including passwords and other sensitive inputs.

Rupali Parate, Android malware researcher for Cyble, explains the Antidot malware leverages an “Accessibility” service to function.

Once installed and granted permission by the victim, it establishes communication with its command-and-control (C2) server to receive commands. The server registers the device with a bot ID for ongoing communication.

The malware sends a list of installed application package names to the server, which identifies target applications.

“Significant Control Over Infected Devices”

Upon identifying a target, the server sends an overlay injection URL (an HTML phishing page) that is displayed to the victim whenever they open the genuine application.

When victims enter their credentials on this fake page, the keylogger module transmits the data to the C2 server, allowing the malware to harvest credentials.

“What sets Antidot apart is its use of WebSocket to maintain communication with its [C2] server,” Parate says. “This enables real-time, bidirectional interaction for executing commands, giving the attackers significant control over infected devices.”

Among the commands executed by Antidot are the collection of SMS messages, initiation of unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) requests, and remote control of device features such as the camera and screen lock. 

The malware also implements VNC using MediaProjection to enable remote control of infected devices, further amplifying its threat potential.

Remote control…