Tag Archive for: Phones

Dangerous new text on Android phones lets hackers in – don’t tap it

HACKERS are targeting Android smartphones by sending texts to victims with phoney offers of free software.

According to cyber security experts, clicking the link grants the attackers access to your phone – and possibly your online banking credentials.

Android users are being warned of a dodgy text that takes over your device


Android users are being warned of a dodgy text that takes over your deviceCredit: SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

The campaign was unearthed by MalwareHunterTeam, a group of researchers who help consumers identify cyber-attacks.

They told tech website Bleeping Computer last week that the dodgy texts are a form of SMS phishing (smishing).

Phishing attacks lure victims to a website that appears to be operated by a trusted entity, such as a bank, social media platform or other service.

The website, however, is phoney with fake content designed to persuade a victim to enter sensitive information, like a password or email address.

According to MalwareHunterTeam, the latest campaign sends out SMS texts asking the recipient if they intended to upload a video from their device.

When the recipient clicks on the included link, they’re taken to a fake web page asking them to install a phoney Flash Player app.

Flash Player was a piece of software used to stream and view video that was killed off by developer Adobe in 2020.

Users who tap to download the fake Adobe app inadvertently install malware onto their device, researchers said.

It’s the latest iteration of a dangerous type of malware called “FluBot” that swept across the globe last year.

Hackers infect devices with FluBot by sending out thousands of SMS messages containing links to a malicious URL.

When a recipient taps the link, they’re encouraged to install a seemingly innocuous app onto their device.

The app, however, is FluBot in disguise. Once downloaded onto your phone, it harvests your contacts and begins sending them malicious links over SMS.

To lure people into tapping the URLs, texts are usually disguised as security updates, software, or parcel delivery notices.

Once in the device, FluBot can harvest your online banking credentials, take screenshots, and send or intercept SMS messages.

Because it uses the victim’s gadget to send smishing messages to their contacts, FluBot…


Classic BlackBerry phones will stop working January 4

Starting Tuesday, January 4, the company will stop running support for its classic devices running BlackBerry 10, 7.1 OS and earlier. This means all of its older devices not running on Android software will no longer be able to use data, send text messages, access the internet or make calls, even to 911.
While most mobile users have moved on from BlackBerry — the last version of its operating system launched in 2013 — the move to discontinue support for its phones represents the end of what was once considered bleeding-edge technology.
The company originally announced the news in September 2020 as part of its efforts to focus on providing security software and services to enterprises and governments around the world under the name BlackBerry Limited.
BlackBerry (BB) has been mostly out of the phone business since 2016, but over the years it continued to license its brand to phone manufacturers, including TCL and more recently OnwardMobility, an Austin, Texas-based security startup, for a 5G Blackberry device running on Android software. (BlackBerry’s Android devices are not affected by the end of service.)

BlackBerry’s old school cell phones with physical keyboards from the late 1990s and early 2000s were once so popular people nicknamed them “CrackBerries.” The keyboard appealed to professionals who wanted the flexibility of working outside the office with some of the tools they used on a desktop computer.

The devices became a status symbol and fixture for people on Wall Street, celebrities like Kim Kardashian, and even President Barack Obama, thanks in part to its great reputation for security. At its peak in 2012, BlackBerry had more than 80 million active users.

The company got its start in 1996 as Research In Motion with what it called two-way pagers. Its first gadget, the “[email protected] Pager,” allowed customers to respond to pages with a physical keyboard, a kind of text messaging/email hybrid. Three years later, RIM introduced the BlackBerry name with the BlackBerry 850.

Eventually, BlackBerry phones gained support for email, apps, web browsing and BBM, an encrypted text messaging platform that predated WhatsApp and survived long after BlackBerry was surpassed by its…


BlackBerry phones will finally rest in peace on January 4

The pioneer of the smart phone before the smartphone BlackBerry has announced devices running on its BlackBerry OS software will stop working as of next week.

From January 4th, BlackBerry OS device owners won’t be able to make or receive calls, send texts, use Wi-Fi, or access mobile data.

That includes all smartphones running on BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier, the ill-fated BlackBerry 10 operating system and even the tablet-based BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 (and earlier).

“As of this date, devices running these legacy services and software through either carrier or Wi-Fi connections will no longer reliably function, including for data, phone calls, SMS and 9-1-1 functionality,” the company said in a support post (via Liliputing).

However, if you have one of the few BlackBerry devices that launched running Android, such as the 2017 BlackBerry Priv, you won’t be affected.

The company had already announced over a year ago that its transition to a software company had been completed. Back in September of last year it would be “taking steps to decommission the legacy services” ahead of the termination date of January 4.

So, this has been coming for a long, long time but it still feels like the end of an era. Since it got out of the smartphone game Blackberry has reinvented itself as an internet security software company that assists governments and such. The company was initially renowned for the security of its email and BlackBerry Messenger platform so this isn’t too great of a leap.

In the announcement in September 2020, the company said: “Today BlackBerry is focused on providing intelligent security software and services to enterprises and governments around the world. Since pivoting to an enterprise software and cybersecurity company, we have received questions about our plans to provide ongoing support for BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier and BlackBerry 10 devices. In 2017, we committed to providing at least two more years of support for BlackBerry 10 and at least two years of BlackBerry network access for BBOS…


As 3G dies, old phones aren’t the only victims

When millions of obsolete mobile phones stop working next year, they’ll have plenty of company.

In 2022, the nation’s wireless carriers will shut down their 3G data networks to make room for better 4G and 5G services. The transition will affect not only phones, but also countless other devices that rely on 3G data links — home security systems, medical alert devices for senior citizens, the driver assistance systems inside many cars, and even the ankle bracelets used by law enforcement agencies to keep track of parolees.

Ben Coleman, a school teacher in Fall River, has already paid a high price for the impending death of 3G service. About a year ago, Coleman received an e-mail from BMW about his 2014 i3 electric car. The message warned that “the 3G was going to stop working and that they were not going to replace the module,” Coleman said.

“The i3 had limited range, so the only way I could make it to work in the winter is if I pre-heated the battery,” Coleman said. “The only way to schedule that is via a 3G cellular connection.” Without an Internet connection, the car would be useless to him. So in May, Coleman sold his fully paid-for i3 and now makes monthly payments on a new Chevrolet Bolt.

At least Coleman knew he had a problem. But many consumers are unaware that their gadgets could stop working sometime next year — in some cases, as soon as February 22. That’s when AT&T, a major provider of network services for devices other than phones, plans to switch off its 3G system once and for all.

“There will be hundreds of thousands of seniors and millions of homes and businesses without security and fire protection, period, on February 23rd,” said Daniel Oppenheim, president of the Medical Alert Monitoring Association.

Oppenheim’s trade group, as well as a consortium of home security system makers and an organization of major automakers have all asked the Federal Communications Commission to delay AT&T’s 3G shutdown until December 31, 2022, the same date when Verizon will switch off its 3G service. They say this will give their industries enough time to complete the transition to 4G devices.

The nation’s third major wireless company, T-Mobile, has a much…