Rogue Android app will run up your bill

steamy windowAccording to security firm Symantec, an Android app that found itself in the hands of Chinese hackers is hijacking infected smartphones and charging clueless owners. The free app is called Steamy Window, which was modified with a backdoor Trojan added to its code. It was then rereleased to unapproved third-party app vendors, where it’s been picked up by Android owners and since then wreaking havoc on their texting bills.

The original Steamy Windows app, which is free in the legitimate Android marketplace, is nothing more than a phone functionality game. It appears to cover your screen in steam that you can “wipe off” with the touch of a finger. The malware-infected version, Symantec notes, will ask users for significantly more permissions during installation.

Symantec principle security response manager Vikram Thakur says this isn’t an unsophisticated operation either. “This one stands out,” he tells Computer World. “It’s pretty comprehensive in what it’s doing.” Thakur says the app is capable of installing various applications as well as hijacking a user’s browser and texting client. Sending the discreet texts is how the hackers are simultaneously profiting and running unsuspecting users’ bills up. According to Thakur, it continuously sends SMS texts and also prevents users from knowing they’ve run over their allotted text amount. Android.Pjapps (as it’s been labeled) can also block texts, so any queries from contacts you’re spamming could be deleted without you being any the wiser.

This very well could only be the beginning for mobile malware of this nature. The code is apparently easy to tack onto to other apps, and according to Thakur this type of app hack “seems to be ramping up” over the last several months. Of course, he points out that Android is particularly susceptible to this type of activity since phone owners can access and use apps from outside app stores.

Mobile

With Galaxy S10e, Samsung unapologetically rips a page out of Apple’s playbook

Samsung's Galaxy S10e -- a new entry in the Galaxy S-series -- has a few things in common with Apple's lower-cost iPhone XR. From the price tag to the color, we take a look atthe similarities.
Computing

Why limit yourself to one OS? Try one of these great virtual machine apps

Buying a new computer just because you want to utilize another operating system isn't necessary. Just use the best virtual machine applications to emulate one OS inside another, no matter what your platform or budget is.
Smart Home

After camera hacks, Nest locks customers out until they change their password

Nest is locking people out of their accounts if it believes there may have been a breach. Users will have to set up a new, secure password before they are able to regain access to their account.
Computing

Windows updates shouldn't cause problems, but if they do, here's how to fix them

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.
Computing

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only software.
Product Review

If price is top of mind, Samsung’s Galaxy S10e is the flagship phone to buy

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus are joined with a new entry into the Galaxy S family -- the Galaxy S10e. It costs a little more than the original price of the Galaxy S9, but it’s meant to be the more affordable phone compared to the…
Product Review

Samsung's Galaxy S10 phones are its most refined yet. Be prepared to pay up

Samsung has unveiled its lineup for its most popular smartphones, and it includes the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus. The two flagship phones boast hole-punch cameras, fingerprint sensors embedded in the display, and beefier batteries.
Mobile

Samsung goes big with the next-gen Galaxy S10 5G smartphone

Samsung has announced a whopping four new Galaxy S10 devices, from the low-cost S10e to the triple-camera S10 and S10 Plus. But it's the Galaxy S10 5G that steals the show as it's among the first 5G-ready smartphones to hit the market.
Mobile

Folding smartphones hinge on the success of the Samsung Galaxy Fold

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs. S10 Plus vs. S10e vs. S10 5G: Which should you buy?

With four stunning Galaxy S10 phones to choose from, Samsung is bombarding us with choice, but which one should you buy? We compare the S10, S10 Plus, S10e, and S10 5G in various categories to find out exactly how they differ.
Wearables

Samsung's new Galaxy Watch Active can track your blood pressure

Looking for a new fitness buddy? Samsung just launched the Galaxy Watch Active and the Galaxy Fit, two new wearables with a raft of fitness-focused features that'll keep you moving and get you down the gym.
Mobile

Adobe Premiere Rush CC is coming to the Samsung Galaxy S10 this year

The Samsung Galaxy S10 boasts a number of hardware improvements over previous Samsung phones, but it also offers a few software improvements too. Adobe Premiere Rush CC, for example, is coming to the Samsung Galaxy S10 later this year.
Mobile

From folding phones to 5G -- here's everything we saw at Galaxy Unpacked

Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event treated us to a real parade of technological excellence, from folding phones to new fitness wearables. Here's everything we saw at Galaxy Unpacked on February 20.
Mobile

Google’s radical Gmail redesign is finally rolling out on Android

Google is slowly but surely giving its apps a refresh, modernizing them and ensuring that they're easy to use. The latest app to get a redesign is the Gmail app for Android, which has been redesigned with a few tweaks.