Mobile vulnerabilities on the rise, according to new report

history of malware android
Mobile security is becoming increasingly important in an era of mass hacks and data breaches. Mobile hacks and exploits are becoming increasingly common — but some may not be aware of just how common they’re becoming. According to Zimperium‘s latest Global Threat Intelligence report, there were more common vulnerabilities discovered and registered for Android and iOS in the first half of 2017 than all of 2016.

Since 2016, according to the report, a hefty 600 vulnerabilities have been discovered for Android and 300 for iOS, and while not all of those vulnerabilities are severe, they do prove that there’s a lot of work to be done to ensure the security of the Android and iOS operating systems.

That’s a pretty big deal, but it’s made even worse by the fact that the vast majority of Android devices run older — and hence more vulnerable — versions of Android. According to the report, a massive 94 percent of Android devices run older versions of Android. That’s much higher than on iOS, where only 23 percent of active devices are running older versions of the operating system, but the situation is not all that unexpected considering the fragmentation of the Android ecosystem.

Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that a massive 1 in 50 apps downloaded onto enterprise devices was detected to have a serious security or privacy issue.

So what kinds of risks are most common? Perhaps the most serious risk is a man-in-the-middle attack, which eventually allows the attacker to access all kinds of user data — which could ultimately used for an even more serious attack. These attacks occur over networks, when an attacker scans the network to look for potential victims, and the new report notes that as many as five percent of all devices detected such a scan in the first quarter of 2017 — and many devices actually encountered multiple scans. Of the devices that were scanned, a massive 80 percent were targeted in a man-in-the-middle attack, and it’s likely that users were never made aware that they had fallen victim to such an attack.

Of course, there are things that you can do to ensure your data remains safe. For starters, you can try to avoid unsecured Wi-Fi networks, and make sure that you only download apps from the Google Play or Apple App Store — and even when you do download apps on those marketplaces, try to only download apps that you know are legit.

Emerging Tech

How emotion-tracking A.I. will change computing as we know it

Affectiva is just one of the startups working to create emotion-tracking A.I. that can work out how you're feeling. Here's why this could change the face of computing as we know it.
Mobile

Apple adds Confirm Subscription prompt on iOS to prevent accidental sign-ups

Apple added a Confirm Subscription prompt for in-app subscriptions. This will help prevent accidental sign-ups for iOS device owners, and will also protect them against apps that try to trick users into confirming in-app subscriptions.
Social Media

How to download Instagram Stories on iOS, Android, and desktop

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Deals

Decluttr is offering a refurbished iPhone 6 for as little as $120

Decluttr announced a deal on its "good" condition iPhone 6. Through Decluttr, you can get the device for as little as $120, which is an excellent deal on the phone. The iPhone 6 may be a few generations old, but it's still a great device.
Photography

Family feud: Huawei P30 Pro vs. P20 Pro vs. Mate 20 Pro camera shootout

The Huawei P30 Pro's camera has an amazing zoom mode and low light capabilities. But take these away, and how does it compare when facing its sibling phones, the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro, taking regular photos?
Mobile

Apple and Qualcomm settle all disputes, reach six-year agreement on chips

Apple and Qualcomm have announced that they have settled all disputes between them around the world -- and not only that, but have also agreed to a six-year agreement for Qualcomm to supply Apple with chips.
Mobile

You've spent a grand, now don't skimp on a screen protector for your iPhone X

Wondering how to protect your new iPhone X against scratches and drops? Look no further than our list of the best iPhone X screen protectors, which includes screen protectors designed to reinforce your phone's front panel.
Mobile

The Department of Justice may prevent the T-Mobile-Sprint merger

T-Mobile and Sprint are getting closer to merging. After a few failed attempts, the two companies announced their merger at the start of 2018. The new T-Mobile could be better positioned to take on the likes of Verizon and AT&T.
Mobile

Spruce up your Lenovo smartphone with the best Moto Mods for the Moto Z-series

Moto Mods, the snap-on accessories compatible with Lenovo's Moto Z-series smartphones add a lot of value without adding a lot of bulk. Looking to try one out? Here are a few of our favorite Moto Mods.
Mobile

The Pixel 3 range will soon be coming to T-Mobile's network

Google's latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, are now official and we have all the details from the October 9 event in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
Mobile

The Pixel 3a and 3a XL will be coming to the U.S. with T-Mobile

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.
Mobile

Keep your new iPad (2018) sparkling with the best screen protectors

Your iPad sports a stunning 9.7-inch screen and you'll want it to stay that way. The best iPad (2018) screen protectors guard against cracks, scratches, and even smudging from your fingers. Check out our top picks here.
Mobile

Intel gives up on 5G modems for smartphones, will focus on other devices

After a delay that saw Intel's manufacture of 5G modems pushed back to 2020, Intel has given up on the 5G modem business, and will focus its efforts elsewhere. But is something else to blame?