Skygofree: Spying on FB, WhatsApp, Skype and Credit Cards On Your Android

Malware is definitely getting more sinister and Skygofree, said to be in existence since 2014, was reported by Kaspersky as vicious enough to steal messages and take over your phone camera and steal data. The ultimate eavesdropper, Skygofree does not actually read WhatsApp and Facebook encrypted messages but goes around this limitation by capitalizing on Android’s Accessibility Services, something that was created for people with disabilities or limited interaction with the smartphone or tablet.

Kaspersky Lab researchers have uncovered an advanced mobile implant, active since 2014 and designed for targeted cyber-surveillance, possibly as an ‘offensive  security’ product. 

Late last year, it was considered one of the most sophisticated malware affecting Android operating systems because it can link-up infected devices to Wi-Fi networks under the control of the attackers. Unlike in the past when malware was released by cyber attackers, word has it that an Italian company selling surveillance systems developed this malware with root access. Hence, it is capable of reading practically anything on your device’s memory including geolocation, text messages, calendared events, business data, and personal information. It can also take photos, record video and conversations automatically without as much as alerting the owner that anything was remiss. It has better control of infected devices and can record the once impregnable Skype conversations.

Skygofree is a sophisticated, multi-stage spyware that gives attackers full remote control of an infected device.  – Kaspersky

You realize the gravity of the security risk when you realize just how much information you’ve entrusted to your smartphone. You read emails, write notes, store passwords, credit card information and even hold virtual work meetings using your Android.

According to Kaspersky, the malware is spread through landing pages that mimic mobile network operators. Users are then tricked into installing and using the app. If you notice your smartphone is fast draining charge and heating up, it may be infected by Skygofree and other Trojans). Aside from the 48 commands it can execute, it can circumvent battery-saving mechanisms (such as in Huawei) and unobtrusively implant itself as a protected app. A particularly dangerous quality because it remains quietly operating in the background when the screen is off.

How does Skygofree do it? Once installed from fake sites, you will see a notification that may be permutations of this “Dear Customer, we’re updating your configuration and it will be ready as soon as possible”. It sounds official and above-board and doesn’t raise suspicions. However, if you detect something off and want to address this by deleting or uninstalling the app, you are in for a big surprise! The trojan hides the icon in background services where it isn’t easily removed from the system. According to Kaspersky, this self-protection feature affects almost all services. Windows itself could be the next target and this has already started with infiltrating Skype.

Prevent infection by Skygofree by:

  • installing antivirus/anti-malware protection such as  Kaspersky Security for Mobile.
  • being cautious when opening mail from unknown sites
  • not opening attachments
  • downloading only from known sites and
  • turning on Application Control if you are the system administrator.

Artificial Intelligence: Facebook Wants to Use it to Help the Visually Impaired

Facebook to use Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is a big help to various stuffs nowadays. Now, Facebook is going to use it to help the visually impaired.

Photos, videos, status —these are the feast in one’s Facebook News Feed.

The company wants blind people to experience the joy as well. They will use AI to help them. An audio message will be heard by blind people which describes a photo.

Artificial intelligence is the secret sauce behind making a project like this possible. It can do everything from translate languages, understand human speech and identify diseases.

This is definitely a big help when it comes to people’s enjoyment.

This is one way of helping blind people or the visually impaired people to enjoy the perks of social media sites.

An artificial intelligence engineer at Facebook, is leading the project to identify what is happening in photos and read them out loud for the blind.

In order to do this, Facebook’s algorithm should be taught to identify what it’s seeing.

But this is not like the AI which can be found in cars. You won’t die if the AI will fail or have flaws. But it will mislead people. This is why a very serious management of this particular AI is important.

 

 

Facebook Messenger for Windows now available

Instant messaging has been popular ever since Yahoo released their own version of this instant messaging client. Now, big names have opted to have their own version of this popular communications tool.

With the advent of smartphones, this type of application is probably one of the most sought after apps out there in the market.

Facebook is jumping on the fray. Not wanting to lag behind Yahoo and Google, Facebook has officially introduced Facebook Messenger for Windows.

Facebook said in a statement, “You should be able to stay in touch anytime, no matter what you’re doing. So today we’re introducing Messenger, a new app that brings Facebook to your desktop.”

You need not log in to your Facebook account anymore to chat with your buddies.

All you need to do is log in to your account. Once done, you’d get notification messages and as well as be able to chat with friends. Even if you close your Web browser, you’d still be logged in. if you want to log out, you need to do this Facebook Messenger for Windows.

This app is now available for Android, iPhone and BlackBerry. Unfortunately, Mac users need to wait a little longer for their app to be developed.

Image source: stuff-review.com

Want a Facebook ID? Get one, literally!

Want to have a Facebook ID?

Well German artist Tobias Leingruber created an unofficial Facebook identification card. He calls the project FB Bureau.

The card contains your real name, username, gender, location and the date you joined Facebook. It also has a QR code that will redirect people to your profile once scanned. He prints and distributes these ID cards by himself and starting next month you can have your own Facebook ID when you see him at Berlin on the 2nd of March and Amsterdam at 16th of the same month.

Another German artist saw what Leingruber did and wants to do the same for Google+ members. Moritz Tolxdorff decided to create these identification cards after he was that a lot of individuals were interested in having one. He built Hangout Graphics so that you can easily create your own Google+ ID.

Unfortunately, these ID cards are worthless and it seems like less to nothing. But if more and more individuals would pressure Google and Facebook to adapt this, we might soon see a legitimacy behind this cards.

Facebook already uses a similar system during their conferences. So it wouldn’t be a surprise if they jump on the idea.

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