Sega Releases Free Classic Games For Mobile

Sega has announced it’s “Sega Forever” service and has included five classic games for free, well it’s $1.99 in the US and £1.99 in the UK to avoid the ads.

“We’re just bolting in the advertising support model and a single in-app purchase that can disable those ads,” said Mike Evans, head of Sega’s mobile division in San Francisco.

“Above all else Sega Forever is a celebration of nostalgia,” Mr Evans added. “It’s about allowing fans to reconnect with past experiences.

The app is available now via the Apple and Android app stores and currently has the following games:

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Comix Zone
  • Phantasy Star II
  • Kid Chameleon
  • Altered Beast

Sega has stated that they want to add a new title every two weeks.

Samsung Galaxy Smartphones Vulnerable To Hack

Image courtesy of JanitorsCreative Commons License.
If you own a Samsung Galaxy smartphone you are more than likely vulnerable to the prying eyes and ears of hackers. A security flaw in the Galaxy allows hackers to install malware on your phone and listen in on your phone calls.
Security Firm NowSecure discovered that a bug in the Swift keyboard, which comes pre-installed on 600 million Samsung Galaxy phones, is responsible for the vulnerability. According to ZDNet.com, hackers can gain access to GPS, camera, microphone, photos, and text messages. They can also install malicious apps on the phone, change how the phone works, and eavesdrop on calls.
Little can be done about the flaw because the Swift keyboard cannot be uninstalled. Samsung learned about the flaw in December of 2014 and released a patch in March of 2015 to network operators, according to Mashable. However, it is not known how many of the network operators provided the patch to their users. Even if carriers provide the update, many users don’t bother to install it. NowSecure has yet to find a Samsung Galaxy that has been patched.
NowSecure CEO Andrew Hoog said that his company “had some heartburn” about the delay in releasing a patch, according to The Wall Street Journal. He worried that if his researchers found the bug, hackers would too. Right now, it doesn’t appear as if the vulnerability has been exploited in the wild but it is only a matter of time before hackers take advantage of this.
Any Samsung Galaxy that contains the Swift keyboard is affected including the S6, S5, S4, and S4 mini. Users should install the update if it is available. If not, users should avoid unsecured Wi-Fi connections or use a different phone temporarily.
Update: On Thursday, June 18th, Samsung announced that it would supply an update to fix the vulnerability. The update will roll out over the next few days and will be available to Samsung Galaxy S4’s and later models, according to PC World. These models have the Knox security platform and can receive automatic updates so be sure to turn automatic updating on if it isn’t already. For earlier models, such as the S3, a fix is in the works and will be available soon,

How To Stay Secure Online While Traveling

This summer, many of us will take planes, trains, and automobiles to new destinations and to get a break from the daily grind. Traveling makes us particularly vulnerable to cyber criminals and hackers who want to steal your identity and your money. Don’t let your summer vacation turn into a nightmare. Know what you need to do to protect your mobile device from the prying eyes of thieves and prevent a vacation disaster.

Always enable a passcode lock on your phone and a password on your laptop. This is a no-brainer and this is something you should be doing daily anyway. If you should lose your device, this prevents someone from immediately getting in and stealing data or your credit card information or from logging into your accounts. They might be able to get in eventually if they are skilled enough but this will give you a little bit of time. If you should misplace your device, you can remotely log out of email, Facebook, online banking, and other accounts. You should also change your passwords at this time.

Log out of apps you don’t use often and delete browsing history. If someone gets ahold of your device, they could learn a lot about you based on your browsing history. Take the time to delete this trail of information before your trip. Also be sure that apps and websites aren’t automatically filling in login credentials.

Get a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. A VPN is basically a private network within a public network. It ensures that everything you’re sending over the internet is encrypted and hidden from people trying to spy on you. Connecting to a public Wi-Fi network is risky and a VPN gives you the benefits of free Wi-Fi without the risk. Also, only turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when you need to because it’s possible for your phone to automatically connect to an unsecure network.

Don’t overshare on social media. Many of us will announce to the world on social media that we are going on vacation but this is a baaaad idea. This tells anyone who sees your post (and anyone they tell) that your home is empty and available for robbing. There’s also a new threat called social engineering. According to Travel and Leisure, this is when a criminal sees what hotel you are at while on vacation. They then pose as an employee of that hotel asking for your credit card information and you give it to them. So watch what you post to Facebook or Instagram.

Update software and use an antivirus. This is also a tip that should be followed even when you’re not road-tripping. Software updates often come with patches to fix security flaws. Using an antivirus is absolutely vital to any device that connects to the internet. Not using an antivirus leaves devices wide open to anything criminals want to throw at it.

Don’t use a shared computer and don’t use a storage device (USB, disc, etc.) that you find. Shared computers like those in libraries, internet cafes, hotels, and business centers should be avoided at all costs. They are usually infected with malware. While using them, you could log into your accounts while someone is watching your keystrokes or you may forget to logout of your accounts when you’re done. And using a found USB is extremely dangerous. Some bad guys plant them for people to find and plug into their devices. The USBs contain malware that can take over an entire system and steal information.

These tips will help you enjoy your vacations and trips this summer without bringing home any unwanted souvenirs.

How To Spot An SMS Phishing Attack

SMiShing: SMS phishing. We’ve all heard of email phishing scams where an attacker sends a false email and “fishes” for financial information, login credentials, or other sensitive data. These phishing scams can also happen over text messages.

Criminals will send you an SMS or text message that leads you to a website that will ask you to put in your login credentials or other sensitive information, therefore stealing it. Or clicking on a link in the text will install malware on your device. This malware can basically hijack your phone, log your keystrokes, and perform a number of malicious attacks.

It sounds like an obvious plan that would be easy to detect, right? Who would fall for that? SMS phishing attacks can be tricky, especially to those that are uninformed of the dangers. Because of  the personal nature of text messages, when a criminal sends a text directly to your phone, you will open it usually within 15 minutes of receiving it.

It might appear as if the text came from a friend, a retailer, your bank, and other trusted sources. Often the texts will say that you have won something or, according to AboutTech.com, they will play on your fears such as fear of someone stealing your money, fear of being accused of a crime, or fear of harm to a loved one.

Last September, the occurrence of SMS phishing attacks more than tripled in the U.S, according to Cloudmark, a security firm. The U.S. region most prone to SMS phishing attacks is Odessa and West Texas, with 16.1% of the population being attacked at some time. This might be due to the rural, less tech-savvy population.

Here’s how you can avoid falling for a SmiShing scam. Avoid clicking links in text messages, no matter who the text came from. Ignore texts that ask you to “respond quickly” or respond with your sensitive, personal information. If a text appears to have come from a trusted source like your bank or a retailer, call that business directly. Be suspicious of strange numbers that don’t look like phone numbers. This could be criminals covering up their identity with email-to-text services. Turn on the “block texts from the internet” feature on your phone. Most of all, always be on your guard and think about what you are doing. It only takes half a second to click on a malicious link.

Google Play Apps Infected With Adware

Security firm Avast released this report earlier today stating that certain games on Google Play, once downloaded, infect your device with adware, a type of malware that causes unwanted ads to constantly pop up on your screen. “Durak,” one of the infected games, has had 5 to 10 million downloads in both English speaking countries and foreign nations.

Avast researcher Filip Chytry found adware in over a dozen apps including an IQ Test and a history app.

Once downloaded, the apps don’t start showing ads right away, often taking up to 30 days to start serving ads. According to TechCrunch, your phone has to be rebooted at least once before the adware begins but once it does, an ad will appear each time the user unlocks their phone. A warning will be shown stating that the phone is infected, in need of updating, or full of porn. The ad will ask users to be redirected to a site to fix the problem, but that site will simply collect information and personal data.

Some of the ads were from legitimate companies. Even more surprising, some were from real online security apps, such as Quihoo 360. To be sure you’re not installing dangerous apps, read descriptions carefully. Many of the descriptions of the adware-laden apps are written in broken English.

Don’t Let The NSA Spy On You

2013 brought us the revelation that the government is all over our personal information, snooping through phone records and internet activity. To combat this, 2014 brought us new tools and methods to stop this (unfortunately legal) invasion of privacy.Though it is impossible to completely block out the National Security Agency from your life, there are a few steps you can take to make it slightly more difficult to be spied on.

On the internet:

If you are going to store data online, use Google services. Google has spent a lot of money this year working to make themselves the safest place on the internet, according to IT World.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt said. “We massively encrypted our internal systems,” he said. “It’s generally viewed that this level of encryption is unbreakable in our lifetime by any sets of human beings in any way. We’ll see if that’s really true.”

When surfing the internet, you may have noticed your recent searches spawning advertisements on unrelated sites. If it bothers you that your searches are being tracked, you can browse in private mode in most browsers. For the extreme individual, there is also the Tor Project, which allows you to browse privately over encrypted channels, according to the The Blaze.

On your phone:

Make sure you buy an encrypted phone. Apple and Google phones have the highest level of security and their newest phones will lock down messages, contacts, and photos stored on the phone, keeping them away from anyone (including the NSA) who might want your data. However, many phones automatically store data in the cloud, which is not safe from government spying. Turning off automatic cloud storage is simple to do but you risk losing all data if your phone is lost or broken, according to The Hill.

Android users should use encrypted apps such as TextSecure or WhatsApp to send and receive messages and iPhone users should use Apple’s iMessage serve. To protect yourself when making phone calls, use Whisper System’s apps RedPhone for Android users and Signal for iPhone users.

Completely shutting yourself off from the government is impossible while using devices. Your phone is, at its core, a tracking device that allows anyone with the technical skills to locate your exact location.

“Spying on the content of cell phone communications is trivially easy,” said Eva Galperin, who works for digital rights advocate Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), according to The Hill.

However, these tips can allow for a small amount of privacy in an age where nothing is private.

LG G Watch Will Be Water Resistant & Have “Always On” Display

Photo via YouTube Screenshot

There are a slew of smartwatches hitting the market. Some are more impressive than others. The LG G Watch has some really awesome features and does support Android Wear.

One of the really nice features is that it’s water resistant and has an always-on display. This means that if you wash your dishes while wearing your watch, you don’t have to freak out and wonder if it’s going to stop working. Keep in mind that water resistant isn’t waterproof. Samsungs Gear 2 is submersible to 1 meter for a duration of 30 minutes.

It also has an always-on display which means you won’t have to ‘wake’ the device every single time that you look at it. The device will come in stealth black and champagne gold. The always-on display brings to question battery life, which has been an issue in all smartwatches to date.

LG has yet to announce the price for the G Watch and is keeping the release date under wraps as well. A source says that it will retail for $300 and start shipping in July, but that date has not been confirmed.

So, get ready for yet another voice controlled smartwatch that runs on the Android Wear platform.

 

Great Tips For Keeping Your Mobile Device Secure [VIDEO]

In today’s times it’s important to keep your information safe and secure. With the release of smartphones and other handheld devices, that information might be vulnerable and we don’t even realize it. Here are a few things you can do to keep your mobile device secure.

Use Grab Prevention Technology

You can use ‘Grab Prevention’ technology which is normally a combination of an app and a device, which in most cases fits on a keychain. Then if someone picks up your phone or it gets more than a preset distance from the keychain, an alarm will sound or some other protection will be activated. You can set these to simply lock the phone screen, locate the phone through GPS, or sound an alarm.

Protect Your Lock Screen

It may seem like a pain, having to pass lockscreen protection, but it really can make a device more safe and even less desirable to a thief. There are many different options on both iOS, Android, and Blackberry devices to protect your lock screen. You can use the password feature, a swip feature in which the user must match a predetermined pattern, and even facial recognition.

Use Find/Lock/Wipe Features

All smartphones have built in functionality that allow users to “try” to locate their phone if it’s locked or stolen. These settings allow you to ring the phone, track via GPS, and even remotely erase all the data in the case of a phone that has been stolen. They may get your phone, but at least they don’t get access to your information.

Protect your phone from people who might want to not only steal the device, but your sensitive information.

 

Android Phones Can Now Download Microsoft Office

Earlier this year, Microsoft Office was released for iPhone and to the applause of all who use the software. But, there was not an app for Android at the time. Seeing that Android is the world’s #1 smartphone OS, it seemed only fitting that there be an Android version as well. Well, now that has happened. Office 365 users will now be able to download the Office mobile app.

The Android version of the app doesn’t work on tablets. There are other web based alternatives to use via tablets, but as of today they have not released a version to fit large screen mobile devices. Keep in mind that in order to use the app, the users phone must be running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or above.

The app download is free, but the user must subscribe to Office in order to run the app. Once you have subscribed you are allowed to run Office on up to 5 devices, which doesn’t include the 5 MAC or PC desktop apps that can be running.

Files can be stored and accessed using Skydrive which is a cloud based storage. Office users will receive 20 GB of storage for usage. Windows phones will still have a tad bit more accessibility rights at they will be allowed to open and edit copy-protected files.

Office mobile looks to have a nice clean interface and a good amount of functionality. It is not at the same level as Google Drive, but is a good start for Microsoft. With the expansion to both iPhone and Android users, you can bet that they will be requesting the full functionality soon.