Android phones have been hit by a malware called Judy

Android robotImage copyrightbenkabuula.com

More than 36 million Android devices may have been infected with ad-click malware, a security firm has said.

Researchers at Check Point said they found the malware, dubbed Judy, on about 50 apps in Google’s Play Store.

The apps contain code that sends infected devices to a target webpage, where they generate fraudulent clicks on the site’s adverts to make money for its creators.

The infected apps have been removed from the Play Store.

More than 40 of the apps were from the South Korean developer, Kiniwini, which publishes games to the Play Store under the name Enistudio.

The games, all of which feature a character called Judy, have been downloaded between four million and 18 million times.

‘Hid undetected’

The malicious code was also found in several apps from other developers.

“It is possible that one borrowed code from the other, knowingly or unknowingly,” said Check Point.

Between them, the infected apps may have been downloaded up to 36.5 million times.

Check Point said it did not know for how long the malicious versions of the apps had been available, but all the Judy games had been updated since March this year.

Screen grab of Chef Judy game on the Play StoreImage copyrightCHECK POINT
Image captionThe malware has been named after the main character in the affected games

The oldest of the apps from other developers was last updated in April 2016, which Check Point suggested, means that “the malicious code hid for a long time on the Play Store undetected”.

Because it is unclear when the code was introduced to each of the apps, the actual number of devices likely to have been infected is unknown.

Ad clicks

The apps got past the Play Store’s protection system, Google Bouncer, because they do not contain the malicious part of the Judy code.

Once downloaded, the apps silently register the device to a remote server, which responds by sending back the malicious ad-click software to open a hidden website and generate revenue for the site by clicking on the adverts.

This kind of delivery “has become commonplace”, Andrew Smith, a senior lecturer in Networking at the Open University, told the BBC.

“There are many tools available, and the advantage is that the malware distributor can change them remotely, which makes it difficult for anti-malware software to keep up.”

The apps also display numerous adverts themselves, some of which cannot be closed until a user has clicked on them.

​YouTube for Android officially gets bottom navigation bar

Ever since September 2016 YouTube has been testing a new UI for its Android app. This has gone through a few different iterations throughout the testing phase, and today it’s finally ready to officially make it to every single user of YouTube for Android.

The main new thing you’ll see once the update goes live for you is a bottom navigation bar. This features clearly labeled tabs, so you no longer have to wonder what you’re about to tap on. It’s also visible on all pages (except when watching videos).

Account and Library are now separate sections, making it simpler to find what you want. Your videos (playlists, watch history, uploads) reside within Library, while Account and Settings can be reached from your profile icon at the top.

Additionally, the app now remembers where you left off in each tab, and when you go back you can easily pick up from there.

​Instagram adds location and hashtag Stories in the Explore section

Over the past few months or so, Instagram has been relentlessly adding new features almost every week. Sure, most of those have been’inspired’ by Snapchat, but it’s still interesting to note how it doesn’t seem to want to slow down in this respect.

Case in point: today the Facebook-owned social network has added two more features – location and hashtag Stories can now be found in the Explore section.
When you enter the Explore tab, you’ll see a Story ring at the top, showcasing Stories that are happening near you. These come from people who have used location stickers. When you search for any location in the world, the Story ring will be there at the top too – with the best Stories happening in that spot.

Hashtag Stories are coming to Explore too. These will help you easily find Stories that are related to your interests – or any specific hashtag, really. So when you search for a hashtag, a Story ring might be at the top of the page, filled with Stories that use that hashtag. These are created by people who have used location hashtags in their Stories.
If your Story is shown in such a way, a line at the top of your Stories viewer will tell you how many people saw it. If you want to use location or hashtag stickers but don’t want your Story to appear in Explore, just tap the X in your Stories viewer list.

Location Stories are available in Explore starting with Instagram version 10.22, which is now rolling out through theiTunes App Store for iOSandGoogle Play Store for Android. Hashtag Stories in Explore will be landing in the coming weeks.

​Facebook Messenger app update brings back messages as its top feature

Messenger
New Messenger Interface

Facebook has just updated its messaging app. Starting today, Messenger will sort your conversations in tabs instead of having them in a confusing list.

At the top of the homescreen, there is a tab called Messages where all one-to-one conversations are listed. The second tab is called Active and you can see if someone is online or when they were last online on Messenger, while the third tab is called Groups – this is the place for all the group chats.

On the bottom of the app you will find tabs for the homescreen and calls, positioned left from the camera shutter for Stories. Searching for people and playing games is on the opposite side.

According to Facebook VP David Marcus, a Discover tab will appear as well. And dont worry about missing any messages, Facebook has implemented a red dot to notify you if there is anything you’ve missed.

The update should be rolling out worldwide this week to both Android and iOS. If Messenger still feels bloated, you can always download Messenger Lite that saves data and skips on multiple useless features

Nokia set for a comeback more images pop up

​2017 will be the year of the Nokia brand’s re-entry into the smartphone space. This has already been confirmed multiple times by the Finnish company itself,most recently a couple of weeks ago. One of the first new Android-powered devices to bear the Nokia name is set to be the D1C, which we’ve so far seen leaked in three different benchmark databases.

 And while one of thosepegged its screen size at 13.8″, the reality is that this will in fact be a phone, according to a new rumor on the matter.

Renders for the upcoming Nokia smartphone

Well, not one phone, but two actually. Apparently we’re set to see a lower-end 5-inch Nokia D1C with a 1080p touchscreen, 2GB of RAM, a 13 MP main camera, an 8 MP selfie shooter, and 16GB of built-in storage. It will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset, sporting a 1.4 GHz octa-core Cortex-A53 CPU and an Adreno 505 GPU. It will run Android 7.0 Nougat.

Another D1C variation will keep all of those specs, except for packing a bigger 5.5-inch display (with the same 1080p resolution though), a 16 MP rear camera, and 3GB of RAM. Both models are already in the prototype testing phase, say purportedly reliable sources. Additionally, one or both of them might look similar to what’s pictured in the renders above.

WhatsApp beta support video calling

​A few months ago, WhatsApp removed video calling from the Beta version of the App on Android. Some users that had the correct version of the WhatsApp beta were able to make calls, until the feature was disabled.

It appeared that, although some were able to make video calls the first time around, WhatsApp was not quite ready to launch the feature. Video calling was put back into development and postponed for a later date with no word on how long it would take. After several months of testing and refining, the video calling feature is ready for complete public rollout soon.

Today, it appears that WhatsApp has brought the feature back to Android users signed up for the Beta. I was able to sign up for the beta and updated the app right away. I was able to make a video call with another phone running the same beta build. Anyone who has the option enabled can make calls to others.

Meanwhile, the iOS version doesn’t have the feature enabled yet. I tried making a call from an iPhone and the option for video call is not there. This is after updating the app to the latest October 19 version.

The most successful messaging platform on the planet, WhatsApp has over 1 billion monthly active users and offers a great way to communicate with loved ones overseas without incurring long-distance charges. WhatsApp is slowly, but surely, adding more features to the messenger as time goes on.

PRISMA ADDS VIDEO SUPPORT TO ITS MOBILE APP

Popular photo editing app Prisma has added the option to apply its artistic filters to videos now. The feature is currently in beta and available only on iOS.

As with photos, users can record or choose a video from their gallery and then select from one of the available effects to apply. The videos are edited offline on the device itself and it takes a minute or so to finish the process. You can make up to 15 second long videos using this feature.

The video feature doesn’t seem to be available for everyone. I personally didn’t see the option yet even though the app is updated to the latest version. Perhaps it is rolling out in stages.

As for Android, Prisma will first be rolling out offline photo editing, and video editing will arrive at a later stage. Prisma also has GIF creation on its to-do list for both platforms.