Switched You Phone Off? Hackers Can Still Spy On You

Switched You Phone Off? Hackers Can Still Spy On You


Security experts have detected a type of Android malware that is tricking people in to thinking they have turned off their phone.

When you press the ‘Power off’ button the malware will show you a fake box designed to look like the real Android ‘Power off’ Menu.

The phone then shows a black screen, and looks like it has been switched off. You won’t see any notifications or get any alert sounds.

However the phone is still switched on. The malware has actually inserted a line of code into the Android’s shutting down process that lets the hackers remotely access the devices, theoretically allowing them to do what ever they wanted to your device.

They could for example, make calls and send text messages to a premium-rate number, which could cost you a small fortune. In effect, your phone becomes a device the hackers can use to spy on you.

The malware which has yet to be named was discovered by security researchers at AVG. In a blog post they said it originated in an unofficial Android app store in China, infecting devices when users downloaded the malicious apps. AVG said the malware has already infected 10,000 devices worldwide, all of them running Android KitKat (4.4) or earlier, but they did not reveal which apps contain the malware.

The best way to stay safe is make sure you only install apps from the Google Play Store.

AVG said that its free ‘Antivirus for Android’ app will find and remove the malware. Other security experts have said the only way to be completely sure your phone is off it to remove the battery but this is not always possible on the new smart phones.

Unlike the criminals behind ransomware, these devious hackers don’t want you to know your device is infected, because the longer you remain oblivious, the more money they can steal off you. It is relatively easy to stay safe, Rather than just removing your battery at the end of every night, which is not always possible, simply restrict your app downloads to the Goole Play Store. Hackers are now finding it a lot harder to smuggle malicious apps past Googles Security.

Police Warn Holiday Makers About Fake Travel Website.

Police Warn Holiday Makers About Fake Travel Website.

Action Fraud (Holiday)

Holiday makers are being warned about the dangers of online fraud when booking a trip this summer.

It comes as a new report reveals that 1,500 cases of Holiday fraud have been reported to the Police in 2014. The people behind the scams have stolen around £2.2m from travellers they have duped, the average loss was around £889.

Many tourists only found out they had been scammed when they arrived at there accommodation and discovered no booking was ever made.

The findings come from the City of London Police, who have joined forces with Get Safe Online which is a government supported organisation and the UK travel association ABTA to highlight some of the scams tourists could fall victim to in the coming months.

The have published a free PDF which offers advice on spotting holiday scams.

The most common type of scam involves the fraudsters setting up a fake website and adverts so they can trick you into believing you are dealing with a genuine holiday company.

Most people who fall victim to the fraud pay in ways that make it almost impossible to get their money back, like bank transfer.

People booking caravan holidays in the UK are also being targeted by the fraudsters posting a fake advert on Facebook, Gumtree and Craigslist.

Another way the scammers can lure victims is by offering a ‘free’ holiday at a seminar, where they are then sold a fake timeshare.

If you believe you have been a victim, or if you are worried about a booking that you have made, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use it’s fraud-reporting tool


Pensioners Warned to Keep a Look Out for Fake NS&I Website

Pensioners Warned to Keep a Look Out for Fake NS&I Website


On line scammers are trying to con pensioners out of their hard earned cash by using a fake website that clams to be the official National Savings & Investments (NS&I) site, they claim to offer an opportunity for a 65+ Bond.

Action Fraud have said that some of Googles searches for the NS&I website are producing fake results. If a person clicks on the fake site and submits their details, the scammers will then follow up with an email or phone call asking for proof of ID and their bank details.

Many of the emails Action Fraud have been seeing will be addressed “To whom it may concern” and signed “Best Regards, Kevin Archer”

You can see what the fake site looks like on the official NS&I site, although its highly likely that its appearance will change as people become wise to this scam. The NS&I site is also showing a typical email the fraudsters are currently sending out, ‘Pensioners have until 15 May to open a 65+ Bond which pays between 2.8 and 4 per cent.

The warning came a month after Steve Webb, pensions minister in the previous Government, predicted a “plague’ of pension-related scams, as fraudsters exploit the confusion about the new regulations that kicked in 6 April.

He said at the time: “If you are promised a really eye-catching interest rate above what you are expecting it’s almost always too good to be true”

To stay safe only visit the official NS&I website. NS&I will never try and sell you anything over the phone.

To report a scam email from NS&I, forward it to phishing@nsandi.com. If you think you have fallen victim to a scam phone NS&I on 0500 007 007.

For more information and advice on how to avoid pension scams, visit the Government’s pension Wise website. It reveals tactics that the fraudsters commonly use.

Windows users are at risk from an old security flaw

Windows users are at risk from an old security flaw

Windows security flaw

Microsoft have admitted that the .

The bug was found in the SSL and TLS security technology that encrypts data being sent between web servers and your browser. This flaw could let a hacker force the data to use a weaker encryption; this will then make it easier to steal things like your personal information.

A French-based team of security experts announced they had discovered the bug on the 3rd March, but the scary part was it had been undetected since 1999.

Initially the flaw was believed to affect BlackBerry, Android phones and Apples Safari web browser, but two days later Microsoft announced it also affected its operating system as well.

Microsoft said they were investigating the flaw and will “take the appropriate action to protect their customers”. This will most probably mean a security update or perhaps an emergency patch outside the update schedule.

Other tech companies have acted quickly to fix this flaw. Google have updated their version of Chrome for Macs, Apple are expected to release a fix for safari the week beginning 9th March. Google have yet to say if they will update Android to fix this flaw.

Security experts have advised PC users to switch to Firefox s browser, as the FREAK vulnerable does not affect it. They also recommended that Android uses should only use Googles Chrome browser on there devices and not the default Android browser. Mac Users should also try and avoid using Safari until Apple releases their update.

Its been estimated that of the 14 million websites offering encryption, around five million still remain vulnerable to the flaw.

Should Access to the Internet be a Human Right?

Should Access to the Internet be a Human Right?

As a parliamentary report calls for better web access in rural areas, one MP said everyone has the right to access broadband

Fiber Internet

For decades in the UK, access to things like electricity, gas and running water have been considered a basic right. Many leading figures are now asking if access to broadband should also be considered as important as a utility.
Conservative MP Neil Parish raised the issue by saying “access to broadband should be considered a fundamental right”.

Parish is also a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee. In early February it published a report on rural broadband, which highlighted just how poor Internet access is in remote areas.

The committee is also worried that broadband coverage is also substandard in rural areas and the UK could run the risk of becoming a “two-tier society”. They are especially concerned about the plight of five per cent of households (around 850,000 people), who are still getting below 2Mbps broadband.

The report suggests the Government should offer vouchers to these households that are unable to get faster speeds to help they pay for satellite broadband, which is capable of providing access in areas that are beyond the reach of cable broadband.

MP Anne McIntosh, the chairman of the committee does not endorse Mr. Parish’s claims that broadband is a “right”, but she did say it is “an essential everyday public utility”.

She went on to say without broadband “schoolchildren can’t do their homework, people can’t pay bills, or even watch a film. It is a case of the haves and have-nots”.

Many in the United Nations share Mr. parish’s view. In 2011, a report from the Human Right Council of the United Nations General Assembly declared web access is to be a basic human right as it enables people to “exercise there right to freedom of opinion and expression”.

Several countries have already taken measures to make sure this right is law. In 2009, France’s highest court, the constitutional Council, declared Internet access to be a basic human right. Finland followed suit a year later and vowed to provide 100Mbps broadband to all its citizens by 2015.

There’s support for the idea across the world. In 2010 the BBC World Service polled 28,000 adults form 26 countries and found that almost 80 per cent of people felt Internet access was a fundamental right.

But the principle has some high-profile critics, the most notably one being a vice president at Google Vint Cerf. He has said that technology “is an enabler of right, not a right itself”. Access to the web should be a ‘civil right’, he argues, not a human right.

Other Internet experts also agree with Cerf, citing the dangers of ‘human-rights inflation’. They go on to warn that labeling internet access as a human right will devalue other rights that are more important, like freedom of speech or the freedom from torture.

Unsurprisingly, Amnesty International and other campaign groups are saying that it’s wrong to equate Internet access with fundamental freedoms. It should be regarded as a part of the right to expect a reasonable standard of living, along with things like food, clothing, housing and medical care.

This argument matters because the government will feel more pressure to deliver faster broadband to everyone if it becomes accepted as a human right. That’s why MP’s who represent predominantly rural constituencies, like Mr. Parish, will continue to make the argument that web access is not just an essential service, but it’s a fundamental right.

The Facts
• Five per cent of the UK are unable to get broadband speeds above 2Mbps
• MPs have called for a voucher scheme to cut the cost rural households will have to pay to get faster speeds.
• In 2009 Frances Highest court said that access to the internet is a basic human right