Android is by far the most popular mobile operating system with over 2.5 billion users. That makes it a prime target for malicious third-parties that want to infect devices across the globe with malware. Most recently, the team at Barracuda Security discovered almost 200 apps that contained either adware or a suspicious combination of device permissions. And now cybersecurity company White Ops has identified 116 apps – with more than 4.6 million downloads between them – it claims are performing ad fraud.
The firm said the apps are leveraging a type of code it nicknamed “Soraka” and a similar variant named “Sogo”. In a nutshell, the code allows the programmes in question to display adverts over an Android device under certain circumstances.
White Ops performed a deep dive into one of the apps in question that remains on the Google Play Store at the time of writing, Best Fortune Explorer. The app seems a tantalising premise – get a glimpse into your future – but the reality is much more frustrating.
The app was noted to leverage a framework called AppsFlyer that’s used for mobile attribution and marketing analytics. According to the security firm, if you download the app through any kind of promotion (such as on a website for example), then intrusive adverts will plague the device in question.
White Ops showed a GIF of the frustrating promotions in action. Best Fortune Explorer was exhibited to be capable of displaying full screen adverts (that last up to 20-seconds in some circumstances) over a user’s home screen.
Android is by far the most popular mobile operating system with over 2.5 billion users
Best Fortune Explorer was shown to display intrusive ads under certain circumstances
Best Fortune Explorer remains on the Google Play Store at the time of writing
All of the apps discovered were noted to demonstrate similar behaviours. The adware being used was noted to be capable of hiding, making it harder to detect by apps designed to root out malware like VirusTotal.
Speaking with Forbes, White Ops’ John Laycock said: “Those hiding behaviours are significant. The fraudsters are getting smarter—they know this is now an arms race, they’re trying to slow down analysis with these tactics. We’re seeing these types of behaviours more and more.”
You only need to take a read of Best Fortune Explorer’s reviews to see that something is seriously wrong with the app. Numerous comments note after installing it their phone has been burdened with annoying adverts.
One Android user said: “Totally useless. After installing, you get so many unnecessary ads. While writing this also, I got 4 ads. This is like a virus for your phone.”
Another wrote: “Don’t download it. You will just time pass. And main problem after download is you will get non-stop adds and adds. Even you cannot get to use anything. And also there is nothing like shown in adds. It is like a virus.”
At the time of writing, Best Fortune Explorer has amassed over 100,000 installs and has an average review rating of three stars.
According to Forbes, Google has been informed of the apps discovered by White Ops. However, it seems some of the 116 programmes remain on the Play Store.
White Ops urged Android fans to remove any of the apps in question if they have them installed and provided the package names for each.
They were listed as being:
Nintendo's Switch Online N64 and Sega Genesis games cost $64 for 12 months in Canada – MobileSyrup
After revealing that N64 and Sega Genesis titles were coming to its Switch Online services through an ‘Expansion Pack‘ subscription tier a few weeks ago, Nintendo has confirmed pricing and availability for the service.
An Individual Membership costs $63.99 for 12 months, while a Family Membership costs $99.99 for 12 months. The service officially launches on October 25th. This is a significant jump in subscription pricing from Switch Online’s current $24.99 yearly cost that includes NES/SNES games and cloud saves.
The additional subscription tier gives players access to retro Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis titles. For example, Mario Kart 64, The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, Mario Tennis, Super Mario 64 and more are coming to the N64 catalogue. Nintendo has confirmed that games like Banjo-Kazooie, Pokémon Snap, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and Paper Mario are coming in the future.
On the Genesis side, notable titles like Shinobi III, Streets of Rage 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Golden Axe, Eco the Dolphin and more are coming to the platform.
While expensive, this moves the cost of Switch Online more in line with Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus.
During its presentation today, Nintendo also confirmed that the Expansion Pack cost includes Animal Crossing: New Horizons‘ upcoming DLC, Happy Home Paradise.
In other Switch-related news, Nintendo’s N64 and Genesis gamepads are now available to order in Canada for $64.99 each.
Image credit: Nintendo
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will have a New Horizons update themed event, features Lottie from Happy Home Paradise DLC – Nintendo Wire
It has been a big day for Animal Crossing fans! Today’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct showed off what’s coming to the Nintendo Switch title next month, as well as the announcement of paid DLC, details on the next series of amiibo cards, and more. Not everything made it into the presentation, as noted by the official Japanese Nintendo site. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, the mobile Animal Crossing game, is joining in with an event to celebrate the new update. Lottie from Paradise Planning is ready to party too!
So far we know that the event login bonus will be your new work uniform from Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise (the paid DLC). Nintendo is also teasing that we might see new Villagers roaming around the campgrounds (possibly the “new” Villagers being added to New Horizons)! This lines up with the first New Horizons-focused event that Pocket Camp had way back in March 2020. Lottie’s integration hasn’t been clarified yet – as the monthly event representative at your campsite or as a purchasable NPC via Leaf Tickets. At least, given the render, we know she’ll be included somehow.
Expect more details from the official Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Twitter account later this month as we quickly approach Thursday, October 28th.
Amazon-owned Twitch says source code exposed in last week's data breach – Reuters
Oct 15 (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc-owned (AMZN.O) Twitch said on Friday that last week’s data breach at the live streaming e-sports platform contained documents from its source code.
Passwords, login credentials, full credit card numbers and bank details of users were not accessed or exposed in the breach, Twitch said in a statement.
The platform, which is used by video gamers for interacting with users while live streaming content, had blamed the breach on an error in the server configuration change.
Server configuration changes are performed during server maintenance. A faulty configuration can expose the data stored in the servers to unauthorized access.
Twitch said it was “confident” the incident affected only a small number of users and that it was contacting those who had been directly impacted. The platform has more than 30 million average daily visitors.
Video Games Chronicle had reported that about 125 gigabytes of data was leaked in the breach, including details on Twitch’s highest-paid video game streamers since 2019.
Reporting by Chavi Mehta and Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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