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How to check Java updater for Windows is genuine

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Java icon_largeNOTE: This post is applicable to all Windows versions, but for the benefit of this post I used Windows 7 Pro SP1.

Jucheck.exe is a Java update verification process which notifies users when new Java updates are available. I’ve seen instances of Jucheck disguised (as a Trojan) that keep prompting the user to allow a “malicious” copy of Java to make changes to your computer. It’s nagware in behaviour and will no doubt encourage users to click > Yes – don’t! You will then invite malware and backdoors onto your computer.

Suspicious Java updaters will normally install to %Temp% or %Windir% folders. If this has happened to you, you should run an anti virus software immediately or rebuild your computer.

How can you confirm you have a genuine Java updater installed? Easy. A genuine Java Updater would be signed by the Publisher > Sun Microsystems, Inc. or Oracle America, Inc.

When the ‘User Account Control’ (UAC) appears and the Publisher is “Unknown” – DO NOT INSTALL! Click > No. (You can also restart your computer without clicking > No too). If you see ‘Sun Microsystems’ this should confirm it’s authenticity. Also, you can use Java Control Panel to View and manage Java Runtime versions and settings for Java applications and applets (see Java Control Panel section below for more information).

How to block closed iPhone apps from tracking you

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iPhone5sMost iPhone users will be unaware that apps that are ‘closed’ can constantly track the users’ locations. Recently the Foursquare app (this will be one of many in time) was updated to allow the company to track users’ GPS coordinates anytime the phone is powered on. Call this ‘persistent tracking’.

I for one am not a Foursquare user, but installed this latest release for testing over the past two weeks. The previous Foursquare release required users’ to turn on location-tracking. Now they require you to ‘opt-out’ by changing a setting within the app. My first observation is that developing apps to persistently track users movements and behaviours should be an option on install. They also will impact battery performance. My test results (private) proved that it had an impact of 5-10% additional drain but this was only using Wi-Fi.

My second observation is ‘big data’. There is no doubting the obvious monetisation opportunities for ad publishers and networks with persistently tracking users even when the app is closed. So what can you do to stop apps from accessing iOS location APIs and tracking your every movement when open as well as closed? Simple.

Use ICCID and CTN to track your mobile device if stolen

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BlackBerryQ10Mobile phones are stolen daily. Most are never recovered. Locating your lost mobile can be challenging. Apple has the Find My iPhone app and BlackBerry has BlackBerry Protect. Both location finding software work well, but when the device is wiped and another SIM is used, it will be impossible to track your device. Note: BlackBerry devices can also be tracked using the PIN (the one you use for BlackBerry Messenger), but I don’t have evidence to confirm this.

If you have lost or had your device stolen (this includes Android and Windows Phone), you will in most instances call your mobile carrier, who will ask you whether you have insurance and or whether you want to pay for a new device. What you pay depends on whether you have insurance or not. The Police will normally track your phone number and IMEI number, but this will not help you if someone replaces your SIM. Okay, you say – what should you do?

All mobile devices have unique identifier called an IMEI – you can call it a serial number. Using your dialler type *#06# 9 (called a USSD code) if you don’t have the original box that you device was packaged in. The IMEI number is also tied to the ICCID (Integrated Circuit Card ID) – you can find this on most devices in Settings > About.

Control your Android background apps with Greenify

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greenifyAn Android app I use often is Greenify. This app helps you identify and put the misbehaving apps into hibernation when you are not using them, to stop them from slowing your device, draining your battery and running scheduled malicious code.

Greenify has only just been made available for non-rooted devices. Non-root mode is now supported in 2.0+. There are limitations though i.e. lack of auto hibernation. My suggestion is that you should visit Google Play for Greenfly to clarify what you can and cannot do if your device isn’t rooted.

Now, let’s take a look at a key feature of Greenify that should be the first thing you do when opening this app – ‘Scheduled running’.

Apps listed in ‘Schedule running’ are probably the most dangerous. Why? It’s not necessary for apps to run on a scheduled basis (this type of behaviour mimics malcode), but you will still need to review these apps (and maybe remove hibernation) if the app starts crashing. First up you will need to use App Analyzer.

Open the app > click + (this opens the App Analyzer)
You can review background running apps etc which are divided into the following categories:

How to manage your Android Wear notifications

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androidwearOver the past few weeks we’ve been evaluating Android Wear. We’ve found some interesting code snippets regards security and privacy as well as some interesting work flow and application bugs. Our investigations are still ongoing. We don’t plan to publish our research publicly though – we never do.

For my technical audience, Android Kit 4.4.x has introduced some enhanced notification listener fields. This includes collecting additional metadata such as EXTRA_TITLE and EXTRA_PICTURE. There is also a new Notification.Action class which defines the characteristics of an action attached to a notification. Let’s now take a look at some of the more interesting features available for Android Wear.

There are many features for you to manage and control your Android Wear smart watch. The features are controlled on the Android Wear app which delivers the actions (intents) and content via bluetooth. Here are some interesting features:

  • To mute notifications that appear on your watch, open up Android Wear app > Settings > Mute app notifications
  • If you are in a meeting or don’t want to be bothered by notifications > Settings > Silence connected phone > Alert on watch and phone or Alert on watch only