Monday August 19, 2019
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Why you must uninstall these Chinese apps right away including True Caller, UC Browser

Government alarmed against use of 42 Chinese apps working as spyware, Check out and be digitally secure

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Chinese apps to uninstall
Govt issued warning against Chinese apps as spyware (Representational Image : Pexels)
  • The Government Has Named 42 mobile Chinese Apps as “Chinese Spyware”, Including Big Names Like TrueCaller, UC Browser

    The Indian government on recommendation of intelligence agencies has announced a list of mobile apps on both android and iOs which are reported as Chinese spyware. In big war of data, cyber security is a big concern these days. These Chinese apps have the potential to carry out cyber attack against India.

The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has warned Indian government that China could be collecting vital information about the Indian security installations through its popular mobile phone apps and devices which are widely used. Cyber breach in security is very common in this digital age we are living.

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Army and defence personnel have been asked to immediately uninstall the 42 mobile apps as well as format their smartphones. This is not the first time that the government has issued warnings against Chinese apps. Some of these Chinese apps are – Weibo, WeChat, ShareIT, True Caller, UC News, UC Browser, Beauty Plus, 360 Security, DU Cleaner, DU Battery Saver, We Sync, QQ Launcher, ES File Explorer, You Cam Makeup, SelfieCity, MI Community, Vault Hide – NQ Mobile Security, Baidu Translate and many more.

TrueCaller mobile app has replied to the issue. It said: “In response to certain reports, we would like to clarify that we are a Sweden based company. We are not sure why the app is on this list, but we’re investigating. Truecaller is not a malware, and all our features are permission based and are disabled by default.”

There is a huge possibility of these Chinese apps transmitting sensitive personal data of Indian citizens to the Chinese authorities, which could be a major security disaster, the advisory states. Defence personnels are also advised not to use Chinese manufactured phones like Xiomi.

Thus, being aware citizens we must be resilient towards cyber attacks and keep uninstalling such malicious Chinese apps. Your data is your personal information, you must be vigilant towards its theft. Stay aware, Stay alert.

– by Shaurya Ritwik, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik

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DSLR Cameras More Vulnerable to Malware Attacks, Suggest Researchers

To avoid attacks, camera owners should make sure your camera is using the latest firmware version, and install a patch if available, Check Point recommended

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DSLR cameras vulnerable to malware attacks: Researchers. Pixabay

It is not just your phone or computer that are vulnerable to hacking. Security researchers have now warned that even DSLR cameras are not immune to ransomware and malware attacks.

Through the USB and connections to Wi-Fi networks, threat actors can take control of data on modern cameras, found the researchers from cybersecurity firm Check Point Software Technologies.

“Any ‘smart’ device, including the DSLR camera, is susceptible to attacks,” said Eyal Itkin, Security Researcher, Check Point Software Technologies.

“Cameras are no longer just connected to the USB, but to the WiFi network and its surrounding environment. This makes them more vulnerable to threats as attackers can inject ransomware into both the camera and PC it is connected to,” Itkin added.

Once the camera is attacked, the photos could end up being held hostage until the user pays the ransom for them to be released.

Since modern cameras no longer use film to capture and reproduce images, the International Imaging Industry Association devised a standardised protocol known as Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) to transfer digital images from camera to PC.

fujifilm
The camera offers fast and silent continuous shooting of up to 30 fps in a cropped frame equivalent to 16.6MP. (Representational image). Wikimedia Commons

Initially focused on image transfer, this protocol has evolved to include dozens of different commands that support anything from taking a live picture to upgrading the camera’s firmware.

Check Point Research, the threat intelligence arm of Check Point Software Technologies, aimed to access the cameras and exploit vulnerabilities in the protocol to infect the camera.

For the research, Check Point used Canon’s EOS 80D DSLR camera which supports both USB and Wi-Fi, and critical vulnerabilities in the Picture Transfer Protocol were found.

Check Point Research informed Canon about the vulnerabilities and the companies worked together to patch them. Canon published the patch as part of an official security advisory.

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Given that the protocol is standardised and embedded in other camera brands, the researchers believe similar vulnerabilities can be found in cameras from other vendors as well.

To avoid attacks, camera owners should make sure your camera is using the latest firmware version, and install a patch if available, Check Point recommended.

They should also turn off the camera’s Wi-Fi when not in use. (IANS)