ESET researchers have discovered the TrojanDownloader.Agent.JI, a new virus targeting Android devices that is capable of downloading and executing additional malware.
Detected by ESET security software as Android/TrojanDownloader.Agent.JI, the trojan is distributed via compromised websites and masquerades as a Flash Player update. This and other threats on the Android platform were addressed by ESET at the Mobile World Congress.
Following installation, the malware creates a fake ‘Saving Battery’ service in the Android system and urges the victim to grant it crucial permissions within Android’s Accessibility functions. If granted, these permissions – Monitor your actions, Retrieve window content and Turn on Explore by Touch – enable the attacker to mimic the user’s actions and display whatever they want on the user’s screen.
“In cases we investigated, this trojan was built to download another trojan designed for siphoning off funds from bank accounts. However, it would take only a small change in the code for the user to get served with spyware or ransomware,” warns Lukáš Štefanko, the ESET Malware Researcher who led the analysis.
The key indicator of whether a device has been infected with this malware is the presence of a “Saving Battery” option amongst Services in the Accessibility menu. In such a case, the user should either employ a reputable mobile security app, such as ESET Mobile Security & Antivirus, to remove the threat or uninstall the app manually by going to Settings -> Application Manager -> Flash-Player.
In some instances, the user has been successfully tricked into granting Device administrator rights to the app. In such a case, it is necessary to deactivate the administrator rights first, by going to Settings -> Security -> Flash-Player. “Unfortunately, uninstalling the downloader doesn’t remove malicious apps the downloader might have installed. As with the downloader itself, the best way for cleaning up the device is using a mobile security solution,” recommends Lukáš Štefanko.
ESET security experts have prepared a set of basic recommendations for preventing infection with mobile malware:
- Only download apps or updates from a trustworthy source – in the case of an Adobe Flash Player update, the only safe place to get it from is the official Adobe website. Always check the URL address in your browser.
- Pay attention to what permissions and rights your apps request.
- Use a reputable mobile security solution.
Queues and cash-only frustrate SA’s commuters
A new study by Visa reveals the success factors for improving travel and creating smarter cities
The use of cash-only payments was
Visa, in collaboration with Stanford University, came up with these findings in one of the largest global studies examining the growing demand for public and private transportation, and the important role digital commerce plays in driving sustainable growth.
According to the UN[i], by 2050, 68
Building on Visa’s experience working with transit operators, automotive companies and technology start-ups, Visa commissioned a global study, “The Future of Transportation: Mobility in the Age of the Megacity” to better understand the challenges commuters face today and in the future. The key findings were combined with a view of existing and near horizon innovations provided by experts at Stanford University, to better understand the technology gaps in addressing their pain points.
The South African Perspective
Payments lie at the heart of every form of
Aside from cash-only payments, another commuter frustration when paying for public transport has been long queues – 67% of Johannesburg commuters and 64% of Cape Town commuters. Over the last few years, a number of mobile-driven taxi-hailing apps have been launched in the South African market to counteract these concerns and commuters are open to the possibilities presented by mobile apps. The Visa study echoed this by showing that 77% of Johannesburg commuters and 76% of Cape Town commuters would be willing to try a consolidated app to make payments for public transport.
Mike Lemberger, SVP, Product Solutions Europe, Visa says: “The future success of our cities is intertwined with – and reliant on – the future of transportation and mobility. Visa and our partners have an important role to play, both in streamlining the payment experience for millions of commuters around the globe, and supporting public transportation authorities in their quest to build sustainable and convenient transportation solutions that improve the lives of the people who use it.”
Herman Donner, PhD and Postdoctoral Researcher from Stanford University co-authored the report and summarised: “When looking across the technology landscape, there already exist many products that could easily address people’s daily frustrations with travel. However, none of these solutions should be developed in isolation. A major challenge therefore lies in first identifying relevant technologies that provide suitable products for the market then managing implementation in conjunction with a broad set of stakeholder including mobility providers, technology companies, infrastructure owners and public transport agencies. From our research, we think that many of these small, incremental changes have the potential to make a significant difference in people’s daily travel, whether it’s to help find parking, get the best price to refuel their car or plan their journey on public transportation.”
Click here for the detailed global findings.
Women take to tech, but more needed
By HAIDI NOSSAIR, Marketing Director META, Dell Technologies
$12 trillion – that is the value in additional global GDP that remains locked behind the gender gap. This is according to the latest Women Matter report from McKinsey, which also reveals startling disparities in the workplace. Even though women make up more than half of the human population, only 37% contribute to GDP on average – and in some countries that proportion is significantly lower.
The reasons for this can be put in three areas. Fewer women – 650 million fewer than men – participate in the global labour force. Women are also more likely to be in part-time employment and thus work fewer hours. Finally, female employees are more common in lower-productivity sectors than in higher-productivity areas. Are women not being offered the opportunity or are they holding themselves back?
Among STEM careers this ratio is particularly dismal: only 24% of engineering professionals are women, and as few as 19% of careers in ICT are filled by women.
What is the cause of this? Studies have found that women pursuing STEM careers are higher in countries with more oppressive policies towards women, because those careers hold the promise for financial freedom and more social autonomy. In contrast, countries with progressive attitudes towards women tend to produce fewer female STEM graduates. Then how can we encourage women from early ages to take the path of STEM education? And how can organizations ensure women have equal opportunity at the hiring stages.
Certainly addressing gender inequality is crucial and must not stop.. Where women are increasingly more part of the workforce, there are often still barriers preventing them from assuming higher management roles. Female entrepreneurs often struggle more to gain investment capital. Corporate cultures are rarely aligned with the pressures of balancing work and family obligations. Decision makers may simply lack exposure to the potential of female candidates. Female pioneers have also argued that women are too risk-averse when compared to men.
Whether these assertions are true is a matter for debate – and that’s exactly why every professional man and woman should be talking about them and identify action to change the status-quo. This is not just about female rights, but about social upliftment: companies with a mixture of male and female leaders perform better across the board and companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity are 21% more likely to outperform on profitability.
The digital economy we live in today represent a golden opportunity for increased women contribution to the workforce as technology breaks the boundaries of location and time for the workplace and where labor intensive jobs may today be performed by data scientists.
For two days in March, top professionals will gather to talk and exchange ideas around creating more roles for women, larger appreciation for female professionals, as well as counter the attitudes among women holding them back from greater career success and autonomy.
If you want to be part of this conversation, join the Women in Tech Africa summit today at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town – learn more at https://www.women-in-tech-africa-summit.com/ and use the code DELL20 for a 20% discount.