This is how Google & Co. want to “remove” the password

Apple, Google, and Microsoft, three of the world’s largest technology corporations, want to simplify safe login procedures that do not require a password. Thursday, in honour of World Password Day, the corporations issued a joint statement announcing this. The new features are intended to enable websites and applications to provide consumers with safe, password-free logins across all devices and platforms.

The standard was created by the World Wide Web Consortium and the Fido Alliance. In addition to hundreds of technological businesses and service providers, the Fido Alliance also comprises public agencies. With these advancements, the industry hopes to assure that in the future, critical data will not be protected solely by a password.

Experts have pointed out for years that even passwords with several letters, numbers, and special characters that are often changed are vulnerable. They advise employing login techniques that also require a security stick or an authentication app’s code. The most recent version of the Fido standard even functions without a password you must remember.

New features added to the FIDO standard
The current announcement adds two new features to the standard: On the one hand, users can automatically access their access data on numerous devices, as well as new devices, without having to register each account individually. Additionally, they can utilise authentication on their mobile device to log in to an app or website on any of their nearby devices, regardless of the operating system or web browser 

The current technological implementation necessitates that users log in separately to each website or app on each device prior to using the password-free capability. Now, this is simple. The new functionality should be accessible on Apple, Google, and Microsoft platforms within a year.

“Overcoming Password-Based Authentication of the Past”
Mark Risher, senior director of product management at Google, remarked, “This achievement is a credit to the industry’s joint efforts to enhance security and eliminate archaic password-based authentication.” Microsoft’s corporate vice president of identity programme management, Alex Simons, stated, “The full transition to a password-free world will occur when people make it a natural part of their life.”

Any effective solution must be more secure, easier to use, and faster than passwords and current multi-factor authentication systems.

Google News literally eats up your smartphone’s battery

A newly discovered bug in Google News keeps the camera running in the background. This will quickly drain the battery and heat up the device. The giant says it is already working on solving the problem.

The batteries in our smartphones often have a problem with surviving one full day. The mass of background applications is certainly not helping. According to 9to5Google, a recently discovered bug in the Google News app on Android smartphones leaves the camera running in the background – a great way to both warm up the phone and drain the battery.

Google News allows you to easily take a photo directly from within the app and attach it to your chat messages. According to user reports, the camera in the communicator could remain activated even if the image from the lens was not displayed on the screen. The issue has also been reported on Reddit for the Pixel 6 Pro smartphone. It consumes a lot of battery power and heats up the device.

The easiest way to stop a problem at the moment is to throw the app out of Recent view, which will close it. Another solution is to completely deny the Messages app access to your camera by going to Settings> Applications> Messages> Permissions> Camera and selecting “Don’t Allow.” According to Scott Westover, Google’s communications manager, the bug has been identified and is currently being patched up for users.

A Trojan on Google Play. A popular QR code scanner was stealing passwords

The Google Play Store is out of luck with Trojans hidden in applications. This time, the popular banking Trojan known as TeaBot was available again. The program under which he hid was downloaded by over 10,000. Android users.

Tom’s Guide was first informed about the fake application . The program called QR Code & Barcode , in addition to the QR code scanner, was supposed to contain the TeaBot banking Trojan. The latter is able to intercept not only login details for online banking, e-mail or social networking sites . It is especially dangerous because it can catch authentication codes that serve as protection against logging in using stolen passwords .

In order to hide the true purpose of the application, its creators have devoted their time to making it a real QR code scanner that will not arouse any suspicions among users. Hundreds of positive reviews prove this, most likely not fabricated, but actually coming from real Android users.

Although the application is no longer available in the Google Play Store, we still need to be careful and check that the program has not been installed on our smartphone. In the latter case, we should get rid of it as soon as possible. What’s more, if we have been users of this popular application so far, after uninstalling it, it is necessary to change all passwords.

Google Photos: App update brings more order to the gallery

Google Photos also gets innovations for the Android app to give the user more options for filtering.

  • New filters for Google Photos are here.
  • And a new feature to import from other sources.

In the Gallery section, Google Photos usually has all the different folders listed. There are folders for WhatsApp and other messengers, for your screenshots, your manually created albums and of course the shared albums. To get a little more overview at a glance, Google is introducing an additional bar for the Photos app on Android. There you can decide which albums should be displayed.

This is directly reminiscent of the simultaneous update for Messages , which brings a very similar function. You can quickly select a simple filter with your finger in order to get to the desired content more quickly. Google Photos now offers filters for “My Albums”, “On Device” and “Shared Albums” in addition to a complete overview.

On the device also offers a quick overview of all functions related to locally stored photos. “Import photos” is probably new, but the menu only shows two menu items for me, while it even offers a total of six options for the international colleagues from Google News . So Google is probably not quite finished with the feature yet.

Attention Android users: You must delete this app immediately

Over 50,000 Android users have an app on their smartphone that should be removed as soon as possible. Instead of saving the battery as advertised, the “Xenomorph” malware steals data and intercepts messages. The app has already been removed from the Play Store.

Malware in Play Store: Uninstall “Fast Cleaner” immediately

Another malware-infected app has appeared in the Google Play Store . It is a supposed battery saver that is supposed to improve battery performance and “boost” the cell phone. Instead, text messages, among other things, are intercepted and transmitted to external servers. In addition, the attackers are targeting other sensitive data of Android users. The attack itself goes unnoticed.

According to official information from Google, the Fast Cleaner app can be found on at least 50,000 smartphones worldwide . If you have the app on your cell phone, it is best to uninstall it immediately. The app can no longer be found in the Play Store. It remains unclear why Google’s automatic security system “Play Protect” failed.

The security researchers at ThreatFabric found out that “Fast Cleaner” is malware . They were also the ones who gave the pest the name “Xenomorph”. The name was apparently chosen because the architecture of the Trojan resembles that of “Alien”, which was up to mischief in December 2021. It is said that “Xenomorph” has not yet acted quite as aggressively (source: ThreatFabric ).

This is how I protect you from Android malware:

Save the battery and create space with on-board resources

In many cases, third-party apps are not required to conserve the battery of the Android cell phone or to clear out the memory . In the meantime, all Android manufacturers already offer ways and means to do this. These can be found in the smartphone settings under battery or memory.

Android: Our top 3 sleep timer apps

Anyone who likes to be sprinkled a little while falling asleep nowadays likes to use their smartphone or tablet. You can install a sleep timer app do your smartphone or tablet does not disturb you. 

Sleep timer app brings peace of mind at night
Some Android apps have already caught the trend of listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks to fall asleep. For example, Audible , Spotify and Podcast Addict offer a built-in sleep timer.

However,  streaming apps such as Netflix , Amazon Prime , Disney+ or the media libraries do not offer an integrated timer function in the app.

But these apps can also be silenced automatically. For this reason, we took a look at the various sleep timer apps in the Play Store and present our three favorites here.

If you also give the sleep timer apps permission to manage devices in the settings, they can also turn off the screen. In our test, it was also possible to switch off apps that did not allow media playback to be paused. We have successfully tested the following apps with the three sleep timer apps on Android 11:

Prime video

Baylife Sleep Timer(music & screen off)
Baylife’s “Sleep Timer” is my top recommendation. The timer is very simple; the time can be set freely using a rotary wheel. By default, the app slowly lowers the media volume and pauses media playback when the target time is reached.

In the settings you can adjust the decay time for the sound and activate the function “Turn off the screen” (only with permission to manage devices). You can also use the timer to disable Bluetooth and WiFi. The advertising can be removed for 1.99 euros.

“Comfy Sleep Timer” by Dr. Achim  – Stop music
The “Comfy Sleep Timer” by Dr. Achim can either be set between 1 and 60 minutes using a rotary wheel or the preset buttons (10, 20, 30, 60). By default, media playback will be paused once the time is up.

In addition, you can also set the app so that after the time has elapsed, Bluetooth and the display are switched off via “Extended device functions” (only with authorization for device management).

When the timer starts, it is possible to automatically set the volume to a preset level, switch off certain “Philips Hue” lights and activate “Do not disturb” on the device. The advertising can be removed for 3.99 euros.

Carecon Sleep Timer
Carecon’s “sleep timer” can be set freely using a rotary knob. By default, the app slowly lowers the media volume and pauses media playback when the timer ends.

In the options you can set that the sleep timer is extended by a previously set duration by briefly shaking the mobile phone. Under “On power off” you can adjust the audio fade-out or set the app to wait for the song to end.

In the “Actions” you can activate the function “Turn off the screen” (only with permission to manage devices) as well as switch on that a stop instead of pause command is sent and whether Bluetooth should be switched off when the target time has been reached. The advertising can be removed for 1.29 euros.

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