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  1. Internet ne'er-do-wells have put together a strain of Android malware that spreads like a email worm rather than acting like a conventional trojan. Selfmite spreads by automatically sending a text message to contacts in the infected phone’s address book. Theses SMS messages contain a URL that redirects to the malware: ‘Dear [NAME], Look the Self-time, http://goo.gl/[REDACTED]'. If a user clicks on the goo.gl shortened link, they are invited to download and install an APK file which appears as an icon on their smartphone menu after installation. Once launched, Selfmite reads the device’s address book before sending the message to 20 different contacts using their name as a greeting, restarting the infection cycle. After sending the malicious SMS messages to fresh marks, the initial victim is invited to download and install Mobogenie, a legitimate app for managing and installing Android apps. Affiliates get a pay-per-install fee for distributing Mobogenie and using unscrupulous tactics to ramp up this income seems to have motivated the attack. Mobile security firm AdaptiveMobile, which has begun blocking the spread of messages containing links to the worm, has found infected devices on mobile networks in North America. The worm was first discovered in the US, where it seems concentrated, but activity has also been recorded from a dozen other countries worldwide, according to AdaptiveMobile. Android Trojans that pose as games or useful utilities are commonplace, especially on third-party app stores. These malicious apps typically offer access to premium games for little or no charge, a potential give-away to more clued-up users. Selfmite comes in a message "sent" by someone known to a potential victim, a different tactic that's perhaps more likely to be believed. “SMS worms for Android smartphones have previously been rare, but this and the recent Samsapo worm in Russia may indicate that cybercriminals are now starting to broaden their attacks on mobile phones to use different techniques that users may not be aware of,” Denis Maslennikov, a security analyst at AdaptiveMobile explained. To redirect users to the Mobogenie app, the Selfmite worm uses an advertising platform. "We believe that an unknown registered user of the advertising platform abused a legal service and attempted to increase the number of Mobogenie app installations using malicious software," Maslennikov added. In addition to boosting affected users' bills, by automatically sending SMS spam messages, the worm puts the infected device in danger of being blocked by the mobile operator. AdaptiveMobile has contacted Google and the malicious URL has already been disabled. AdaptiveMobile's write-up of the threat - featuring screenshots and code samples - can be found here. Separately, mobile security firm Lookout has discovered a strain of Android malware in Google Play, dubbed BankMirage. BankMirage is a fake banking app that clones the original app from an Israeli bank while adding a layer of code which steals victims' usernames, according to Lookout's blog post about the malware. Curiously, the app steals users’ credentials but not their passwords. Once this information has been stolen, the fake app prompts the victim to reinstall the legitimate banking app from the Play store. Source
  2. The Zorin Group has released a point update to the beautiful beginner-friendly Linux distro Zorin OS 15, and while not substantial it does ship with a few nice improvements worth mentioning below. But the real headline, at least in my opinion, is the visibility Zorin OS is enjoying with Mac and Windows users. In the release announcement, the Zorin group shares that within 6 months Zorin OS 15 has been downloaded 550,000 times, and that a surprising 65% of those downloads come from macOS or Windows machines. More than half a million downloads may seem trivial when compared to the large user-base for Windows and Macs, but for a boutique Linux distribution — in a sea of literally hundreds — this seems worthy of celebration. This likely comes down to the simple, direct marketing the Zorin Group employs. Phrases like “A powerful desktop you already know how to use” and “Your Computer, Better” are powerful and easy to understand. This is combined with imagery (such as the above photo) that frequently invokes the clean lines and looks of Apple hardware like iMacs. (Makes sense, it’s pretty easy to install Linux on your older Macs.) The team is also targeting Windows 7 users as a free, modern alternative to the aging Microsoft OS that loses support in January 2020. In addition to that, there’s a Zorin OS Education Edition targeted at elementary schools that couples the existing ease-of-use with a ton of open source educational apps and games. ABOVE: Listen to my fascinating interview with Zorin OS founder Artyom Zorin about the future of desktop Linux. But I wanted to hear directly from Zorin OS founder Artyom Zorin, so I asked him for his take on this: “It's a bunch of different things,” Zorin replied. “By having a laser focus on a specific use case and demographic – Windows and macOS users who aren't familiar with Linux in our case – this was always at the top of our minds when making any decision, from how to develop the system to how we explain it to newcomers on our website. Because of this, we knew how important it was to make the system approachable and attractive to the regular computer user. Even when proficient Linux users first came across Zorin OS, they could see that it's something that their friends who still use Windows and macOS could be interested in, and they spread the word of Zorin OS.” Zorin also shared that they’ve spent “virtually no money on advertising.” The growth of Zorin, he says, has been entirely word of mouth. “It's thanks to the incredible community that Zorin OS has gotten to where it is today, and we couldn't be more grateful,” he adds. Regardless of statistics, Zorin OS is a Linux distribution worth paying attention to. It’s refreshing to see that it’s potentially bringing so many Windows and macOS users over to the more beautiful and less frustrating side of the desktop PC fence. It’s also refreshing to see a Linux distribution openly sharing their download numbers. This week’s Zorin OS 15 update includes GameMode, a tweak that automatically boosts CPU performance of certain games, a slick improvement to the Zorin Connect app that lets you control your mouse cursor with an Android phone, and LibreOffice 6.3 among several other improvements detailed here. Source
  3. Save downloads in Chrome to Date folders automatically Organize Downloads by Date is an extension for the Google Chrome web browser that saves downloads to date folders automatically. Chrome, like any other browser out there, saves downloads to a single directory by default. On Windows, it is usually the Downloads folder on the system that everything gets saved to. While that works for many users, as all downloads are found easily that way, it may be problematic for users who download a lot of files or want to better keep track of their activity. Sorting downloads into folders is not a new concept entirely. We reviewed the excellent Firefox add-on Sort Downloads back in 2008 (no longer available) which could be used to set custom folders based on a file's extension, and the equally good Automatic Save Folder extension (also no longer available). Another popular option was to run local tools to sort files in the download folder to improve organization. Windows users could use programs like SubDiv, I Like To Move It, or File Sieve, or good old Windows Explorer. The Google Chrome extension Organize Downloads by Date adds an automated option to the web browser. Once installed, it sorts files into date folders automatically based on the current date. The sorting saves downloads automatically to subfolders of the main downloads folder using the format Year/Month. For November 2019, downloads would be put into the folder Downloads/2019/11; once December 2019 is reached, downloads are put into Downloads/2019/12 instead. The sorting happens automatically and with zero user interaction. The folders are created automatically as well and Chrome's own downloads manager opens the right location when you select to open a download in its local folder. Organize Downloads by Date is an open source extension. You can check out the source code of the extension on the project's GitHub website if you want to analyze it or use the excellent Chrome Extensions Source Viewer to view its files before installation. Closing Words Chrome users who want better manageability of their downloads may install Organize Downloads by Date to save downloads automatically to Year/Date folders. The extension should work in the majority of Chromium-based browsers out there as well but I did not test that. Source: Save downloads in Chrome to Date folders automatically (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  4. BrowserDownloadsView: manage downloads in all desktop browsers BrowserDownloadsView is a new portable software program by Nirsoft (one of our favorite developers). The program, like many programs by Nirsoft, provides a list view of data; in this case, it retrieves data from supported desktop browsers to display a list of downloaded files. What makes it interesting is the fact that it supports multiple desktop browsers and that the data is merged so that you end up with a single list of downloaded files. While that is only of interest to users who use multiple desktop browsers that are supported, it may also be useful as an independent tool to display downloads of a single browser thanks to its sorting and data exporting options. BrowserDownloadsView BrowserDownloadsView can be run on any Windows device that runs Windows XP or higher. It supports 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems and a good assortment of desktop browsers including Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, and the majority of Chromium-based browsers including Vivaldi, Opera, and the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge. The application can be run from any location. When you do, it retrieves data from browsers that it finds installed on the device; the process may take a moment to complete depending on the number of downloads and browsers. The list is sorted in chronological order from most recent to oldest by default. A click on a column header sorts the data accordingly. As far as what is displayed is concerned, BrowserDownloadsView lists filenames, download URLs and web page URLs, the size and time it took to download, the location it was saved to on the system, MIME type, and the browser profile that was used by default. Sorting was instant during tests with a medium-sized number of downloads (1314 to be precise). If you are looking for a particular download, you may use the search functionality to do so. The program does not offer many options to interact with the data. You may calculate hashes of one or multiple downloads using the File menu or right-click context menu. The program supports MD5/SHA1/SHA256/SHA512 hashes. Note that some of the downloads may not be available anymore; this is the case if the downloaded files were moved, renamed, or deleted. The context menu displays a number of additional options. You may use it to open the download URL or web page in the default web browser, open the file on VirusTotal, run the file with the default handler or another program, or open the folder it is stored in. You may also copy the data or use the built-in export option to save a selection or everything to a file. The usual file types, JSON, text files, XML, HTML, or tab/comma delimited text files are supported. Closing Words BrowserDownloadsView is an excellent program to analyze downloads on a Windows device. While it does not cover downloads made by download managers or external programs, and does not support deleting records, it proves useful when it comes to the analysis and finding downloads on the machine. Source: BrowserDownloadsView: manage downloads in all desktop browsers (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
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