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  1. Majority of Mobile App Vulnerabilities From Open Source Code COVID-19 has impacted everything over the past year, and mobile app security is no exception. The Synopsys Cybersecurity Research Center (CyRC) took an in-depth look at application security, and discovered just how vulnerable apps that use open source code really are. According to the report, 98% of apps use open source code, and 63% of those apps have at least one known vulnerability. Open source code is no more or less vulnerable than any other code, Jonathan Knudsen, senior security strategist with Synopsys, was quick to point out in an email interview. The prime security task for any organization that uses open source code is how to manage the code correctly. “The report underscores, among other things, that managing security vulnerabilities in open source software components is a very real problem,” Knudsen said. The challenge lies in the self-service nature of open source use. With no commercial vendor to push out updates and patches, it then becomes the responsibility of the developers and the business to evaluate and monitor for security risks and come up with a strategy for the inevitable security problems. Adoption of Open Source Developers turn to open source because it helps them code 20 to 30 times faster than writing their own from scratch; getting a mobile application into the marketplace quickly is a top priority. This need to move fast has created a dependency on open source. It has also led to the prioritization of development over security in many IT organizations just to remain competitive in the market. “To stay competitive, software development teams must figure out how to write code quickly, while not sacrificing security to create value and preserve competitive advantage for their organizations,” said Yaniv Bar-Dayan, CEO and co-founder at Vulcan Cyber. Until that happens, open source will continue to be the go-to code. Finding the Vulnerabilities Code audits to detect vulnerabilities are easier to do on open source software, which is both a blessing and curse; threat actors and well-intentioned developers both have equal access to the code. “Ethical hackers may look at well-maintained open-source projects and quickly identify and report vulnerabilities to help them get patched,” said Hank Schless, senior manager, security solutions at Lookout. “Threat actors may observe the code, find a vulnerability, and figure out how to exploit it as quickly as possible.” On the other hand, Schless added, closed source or first-party code can encounter the same maintenance issues. “While the quality of both open and closed source code varies, switching from open to closed source code might mean swapping known vulnerabilities for unknown vulnerabilities.” A More Secure Mobile App When open source code is used, it often comes with its own list of other open source solutions that are necessary for functionality. This transitive dependency can be layers deep and create a snowball effect of adding hundreds or more. One open source project can end up including hundreds of layers and dozens of possible vulnerabilities. Because of this, you can never trust or test one layer and think everything is fine. Every layer must be tested and updates and patches regularly checked. “Software composition analysis (SCA) is a type of security testing that automates much of the work of identifying used software components, correlating known vulnerabilities and raising alerts when new vulnerabilities are identified,” said Knudsen. Managing the open source components of an application is important, Knudsen added, but it is far from the end of the story. “Applications will only get safer when they are built better with a comprehensive, proactive approach to security. This means incorporating security into every phase of software development, from design through implementation, testing and maintenance. Automated security testing is useful at multiple phases, and includes SCA, static analysis, fuzzing and other types of dynamic testing.” Source: Majority of Mobile App Vulnerabilities From Open Source Code
  2. Available through Tumblr’s mobile app Tumblr is launching a new group messaging feature that will allow different fandoms on the site to chat more easily with each other instead of replying on re-blogs. The “group chats” are public spaces, meaning that anyone can find and read them, though only approved members can send messages. People should notice a new group chat icon in the upper right-hand corner of Tumblr’s app starting today. Group chats aren’t meant for private DM sessions with Tumblr pals. The idea is to give people in niche communities a chance to create dedicated spaces to talk about their interests that are more immediate and interactive than simply re-blogging someone else’s post. Whether it’s memes or therapy or BoJack Horseman, this allows a larger body of people to find a hub where they can talk about their favorite thing. There are some essential differences between Tumblr group chats and similar features like Facebook groups. Messages within the group chats disappear after 24 hours, and there’s a maximum occupancy of 100 people. Although any group chat is discoverable via search, people have to request permission to join. Non-members can preview what the group chat looks like, but they can’t actively participate in any conversation without being given permission. Tumblr product manager Scott Oltrogge told The Verge that user safety was a top priority for the team when they started exploring the idea. Full control over chat membership is given to the group owner. All members of the group have the ability to report users who may use hateful or abusive language, but only the group owner can kick a person out. “I can remove messages, and I can remove users as I see fit,” Oltrogge said. “If I wanted to remove that user’s message, I can if it was inappropriate. I can also remove that user completely if they’re not behaving in the way I want.” In an effort to ensure that disturbing material isn’t shared within the groups, Tumblr also won’t allow users to upload their own media. That includes photos and GIFs. They can use the GIF options built into Tumblr within the group chats, but that’s it. Tumblr isn’t instituting any new privacy or usage policies around group chats, but Oltrogge reiterated that people must be 13 years old to use the site, and sharing adult content isn’t allowed. There isn’t any way to make the group chats private, Oltrogge said. The team’s goal was to make “really open and community focused experiences,” he added. If people want to have private one-on-one conversations, they can still initiate those via Tumblr’s direct messaging feature. Source: Tumblr is launching a new group messaging feature built with fandoms in mind (via The Verge)
  3. At MAX 2019 today, Adobe announced an impressive expansion of its products. For one thing, full Photoshop is now available for iPads, something that was announced a while back and is now generally available. Version 1.0 focuses on "top workflows", and Adobe says that it will expand the product as it learns how people use Photoshop on a mobile device. It does have a redesigned UI, since an iPad is a different type of device from a PC. Clearly, it's meant to be more touch-centric. You can open and edit your PSD files from anywhere, and connect it with your PC via Adobe Cloud. Photoshop for PCs is also getting an update today, with Sensei AI and machine learning. There are new editing capabilities, and so on. The update will arrive via the Creative Cloud app. Other apps generally available today are Adobe Fresco and Aero. Fresco is available on both Windows and for iPad, and on Windows, it supports ARM64 PCs. While Fresco is a drawing and painting app, Aero is made to create mixed reality experiences. With Aero, you can turn layered PSDs into augmented reality. But that's not all, because Adobe also announced that Illustrator is also coming to the iPad, although that won't be here until next year. You can sign up for the private beta now. Source: Adobe Photoshop now available for iPad; Illustrator coming next year (via Neowin) p/s: While this news talks about software, this news is better suited to be posted under Mobile News section, as this news is primarily talks about new Adobe mobile software app for iPad (a mobile tablet device).
  4. Today, Microsoft announced its unified Office app for iOS and Android. It combines the three key Office apps, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, into a single mobile application. As Microsoft says, you'll no longer have to download each individual app. There's a new Actions pane in the app, and you should be able to use this to complete "common on-the-go" tasks, such as signing PDFs and sharing files. You can also scan documents with your mobile phone's camera, and turn it into a Word file that you can edit, or turn the data into tables in an Excel spreadsheet. You might recall that before the individual apps ever existed, there was a unified Office Mobile app for iOS and Android. Obviously, this new app is meant to be more robust than its predecessor, adding in newer features that debuted in the years since we last had a unified Office app. The new Office app is available in preview beginning today. For Android, you can find it in the Google Play Store, where you can sign up for the beta. For iOS, you'll need to sign up for the TestFlight preview. Source: Microsoft's new unified Office Mobile app is available in public preview (via Neowin)
  5. US pharmacy store says mobile app exposed names, prescription details, and shipping addresses. Walgreens, the second-largest pharmacy store in the US, said on Friday that its official mobile app contained a bug that exposed the personal details of some of its users. The leak, described as "an error within the Walgreens mobile app personal secure messaging feature," exposed details such as first and last name, prescription details, store number, and shipping addresses, where available. "Our investigation determined that an internal application error allowed certain personal messages from Walgreens that are stored in a database to be viewable by other customers using the Walgreens mobile app," the company said in a breach notification letter it sent customers. The mobile app error that allowed users to view other users' personal data and drug prescription details only last for a week, between Thursday, January 9, and Wednesday, January 15. Walgreens said it fixed the bug on the day it learned of the error, on January 15. "Walgreens promptly took steps to disable the message viewing feature within the Walgreens mobile app to prevent further disclosure until a permanent correction was implemented to resolve the issue," it said. "Walgreens will conduct additional testing as appropriate for future changes to verify the change will not impact the privacy of customer data." The company did not say how many of the app's users were impacted by the bug, but it did say that sensitive drugs prescription details were only exposed for a small percentage of the total users who were affected. The Walgreens Android app lists more than 10 million downloads on the Google Play Store. The app's iOS page does not list a download count, but the iOS app has more than 2.5 million ratings. Source
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