Today’s topics include Trojan horse malware that has compromised more than a million Android devices, Mozilla’s quick patch to a zero-day flaw in Firefox, Microsoft’s use of artificial intelligence to help enterprises manage unrelenting flood of business data and Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise’s “freemium” Unified Communications as a Service offer.
Rogue mobile applications infected with the “Gooligan” Trojan horse is compromising older Android devices by harvesting the security tokens for Google’s services and using those tokens to download additional applications and post reviews on behalf of the users, according to Check Point Software Technologies.
Gooligan targets existing devices running Android versions 4.1 through 4.4 and 5.0, also known as Jelly Bean, KitKat and Lollipop. Gooligan’s goal to download other programs from Google Play to collect affiliate fees for the malware’s operators and to post reviews using the victim’s credentials.
On Nov. 30, Mozilla rushed out an emergency update for its open-source Firefox web browser to fix a zero-day vulnerability that was being actively exploited by attackers.
The patch fixed a vulnerability that was used in attacks against the Tor web browser which is based on Firefox. The first public report of the Tor Browser attack emerged on Nov. 29. The browser, built on top of Firefox, aims to provide users more privacy and anonymity on the web.
Among the configuration options that are part of the Tor Browser is a feature called the security slider, which can reduce the potential attack surface of the browser.
As the security slider level is increased from low to high, browser capabilities that have been known to have had vulnerabilities in the past are progressively disabled.
Microsoft will use artificial intelligence to help organizations manage the flood of data they are gathering and story every day. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, explained that if enterprises aren’t already drowning in data, they soon will be.
Society will produce 180 zettabytes of data by 2025, he said. A single zettabyte is equivalent to a billion terabytes or a million petabytes. The goal is to use AI to turn data into actionable insights and intelligence that enable digital transformation.
Nadella noted that AI is being implemented across Microsoft’s product portfolio, automating tasks for users. Examples include Skype Translator, Windows Hello’s face recognition, the predictive SwiftKey keyboard for iOS and Android, and of course Cortana, the company’s voice-enabled digital assistant.
Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) launched a new virtualized communications management platform on Nov 30 that connects business users, business contacts and systems.
ALE Rainbow provides a set of cloud-based communication services with high-end features and collaborative capabilities that are designed to be easy to adopt and deploy by internal users and business partners, regardless of their existing communications systems, the company said.