Google Purges Malware-Tainted Mobile Apps From Play Store

Today’s topics include Google's steps to remove apps infected with ad fraud malware from its app store, Panasonic’s new Toughbook 2-in-1 hybrid, Trend Micro's discovery of vulnerabilities in industrial control and data acquisition systems and how Google, Facebook and Microsoft are driving the demand for enterprise solid state data storage drives.

Google has taken steps to clean up its Play mobile application store after security vendor Check Point Software found some of the apps were infected with malware that trick users into clicking on ads on a massive scale.

Checkpoint says the malware was designed to generate a large numbers of fraudulent clicks. While the malware’s operators were paid for each click, the advertisers who paid by the click and lost money on each fraudulent impression.

"It is important to note that the activity conducted by the malware is not borderline advertising, but definitely an illegitimate use of the users’ mobile devices for generating fraudulent clicks, benefiting the attackers," Check Point said. A number of the infected apps were on the Play store for several years and had millions of downloads.

Panasonic recently unveiled its latest Toughbook laptop computer, which features a 2-in-1 design for laptop or tablet use. The Toughbook CF-33 also has a 3:2 aspect ratio that fits more information on the screen at one time, to reduce scrolling.

Buyers can purchase the new machine as a standalone tablet, or with a choice of "lite" or premium detachable keyboards. The tablet version starts at $3,499 with 8GB of memory and 256GB of SSD storage.

When purchased with a premium keyboard the price of the machine is $4,099. The premium keyboard comes with a variety of ports for connections to peripherals and other devices. The lite keyboards weigh less to make them easier to carry.

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems are vital components of many of the  industrial technologies powering the critical infrastructure behind modern society.

Unfortunately, they also have security vulnerabilities. Trend Micro's Zero Day Initiative released a report that described more than 250 security vulnerabilities reported in SCADA Human Machine Interfaces from 2015 to 2016.

HMIs link SCADA systems to their human operators. The Trend Micro ZDI analysis stated that the bulk of the SCADA HMI vulnerabilities fit into categories such as memory corruption, poor credential management, insecure defaults and code injection bugs.

Several companies with voracious appetites for enterprise-grade server systems are keeping demand for enterprise-grade Solid State Drives high.

Google, Facebook and Microsoft are among the companies buying up SSDs to expand their data center networks. Shipments of enterprise-grade SSDs for the first quarter of 2017 rose between three percent and four percent over last year.

Intel is currently the top seller in the market with Samsung trailing not far behind. Intel has felt the pressure from Samsung and its competitively priced and high-performing 3D-NAND SSDs. To attract customers Intel lowered prices and emphasized that its SSDs complement its server processors.