Google Store Flooded With Fake Apps; What Fake News Services Cost

Posted June 14th, 2017 at 12:59 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

FILE - An illustration shows a 3D printed Android logo in front of code. (Reuters)

FILE – An illustration shows a 3-D-printed Android logo. (Reuters)

Malicious Fake Protection Apps Flood Google Play Store

In the aftermath of the infamous WannaCry ransomware, criminals are now flooding the Google Play Store with fake ransomware protection tools. Researchers with security firm RiskIQ found hundreds of cases where apps available for download claim to protect mobile phones, but in fact expose them to new threats. While Google has a mechanism in place to protect Android users from malicious apps, some still make it through the cracks. And Apple iOS devices aren’t immune either. Researchers at Fortinet found two types of potentially destructive Mac ransomware advertised on the dark web, the unindexed part of the internet frequented by criminals.

Report: 12-Month Fake News Campaign to Influence Elections Costs $400,000

A new report from cybersecurity company Trend Micro sheds light on the dark marketplaces where those looking to create artificial narratives and trends and buy influence can pick and choose the fake news format that works for them. The company examined fake news underground shopping sites from around the world, and found services for “discrediting journalists,” “promoting street protests,” “stuffing online polls,” and “manipulating a decisive course of action,” such as an election, selling for anywhere between $2,000 and $10,000.

London Blaze Shows Facebook’s Safety Check Is Deeply Flawed – Again

As a huge fire engulfed a Central London high-rise that claimed the lives of at least 12 people, Facebook activated its Safety Check to help people ensure their loved ones are safe. But writer Mathew Hughes complains that safety prompts are badly targeted, nudging people far away from the scene to check in. And the list of people users get from Facebook for a safety check often  don’t even live in the same area or city of a given disaster.


Aida Akl
Aida Akl is a journalist working on VOA's English Webdesk. She has written on a wide range of topics, although her more recent contributions have focused on technology. She has covered both domestic and international events since the mid-1980s as a VOA reporter and international broadcaster.

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