This App Allows Anyone to Create Custom Android Ransomware

If it wasn’t easy already for cybercriminals to hack into Android phones, there is now an app that basically lets anyone, even those with absolutely no knowledge of coding, to become a hacker and develop their own custom Android ransomware. All you need is an Android phone to get started.

A free Trojan Development Kit (TDK) app can be downloaded from hacking forums with a simple interface that can get anyone to quickly create their own ransomware, Symantec researchers find. “The entire process of creating a ready-to-use piece of malware is done on a smartphone without any requirement to write a single line of code,” Dinesh Venkatesan, Principal Threat Analysis Engineer at Symantec says, cited by a ZDNet report.

The app requires you to follow some simple instructions and fill out forms with customisable options to create your own malware. For example, you can choose the option to have the malware display a message on the infected device’s lock screen, the key to unlock the device, and the type of animations that can be displayed on the screen.

diy android malware symantec android

After filling out the form to your preference, the user can hit the ‘create’ button and will need to make a one-time payment to the app developer, after which the user can distribute the ransomware to as many Android device as he wishes. The ransomware created through the Trojan Development Kit locks the device and displays a message to the victim demanding a ransom.

Such tools not only make it easy for entry-level hackers to hack into Android devices but also gives seasoned hackers an easier way to get the job done without spending a lot of time. “Even hardened malware authors could find these easy-to-use kits an efficient alternative to putting the work in themselves. We expect to see an increase in mobile ransomware variants as these development kits become more widespread,” said Venkatesan.

There have been a number of Android malware-related reports recently such as SonicSpy, Lipizzan, LeakerLocker, to name a few, and this latest piece of news makes it even more concerning regarding the safety of Android. Researchers say that users should refrain from downloading apps from unreliable sources, keep backups of important data, and to keep the system software up-to-date.

Netflix to Add UPI Support With Auto Recurring Billing Option Soon

India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) will soon find another international backer. Netflix plans to roll out support for UPI payments in the country, a source familiar with the matter told Gadgets 360.

The on-demand streaming service will introduce the new payment option after the rollout of UPI 2.0, the source said, requesting anonymity. UPI 2.0, expected to roll out later this year, is the upgraded version of UPI protocol which will offer a range of new capabilities, including programmable electronic mandates that can enable auto-renewable billing option.

Earlier this year, Netflix had held advance talks with One97 Communications for introducing support for recurring billing option with mobile wallet Paytm, three sources told Gadgets 360. But in the past three months, those talks have hit a wall, a source said. Music service Gaana accepts Paytm as an option, but it requires users to punch in their credit/ debit card number for approval. Netflix couldn’t get over this limitation.

“We already have credit card billing so introducing a wallet provider as a middleman makes no sense,” the source told Gadgets 360 recently. There was one more limitation that emerged as a deal breaker. “On top of that, Paytm money cannot be used to pay cross-border,” the source told Gadgets 360. Netflix had internally built the tech back-end and user interface and design flows for Paytm payments option, but then it put it in “cold storage,” the person said. A Netflix spokesperson declined to comment, as did Paytm’s.

At a point, Netflix also considered opening its own “accounting and legal liabilities if we use our Mumbai subsidiary to accept subscription payments,” the source said. “While that’s not too difficult to work around, I don’t think it’s worth it. Paytm is simply not worth hiring more accountants in India.”

The move would help Netflix extend its reach in India. At present, the company only supports credit cards — and select debit cards with international purchases enabled — for payments. Penetration of both remains low in the country.

Netflix to Add UPI Support With Auto Recurring Billing Option SoonThe arrival of Netflix will lend further credibility to UPI, which in the recent months has attracted several international players. Earlier this week, Uber introduced support for UPI payments on its platform. Facebook, Amazon, and Google have also been working with NPCI to introduce UPI-based payments solutions in their apps, multiple people familiar with the matter said.

And many more Indian and international companies may jump ship too. At present, several services rely on wallet apps to allow their customers to make payments seamlessly, without resorting to passwords and OTPs associated with card usage in India. They will soon have little reason to not support UPI on their platforms.

Introduced just last year, UPI is already raking in big numbers. Even as the volume of transactions via UPI-powered apps is much lower than that of Prepaid Instrument (PPI; mostly wallet apps), it is already being used to exchange more money. According to figure provided by RBI for the month of July, UPI-powered apps were used to do 11.4 million transactions and exchange Rs. 33.8 billion. In comparison, PPI had seen 88.7 million transactions, but only Rs. 25.1 billion changed hands.

Spotify, Warner Music Renew Licensing Deal

Spotify said on Thursday it has renewed its global licensing partnership with a third major label, Warner Music Inc, the last big music royalty deal it needs before pushing ahead with a US stock market listing.

The music streaming company was close to agreeing on a new licensing pact with Warner Music in July, sources had told Reuters.

“It’s taken us a while to get here, but it’s been worth it, as we’ve arrived at a balanced set of future-focused deal terms,” Warner Music Group chief digital officer Ole Obermann said in an Instagram post.

A Spotify spokesman confirmed the renewal in an email, without disclosing financial terms of the agreement.

Earlier this year, Sweden’s Spotify signed licensing deals with two for the largest labels – Vivendi’s Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment.

Spotify, Warner Music Renew Licensing Deal“Even with the current pace of growth, there’s still so much potential for music subscription to reach new audiences and territories,” Obermann said.

Spotify, which hired Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to advise it on a stock market listing, is still aiming to go public via a direct listing towards the end of this year or the beginning of the next, a source told Reuters last month.

Spotify has fended off competition from rival Apple Music, with more than double the number of paying subscribers.

Spotify said in July it had 60 million paying subscribers, adding 10 million subscribers in less than five months. Apple reported 27 million music subscribers in June, up from 20 million in December.

Cloud app vs. Web app: Understanding the Underlying Differences

To begin with, one has to admit that there is slight difference between web and cloud applications but when the difference is in two technologies then even the slightest difference matters a lot. Essentially, every cloud application is a web application but the converse is not true. However, both web and cloud apps require internet to function. Despite the similarities, there are significant differences between the two app platforms.


Tenancy

The basic difference which must be addressed at the very outset is on the basis of tenancy. The cloud applications have a multi-tenancy while the web applications have an isolated-tenancy. This means that the single instance of cloud apps can cater to multiple users at a time. The users can customise some parts of the cloud application but it won’t affect the code whereas a web application has isolated-tenancy that caters to only one user and his customisation requirements.

Dependance

The core difference between cloud and web app lies on dependence i.e. the web applications are dependent on web browsers while the cloud applications are not. In order to run a web application you’ll require a web server whereas cloud apps can run on either user’s computing device or web server. The cloud apps can be installed on either a public or a private cloud while the web apps are either installed on Internet or Intranet. There are a lot of cloud iot solution provider available in the market who solve a lot of issues.

Data Centres

Most of the computer cycles happen at the single data centre in a cloud application but in the web application they happen at multiple data centres though you can access it from anywhere. Cloud Applications have their user data and business processes stored in multiple replicated data centres contrasting with the web applications, where the data is stored in a single data centre.

Customisation & Functionality

Undoubtedly, the cloud apps offer more customisation options and wider range of functionality. The web application have on the contrary limited functionality and customisation. The cloud applications are standardised for all users and each user can customise them according to their whims and fancies. The web applications on the other hand are specifically customised with respect to a user.

Availability & Scalability

A web application has limited availability & scalability while a cloud app is inherently scalable and has very high uptime. This means that a cloud app has the possibility to be used in a range of capabilities while in case of a web app it is limited. High uptime of cloud platforms signify that they are working and available unlike the web applications in comparison.

Hence, there is slight yet enough difference in the platforms that makes a significant difference. When choosing for an application platform the key factors that make a difference are mentioned above so that you choose the one that best fits your requirement. Cloud apps definitely are winning the battle over web apps, though if you are planning to use only for yourself with specific set of features that you have in mind then they’re perfect for you.

Jio Phone to Hit Telecom Sector, Erode Revenues: Vodafone to DoT

The country’s second largest telecom player Vodafone expects Jio’s ‘effective free phone’ with unlimited calling to erode operators’ revenues which are already under pressure and sought reduction in various levies imposed by the government as a breather to the industry.

“…the new operator continues to aggressively under-price its services, including announcing launch of ‘Effective Zero Price Feature Phone’ with unlimited voice.

“This is likely to cause further erosion in revenue for existing operators,” the company in a letter to the Telecom Commission Member (Finance) Anuradha Mitra.

RIL Chairman and MD Mukesh Ambani recently launched JioPhone, a 4G feature phone at a one-time fully refundable deposit of Rs. 1,500 per unit. JioPhone beta testing starts from August 15. The booking will start from September 24 online as well as through Reliance Retail and Jio stores.

Vodafone said there is continuous decline in its revenue from telecom services and it has recorded further decline of 3.41 percent in the the quarter ended June 2017.

It also called for reducing the interest rate applied for deferred spectrum payments.

“…a reduction in the interest rate applied for deferred spectrum payments is necessary to reduce burden on operators.

Hence, we have requested reduction from 10 percent to G Sec rate of 6.25 percent – 6.5 percent on deferred payment,” the letter said.

Vodafone said that revenue share with the government imposes huge burden on telecom operators even though companies purchase spectrum at market price.

Jio Phone to Hit Telecom Sector, Erode Revenues: Vodafone to DoTThe company requested the DoT to consider recommendation of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India for reducing Universal Service Obligation Fund from 5 percent to 3 percent as private operators have already rolled out services in rural areas and current call termination rates are very low.

“…despite having rolled out in rural areas, we still have to pay USO and the mobile termination rates are also below cost which adversely impact us since majority of the calls in the rural areas are incoming,” the letter said.

At present, a telecom operator charges 14 paise for every incoming call that it gets from network of other operators.

“Therefore, we earnestly request kind consideration and early decision on reduction in the USO levy from 5 percent to 3 percent and reduction of interest charges along with rescheduling the payment period, which has been tabled before DoT and IMG (inter-ministerial group),” Vodafone said.

As per official data, revenues of telecom operators from services dipped by about 15 percent to Rs. 40,831 crores in the January-March quarter this year compared to Rs. 48,379 crores in the same period of last year.

The government has formed an IMG which is expected to submit its recommendation very soon to address financial woes of the telecom sector.

BSNL Unveils New Double Data, Talk Time, Roaming Benefits for Prepaid Subscribers

Ever since Reliance Jio has entered the industry, private telecom operators like Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea have reduced their data prices and introduced lucrative offers regularly to keep its customer base from migrating. State run BSNL has also been doing the same, and at the very moment, the telecom provider has a bunch of offers for its subscribers owing to Independence Day, Onam, and more.

As part of its Independence Day offers, BSNL has announced full talk-time on low priced recharges like Rs. 20, Rs. 40, Rs. 60, and Rs. 80. The Rs. 120, Rs. 160, and Rs. 220 recharges will offer Rs. 130, Rs. 180, and Rs. 220 talk-time respectively.

Coming to data, there is a Rs. 78 plan which offers 1GB of data validity for five days. However, that has been doubled to 2GB for now. Similarly, Rs. 198 plan that offered 1GB of data for 28 days will now offer 2GB of data. The Rs. 291 plan will now offer double data at 4.4GB, and the Rs. 561 plan will now offer 10GB of data with a validity of 60 days. All of these offers will last till August 20 and are applicable for prepaid subscribers only.

These benefits and all other voice/SMS, Special Tariff Voucher (STV) and Combo Voucher benefits through different plans are applicable to the user even when they are on national roaming moving forward. This was also announced by BSNL as part of its Independence Day offers, and went into effect from August 15 in all areas where BSNL operates. R.K.Mittal, Director (CM) BSNL Board said in a statement, “Armed force personnel, professionals, business person, and students all will get more benefit from this scheme.”

BSNL Unveils New Double Data, Talk Time, Roaming Benefits for Prepaid SubscribersSeparately, a limited period offer to celebrate Onam has also been launched. This plan is called the Onam Plan and it is applicable only for Kerala subscribers. The plan is priced at Rs. 44 and offers 500MB data benefits, 5 paise per minute for BSNL to BSNL calls (10 paise for BSNL to other network calls) for the first 30 days to its new customers only, talk value of Rs. 20, and a validity of 365 days. After you finish the prescribed data, additional data will be charged at 10 paise per MB (Rs. 100/GB). After the 30-day call subsidy, all calls under the Onam Plan, “from anywhere to any network in India,” will be charged at one paisa per second.

There’s also the option to add four numbers of friends and family who will also enjoy calls at 10 paise per minute to BSNL numbers and 20 paise per minute to other networks. A BSNL subscriber with this plan activated can add four members by SMSing FFE<>10 digit mobile number/LL to 123. To migrate from other plans, Kerala customers need to send an SMS to mobile number 123 in the format ‘PLAN < space > ONAM’. New subscribers get a free SIM when activating this plan.

Apart from all these offers, BSNL also has a ‘Sixer’ or ‘666’ plan which offers unlimited voice calls to any network, 2GB per day data, and comes with 60 day validity.

Call Drops: TRAI Says Telcos Can Be Fined Up to Rs. 5 Lakhs on Call Drops

The Indian telecom watchdog on Friday announced stricter rules over call drops and said telecom operators who don’t meet the norms can be fined up to Rs. 5 lakhs.

“Graded financial disincentives in case service providers fail to meet the DCR (drop all rates) benchmarks have been introduced, in which amount payable may depend upon the extent of deviation from the benchmarks,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said.

It said if the benchmark is not met, the service provider may be fined up to Rs. 5 lakhs against one parameter “depending upon the extent of deviation of performance from the benchmark.

“In case of consecutive contravention of the benchmarks for two quarters, financial disincentive may be up to one and half times and in case of consecutive contravention of the benchmark for more than two quarters, it may be twice the amount,” said the regulator.

TRAI said the amended regulation of “Quality of Services” would be effective from October 1.

Call Drops: TRAI Says Telcos Can Be Fined Up to Rs. 5 Lakhs on Call DropsIn the present methodology of assessment of call drops, averaging was being done to evaluate the performance of the network over the entire service area and it was being averaged every month.

The regulator said the averaging in effect hides the poorly performing cells.

“As a result, while service providers were meeting the benchmarks, customers were complaining about the poor quality of service.”

TRAI said the revised methodology would be done on percentile basis.

“It will remove the anomaly which was getting introduced due to averaging of DCR of bad performing cells in the network with good or excellent performing cells.”

TRAI Chairman Refutes Allegations of Delay in Reliance Jio Network Testing Consultation

TRAI Chairman R S Sharma Friday snubbed incumbent services providers on their charge that the regulator did not act in-time against Reliance Jio network testing methodology which allegedly circumvented rules related to subscriber addition.

“A vaccine cannot be developed before the disease”, Sharma said and asked if operators want the regulator to take action ‘suo-moto’ instead of consultation process that it follows. “One point you made that the problem was not solved when it started. As you know TRAI solves problem with consultation process and gives recommendation to the government. TRAI could not have administratively taken decision to stop it. If you want that kind of process then lets take a decision,” Sharma said.

He said that it should be appreciated that TRAI consults with stakeholders to develop frameworks.
Sharma said that there were exchanges with the Department of Telecom after telecom operators had given representation in the matter.

“The DoT gave us reference in September of 2016. Thereafter we issued consultation paper. As part of TRAI Act the regulator has to act with great transparency and therefore we consult with stakeholders,” Sharma said.

TRAI Chairman Refutes Allegations of Delay in Reliance Jio Network Testing ConsultationA Cellular Operators Association of India representative said that since 2005 when network testing was done there has been clear understanding the way network should be tested but in the case (of Reliance Jio) there was variation.

He said that there are adequate simulation tools which could be used for network testing and there has been no case where field trials have been conducted at large scale like in
India.

All operators, except Reliance Jio, favoured issue for separate number series for network testing and they should not be migrated when the network is launched commercially. Telenor representative said that it never came to anybody’s attention that a network can be tested at such a large scale.

TRAI Likely to Release Discussion Paper on Spectrum Auction This Week

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is likely to release a discussion paper on spectrum auction this week, chairman R S Sharma said Monday.

The consultation paper of spectrum auction and pricing is “ready” and the telecom regulator hopes to release it this week, Sharma told reporters on the sidelines of ITU-TRAI Asia Pacific Regulators Roundtable.

TRAI Likely to Release Discussion Paper on Spectrum Auction This WeekEarlier this year, the Department of Telecom (DoT) sought Trai’s views on spectrum price for various frequencies, including premium airwaves in the 700MHz band which remained unsold in the last auctions in October 2016.

During the last auction, the government had put airwaves worth Rs. 5.66 lakh crores for sale. In the five-day auction, seven telecom companies made commitments of Rs. 65,789 crores for buying 964.80MHz of spectrum in various frequency bands.

Even at the end of the auction, nearly 60 percent of the spectrum remained unsold (in all 2,354.55MHz was placed the block) and spectrum worth Rs. 4 lakh crores in 700MHz band found no takers.

The telecom industry has been citing its poor financial health, and falling revenue and profitability to reason that the auctions should be held late next year or early 2019.

BSNL, MobiKwik Partner to Launch Co-Branded Mobile Wallet

State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) on Thursday launched a mobile wallet that would enable its existing 100 million customers to make bill payments and transact on e-commerce platforms.

The wallet has been developed and issued by MobiKwik on behalf of BSNL.

“With this co-branded wallet, the ease of payment will be extended to all the customers while equally strengthening financial inclusion in the rural hinterlands, which often get neglected. Going digital is the need of an hour for both urban and rural areas, and this partnership is definitely a step in right direction,” said Communications Minister Manoj Sinha.

The wallet app enables fast online recharges, bill payments, shopping and bus booking, among many other activities.

BSNL, MobiKwik Partner to Launch Co-Branded Mobile Wallet“Through this strategic partnership between BSNL and MobiKwik, we are taking another important milestone in achieving PM Modi’s vision of enabling and making India a less-cash society based on his grand vision of digital India. We at BSNL are proud to be part of this programme and will ensure that all our 100 million BSNL customers will be able to seamlessly and conveniently transact and pay mobile and other financial payments through the co-branded MobiKwik wallet,” said Anupam Srivastava, Chairman cum Managing Director, BSNL.

“BSNL wallet will enable masses in paying bills, recharging their phone connections and paying for their daily purchases, within seconds,” said Bipin Preet Singh, founder and CEO, MobiKwik.