Friday, August 13, 2010

Kaspersky discovers first Android trojan

Kaspersky today identified one of the first readily identifiable instances of Android malware in the field. Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a comes disguised as a media player app but secretly sends text messages in the background to destinations that will charge the user, often without permission or notices. The code is believed to be a moneymaking scheme for criminals.
The instance isn't the first instance of rogue code on the platform, but is the first Android-native code. A batch of HTC Magic phones from Vodafone were accidentally given Windows viruses that infected computers when they were attached over USB.

Mobile research group lead Denis Maslennikov warned that the trojan could be the first of a wave as Android's popularity ends up exposing it to attack. "Those selling devices running Android are experiencing the highest growth in sales among smartphone manufacturers," he said. "As a result, we can expect to see a corresponding rise in the amount of malware targeting that platform."

Google has a number of safeguards to protect against malware, such as the need to check a box to allow non-Market apps and notices as to what permissions an app requires to prevent apps from providing misleading functions. The appearance of a hostile app is nonetheless a symbolic setback for Google, as it gives the impression that the freedoms of app sources and what they can do, such as using the SMS functions, are inherently dangerous.

iPhones so far are only known to have encountered viruses and other problems after jailbreaking. By its nature, a jailbreak usually involves getting root access and allowing all unsigned code to run; the process opens holes that have since been exploited. FakePlayer is significant as its attack doesn't require anything that would be automatically be blocked. [via Inquirer]

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Intel develops first photonics-based, 50Gbps chip

The following Story published in

Intel provided a peek at the future of processors today by revealing the first instance of a chip using complete photonics to send data. Four lasers in the prototype convert light into data at about 50Gbps, or "many" times faster than wired connections. The rate, about 6.25GB per second, would be enough to send an entire 720p movie in one second.

The technology could improve chips themselves but could be particularly useful for when large amounts of data need to be spread over a similarly large area, such as video walls or supercomputers.

Intel bills the photonics chip as a "concept vehicle" that isn't directly related to future production hardware, but promises that the technology should advance and become more mainstream. Later developments should increase the number of lasers and speed up the light-to-data conversions to where terabit-plus data rates are possible. A modern computer's entire contents could be sent in a second by that stage, Intel said.'

intel photonics chip

Sunday, July 25, 2010

India's Linux Handheld Device - INR 1500 Only

India's Union Minister of HRD released a Linux based Tablet two days back. If it hits the market without any major bugs, then it would be the Killer technology and it will rule the world. The salient features are listed as follows:

In a tablet form-factor and using an unspecified variant of Linux (that some have said might be Android), the cost should remain low while offering a wide range of functionality. The Sakshat descendant is said to be capable of supporting video conferencing, viewing a wide selection of video and image files, word processing, de/compressing files, printing with CUPS, full Internet browsing with Javascript and Flash, wireless communications, and remote device management.

In fact, at that price it could very well become an Everything-killer!

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Friday, July 23, 2010

A day in the life of a software engineer

I am starting this technical blog with a video that tells the happenings in a software engineer's life. It is very funny.