Malware found installed on new Android devices, more on GDPR and protect your digital currency

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An Android tablet is no different from another Android tablet, right? Wrong. Some come with malware installed before you buy. The latest evidence on this comes from security vendor Avast, which says its researchers have discovered adware pre-installed on several hundred different Android device models and versions. Most are low-cost tablets, including devices from manufacturers like ZTE and Archos. The majority of these devices are not certified by Google. In the past month alone the company has detected a particular variation of adware on around 18,000 devices belonging to Avast users. These were found in more than 100 countries including the U.S., Britain, Russia, Italy and Germany.

The application appears to be pre-installed at the factory. A command and control server that distributed the malware was briefly taken down in April. Google has been alerted, and its Play store now scans and disables the malware. Remember when buying Android devices to look for a Google Play Protect logo on the package.

By now you know that the tough European Union privacy law called GDPR has come into effect. I spent last week at the Canadian conference of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, where there was lots of interest – despite the fact companies should have been ready to meet last Friday’s deadline. Experts said it’s not necessarily too late if your company has to comply, as long as your firm can show it’s taking compliance seriously and is working actively on a plan. For more on this, see my conference stories on, and one by editor Brian Jackson on 10 things to do.

There’s big money in money – cryptocurrencies, that is. According to Reuters, numbers compiled by the Anti-Phishing Working Group suggest criminals have stolen about $1.2 billion in cryptocurrencies since the beginning of 2017. It is estimated that only about 20 percent or less of that money has been recovered. The Anti Phishing Working Group has formed a Crypto-currency Working Group to help cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, investment funds and consumers protect their cryptocurrency assets against phishing and targeted attacks. Bitcoin warns against storing your money online, advises users to back up and encrypt their digital wallets, and use two-factor authentication for wallet access.

That’s it for Cyber Security Today. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing. Thanks for listening.

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