Cyber Security Today: Oct. 26, 2018 –Android voice mail scam, bad apps in Google Store

Android voicemail scam, bad found apps in Google Store and better privacy control for Google searches.

Welcome to Cyber Security Today. It’s Friday October 26th. To hear the podcast, click on the arrow below:

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Hackers are increasingly targeting smart phones. According to McAfee the latest scam is sending Android device owners a text message saying they’ve got a voice mail, but they need to click on a link to download an app to hear it. The app is really malware that can open a backdoor from the phone or tablet to your home or business computer. This con has been running since at least March, with an estimated 5,000 victims in the U.S. so far. The best defence: Beware of text messages from strangers, and only download an app you know a lot about, and from a safe web site.

Speaking of which, as I’ve said before just because an app is the Google Play Store doesn’t mean it’s safe. Security company Eset said this week it found 29 malicious apps in the store. They pretended to be helpful utilities like device boosters and cleaners, battery managers and even horoscope-themed apps. What they really do is steal your bank username and passwords. They could also intercept and redirect text messages to bypass two-factor-authentication or download and install other apps on a compromised device. Eset notified Google and the apps were removed from the store this month. To see a list of the apps, go to and find today’s podcast, which has a link to Eset’s research. Meanwhile, remember your mobile device isn’t a place to test games and apps. If you want an app, check the number of downloads, app ratings and the content of reviews before downloading apps from Google Play. And pay attention to the permissions you grant an app when you install it.

Finally, for those worried about privacy in their Google searches, the company is making it easier for you to control the bits of data you leave behind. Without leaving Search, you can now review and delete your recent Search activity and get quick access to the most relevant privacy controls in your Google Account. Before, to review or manage this data you had to log into your Google Account. Now, on desktops when you go to there’s a link to “control your data in Google search.” On mobile browsers, go to the three-bar menu icon on the top left and see the link “Your data in search.”

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

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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