Google password fill effort could kill Android malware's best tricks

Small boost to login speed could be a big roadblock for Marshmallow malware


Google may be paving the way to kill one of the few remaining avenues to compromise modern Android handsets in its bid to improve password security with a new open source API.

The feature, dubbed OpenYOLO (You Only Log In Once), will allow users to permanently log into all apps by entering their password manager credentials once.

Users who have turned up security settings must log into their password managers each time to access applications in what is a minor inconvenience.

The initiative is being sold as one that will make sign-in seamless.

Password management outfit Dashlane's community manager Malaika Nicholas says the company is working with "... other top password management companies, who will contribute their unique security and software development expertise to improve the design and implementation of this open API."

However an underlying benefit could be in the reduced use of special permissions on the latest Android platforms version five Lollipop and version six Marshmallow.

It could feasibly allow Google to better lock down the controls behind security PIN screens, frustrating malware writers' efforts to trick users.

Platforms like LastPass and Dashlane require users to approve permissions including application filling and draw-over-apps in order to insert passwords in third party apps.

Those same features are used by modern malware to gain powerful abilities to spy on applications and steal login information.

Skycure security researcher Yair Amit chained research to demonstrate how malware writers can use basic games to trick users into approving the permissions.

Others have warned of the rise of screen overlay -abusing malware. IBM's Limor Kessem has found one offering fetching up to US$15,000 increasing its price from US$5000. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Running Windows 10? Microsoft is preparing to fire up the update engines

    Winter Windows Is Coming

    It's coming. Microsoft is preparing to start shoveling the latest version of Windows 10 down the throats of refuseniks still clinging to older incarnations.

    The Windows Update team gave the heads-up through its Twitter orifice last week. Windows 10 2004 was already on its last gasp, have had support terminated in December. 20H2, on the other hand, should be good to go until May this year.

    Continue reading
  • Throw away your Ethernet cables* because MediaTek says Wi-Fi 7 will replace them

    *Don't do this

    MediaTek claims to have given the world's first live demo of Wi-Fi 7, and said that the upcoming wireless technology will be able to challenge wired Ethernet for high-bandwidth applications, once available.

    The fabless Taiwanese chip firm said it is currently showcasing two Wi-Fi 7 demos to key customers and industry collaborators, in order to demonstrate the technology's super-fast speeds and low latency transmission.

    Based on the IEEE 802.11be standard, the draft version of which was published last year, Wi-Fi 7 is expected to provide speeds several times faster than Wi-Fi 6 kit, offering connections of at least 30Gbps and possibly up to 40Gbps.

    Continue reading
  • Windows box won't boot? SystemRescue 9 may help

    An ISO image you can burn or drop onto a USB key

    The latest version of an old friend of the jobbing support bod has delivered a new kernel to help with fixing Microsoft's finest.

    It used to be called the System Rescue CD, but who uses CDs any more? Enter SystemRescue, an ISO image that you can burn, or just drop onto your Ventoy USB key, and which may help you to fix a borked Windows box. Or a borked Linux box, come to that.

    SystemRescue 9 includes Linux kernel 5.15 and a minimal Xfce 4.16 desktop (which isn't loaded by default). There is a modest selection of GUI tools: Firefox, VNC and RDP clients and servers, and various connectivity tools – SSH, FTP, IRC. There's also some security-related stuff such as Yubikey setup, KeePass, token management, and so on. The main course is a bunch of the usual Linux tools for partitioning, formatting, copying, and imaging disks. You can check SMART status, mount LVM volumes, rsync files, and other handy stuff.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022