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Everything About OnePlus 7 And OnePlus 7 Pro

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OnePlus is releasing 2 phones in a single release, specs and unique info compared to other brands, and why it's a good buy

For the first time, OnePlus is releasing two flagship models in a single release: the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro as they revealed on three simultaneous events in New York, London, and Bangalore today May 14.

Interestingly, OnePlus decided, not only to drop two models this year, but these will also be their most high-end and priciest phone to date. Other smartphone companies like Apple, Google, and Samsung have all decided to release their newer models on the less pricey side because people aren’t just crowding to buy new phones as immediately like in the past. It’s just not practical to keep buying a new phone every 6 months.

Moreover, reports claim that the OnePlus 7 flagship to be the first handset from the company that will be available with 5G technology. They just solidified the idea that 5G is coming and they’re saying that they’re ready.

In comparison to the OnePlus 6T, the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus7 Pro has overwhelmingly overtaken by nailing down what went missing and what went wrong with its predecessor. But you will surely have different experiences between the 7 and 7 Pro; where OnePlus is really out there defining what Pro stands for.

But we’re here to get down to the nitty gritty:

Design

The first thing you’ll notice on the brand new OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro is its notch-less screen. Respectively, you’re getting the full effect of its 6.41-inch and 6.67-inch screens that both curves to the sides to give that luxurious Android look.

It’s available in three colors: the shiny and sophisticated Mirror Gray, the more adventurous and colorful gorgeous Nebula Blue, and the understated Almond which will be available much later as a limited edition.

OnePlus’ latest flagship models also retained their understated but quite handy volume toggle buttons where you can easily trigger the ring/vibrate/silent features easily.

Quite new, the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro has stereo speakers at the top of the screen. They’re not big but they’re there. This model will also use a USB-C charger. However, there’s no earphone jack. That’s how it tends to be on higher-end phone models, so we’re not really surprised.

The main difference between the 7 and the 7 Pro is the screen. The 7 Pro boasts its 3,120 x 1,440 Fluid AMOLED panel while the smaller 7 utilizes a 2,340 x 1,080 AMOLED screen, which is similar to the 6T. What makes the Fluid AMOLED panel great is that the screen has a 90Hz refresh rate that makes everything you do on your phone look smooth and seamless. It’s stunning and crisp, all the while realistic. Even better, you get to appreciate it with its full screen! You’ll also notice the difference during gaming and photos.

If you’re wondering how OnePlus was able to achieve a full screen, then you would probably also wonder about the front camera, which leads to the next topic.

Camera

As seen in numerous leaks leading to the launch, the camera of the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro pops up! It’s certainly a topic of debate amongst smartphone enthusiasts whether or not this was a good move or not. But, OnePlus certainly has taken the necessary steps to make sure that their pop-up camera is something the public would appreciate.

First of all, it pops up and down smoothly and gracefully. It doesn’t seem cheap or tacky whenever you decide to take a selfie!

Moreover, on the debate about potentially damaging the camera in case of a fall, OnePlus also has it covered. Automatically, the camera pops back down immediately in the situation where the phone senses the littlest detection of a fall. The pop-up mechanism has also been tested to withstand over 300,000 times, which should last you a really long time.

Meanwhile, the back camera follows suit to the trend of triple cameras. There’s a 48-megapixel f/1.7 main camera (with optical stabilization), along with an 8-megapixel f/2.4 3x-zoom telephoto camera and a 16-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide camera.

They take amazingly crisp and realistic photos that is certainly comparable to other flagship phones like Apple’s iPhone.

Performance

OnePlus | Twitter

Both phones will also join the bandwagon on using the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 855. This is also the first non-Samsung Android device that can double performance speeds with its UFS 3.0 storage chip, which can be partnered to up to 12GB of RAM.

On the other hand, there’s no wireless charging capability in both models, But, they definitely do charge fast with its 4,000 mAh of battery power. You can get a full charge within an hour or less because of the bigger battery packed in the device. It will also last you longer!

Lastly, another feature that the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro nailed is the on-screen fingerprint scanner. Compared to the previous, 6T, the latest models now scan faster and easier!

Zen Mode

Like the Apple’s ‘Do Not Disturb,’ or other versions of the feature, OnePlus is also introducing one with the latest models; but they’re giving it a twist. Unlike other versions, once triggered, you can only change your mind within the first 5 minutes or you will be forced to not use your phone for the next 15 minutes. You can still make emergency calls and use your camera though!

Conclusion

The OnePlus 7 Pro will price at $699 all the way up to $749 but one thing is for sure, you’ll be getting your money’s worth! There were hardly any points in this device that would make you think otherwise.

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Seven Android Stalkerware Removed From Google Play Store

The apps allowed users to stalk employees, family members, and kids.

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Photo by Rami Al-zayat on Unsplash

Seven apps which are suspected stalkerwares are pulled out of Google Play Store after security researchers flagged the said applications for allowing users to stalk their family members, kids, employees, and even their love interests.

On Tuesday, security researchers from Avast reported to Google the existence of four stalkerware, which were later removed by the tech giant from its app marketplace for Android OS. According to Avast, their team was also able to detect three more on Wednesday, which all were reported and removed immediately.

Collectively, the seven apps have been downloaded from the Google Play Store more than 130,000 times, with the most popular apps, Spy Tracker, and SMS Tracker having more than 50,000 downloads each. Nikolaos Chrysaidos, Avast’s head of mobile threat intelligence and security, identified the apps using Avast’s mobile threat detection platform apklab.io.

According to the researchers, the app doesn’t work without a snoop or a person who will physically do some things. “The apps require the snoop to have access to the phone they want to spy on,” they said. The snoop will have to physically and (to stalk, sneakily) get hold of the target’s phone and download the apps from the Google Play Store and install them on the target device. The apps would then prompt to have the snoop input his email address and password to the app so the spyware collected data will be sent there.

“The apps also help the snoop to hide the surveillance by providing directions to uninstall anything noticeable to the phone’s owner. Upon setup there is no app icon, so the targeted person does not see any sign of the stalkerware app installed on their phone,” Avast said in a blog post.

The apps were able to collect information like a person’s location, collect their contacts, SMS, and call history. The published names of the stalker apps are:

  • Track Employees Check Work Phone Online Spy Free
  • Spy Kids Tracker
  • Phone Cell Tracker
  • Mobile Tracking
  • Spy Tracker
  • SMS Tracker
  • Employee Work Spy
Photo: Avast Security

“These apps are highly unethical and problematic for people’s privacy and shouldn’t be on the Google Play Store,” Chrysaidos said. “They promote criminal behavior and can be abused by employers, stalkers, or abusive partners to spy on their victims. We classify such apps as stalkerware, and using apklab.io, we can identify such apps quickly, and collaborate with Google to get them removed,” said Nikolaos Chrysaidos.

One of the apps, named SMS Tracker, markets itself as an app that would help employers track their employees. It said that it allows employers to monitor how long an employee spends on their phones and messaging apps.

“Our app will help you monitor the work time of your employees to save time and save money. Notify the users of work phones that you are going to install the app. It will teach your employees to use their time at work wisely, to reduce time spent on messengers and arrive to work in time,” reads the app’s description.

Spy Tracker, on the other hand, promises parents the ability to know more about their children and their activities. According to the app description in Google Play, the app aims to protect children from “dangers” of using a cellphone.

“Find out more about your child’s life, interests, friends, and plans. Parents are responsible for every step that their kids make. So this app is created to monitor them and protect them from dangers that can be revealed via cell phone. It is better to talk to children, but if you are not a good listener…”

Meanwhile, another app called Employee Work Spy allegedly helps employers keep their employees loyal to the company because “finding a skilled employee is only half a task. The biggest challenge is to keep him faithful to the company and its mission.”

This is not the first time Google Play Store has pulled out malicious apps off its marketplace. In the past months, Six Android apps that were downloaded more than 90 million times were found to have been loaded with the PreAMo malware. Another recent threat saw 50 malware-laced apps on the Google Play Store, infecting over 30 million Android devices. While all of these apps have already been removed from the Play Store, the danger of having apps with malware in the platform remains to be a cause of trouble for all Android users.

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‘Number Finder’ App Scam Flagged By Researcher

Check the reviews before you subscribe!

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Photo by Gilles Lambert on Unsplash

A new scam has been discovered by mobile security researchers to have been masquerading as an Android app that promises to find out owners of phone numbers.

The scam was flagged by cybersecurity researchers from Avast led by Nikolaos Chrysaidos. In his twitter account, Chrysaidos detailed that an app by the name of Number Finder, is advertising a free trial for its services that could track the owner of a specific phone number, instead of doing that, as the researcher has said, it is a scam.

“Number Finder application & a subscription scam on “6th Top Grossing” in @GooglePlay. Free 3 days trial and 16$/month after. One (1+) million installations (!),” Chrysiados said on Twitter. “Subscription scams have been trending for a while now in both app stores – Google and Apple,” he added. “Users should be careful using apps that require a subscription to use the basic functionality.” He said consumers should also be skeptical of apps with high monthly subscription rates.

Understandably, people would want to know the identities of unknown callers and Number Finder, published by developer POZTechnology, knows that the market demands for it. It has been downloaded more than one million times, while the collective downloads of applications posted by the developer are more than 11 million.

The app promises users that they can discover the identity of an unknown caller for a fee. As part of its “marketing strategy,” the app is offering a free 3-day trial after which the service will be billed for $16 per month.

This is where the scam takes place. “Using sneaky techniques to push the user to try the “free trial.” Put a random number, and always there will be “1 person linked to this number,” the researcher wrote on Twitter.

As part of its MO, the app offers two options for users: either they pay for the service monthly, or they search for a number’s owner which they promise always to be able to track one identity per number. But the identity of whoever owns the number will only be revealed if the user decides to subscribe to the service.

“If the user enters a number to test this, whether valid or fake, Number Finder displays the same message claiming one person is linked to that number. This appears to be a dishonest attempt to convince the user to subscribe to the service to find out whose number it is,” wrote Avast in a blog post.

To test the hypothesis of Chrysiados, Avast tried to key in numbers that they are sure to be not active and they discovered that Number Finder would nonetheless display that there is one identity linked to the bogus test numbers.

Photo: Avast Security

“This number is identified by one people. Get a free-started subscription to see all results unlimitedly,” reads the prompt in the app.

Numerous reviews in the Google Play Store have revealed that the people have been experiencing failure of service right after they subscribed.

One review said that she only subscribed to the app’s service to do a review and found out that “this app is trashy as hell and a scummy marketing gimmick.” Another user reported that the app prompted the same message saying that one person is matched with the number, but it turns out that no one is matched after subscribing to the feature.

Reviewers also reported that after installing the app and subscribing to its free trial, for some reasons, their WhatsApp history and contacts were wiped up. It is still unclear if the app causes the incident, or it is a different issue.

Furthermore, claims of charging people for subscribing to a supposedly “free trial” were also made. Devyani Mishra left a review saying that: “When I subscribed, immediately 990 rupees has been charged, don’t know why… as per their policy, they didn’t charge any amount in 3 days in the trial period.”

Other reviews have called the app a “money-making platform” and “absolute garbage.”

Avast has escalated the issue to Google’s anti-malware team and warned users to be vigilant in subscription services that they subscribed to.

“To avoid falling victim to scams such as this, Avast recommends that users always check the reviews and ratings of applications on both Google Play and Apple’s App Store before downloading them,” they wrote.

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Kazakhstan Forces Citizens To Install Government-Issued Certificate To Access HTTPS Traffic

Kazakhstan started intercepting HTTPS traffic to force citizens to install government-issued certificates to regain access to “allowed” websites.

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Photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash

Another day, another government attempts to control the internet after Kazakhstan has started forcefully requiring its citizens to obtain government-issued certificates after they’ve begun intercepting HTTPs traffic.

The Kazakhstan government has issued an advisory to the country’s internet service providers (ISPs), ordering it to make it mandatory for their users to install government-issued root certificates before allowing them to gain access to the internet.

Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Communications, Article 26 and Clause 11 of the Rules for Issuing and Applying a Security Certificate, all ISPs are required to monitor the encrypted Internet traffic of their customers using government-issued security certificates. The latest advisory sent to the country’s telecommunication providers is under the most recent amendment on the said legislation which would make it mandatory for users to install government-issued security certificates.

How exactly does the decryption work?

The Hacker News explained it by saying that “for those unaware, your device and web browsers automatically trust digital certificates issued by only a specific list of Certificate Authorities (CA) who have their root certificates installed on your system.”

By compelling internet users to install government-issued certificates, the ISPs can generate valid digital certificates for any domain they want to intercept through a user’s HTTPS traffic. By this policy, users will no longer be able to access HTTPS traffic that is not “allowed” by the government.

Internet Service Providers have started informing their customers regarding installing government-issued certificates in their devices and browsers since April this year so they can continue browsing the internet without their HTTPS traffic being redirected.

Now, ISPs started redirecting HTTPS traffic of users who have not installed government-issued certificates in their devices to a web page that explains how to do it, why they do it, and what happens if the users don’t do it.

Tele2, one of the major ISP in Kazakhstan, is redirecting their users to a webpage that includes the certificate files as well as for instructions on how to install the certificate on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices.

“In accordance with the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Communications, Article 26 and Clause 11 of the Rules for Issuing and Applying a Security Certificate, communications operators ensure the distribution of a security certificate to their subscribers with whom they have contracts for the provision of communications services,” the Tele2 advisory reads.

“The law prescribes for carriers to pass traffic using protocols that support encryption using a security certificate, with the exception of traffic encrypted by means of cryptographic protection of information in the Republic of Kazakhstan. A security certificate is a set of electronic digital characters used to pass traffic that contains protocols that support encryption.”

Beeline, another ISP from Kazakhstan has also announced that it will soon intercept HTTPS traffic that doesn’t run with a government-issued certificate. Other internet service providers with the plans to follow through the legislation that mandates the installation of the government-issued certificate include:

  • K-Cell
  • Active (also lists allowed HTTPS websites)
  • Altel
  • Kazakhtelecom

Active posted a catalog of approved HTTPs websites in different categories like literature, arts and culture, social network, and sports and tourism. Interestingly, in the list of social networks, only search engines are allowed, and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are not included in the list. Some of the search engines and website listed in the permitted HTTPs website catalog are:

  • http://www.google.ru/
  • http://www.mail.ru/
  • http://www.aport.ru/
  • http://www.liveinternet.ru/
  • http://www.filesearch.ru/
  • http://www.zoneru.org/
  • http://www.km.ru/
  • http://meta.ua/
  • http://www.google.com.ua/
  • http://www.google.com
  • http://www.alltheweb.com
  • http://www.yahoo.com
  • http://search.msn.com
  • http://www.bing.com/
  • http://baidu.com
  • https://www.aol.com/
  • http://www.ask.com/
  • http://www.hotbot.com
  • http://search.lycos.com/
  • http://www.metacrawler.com/
  • http://www.dogpile.com/
  • Full list of “allowed” websites can be accessed here.

However, security and tech experts warn that the way this policy is being implemented carries a great amount of risk. For one, since users who are yet to install government certificates, they can only access websites without HTTPS connections. This means that the certificate files can be downloaded only from unsecured websites which hackers can exploit and replace the certificate files using MiTM attacks.

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