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Android smartphone owners are being urged to take extra care when downloading files onto their phones after the discovery of a vicious new bug that can wreak havoc on devices. This latest threat, which has been seen by the security team at Cleafy, uses a type of malware named BRATA which has the ability to monitor users as they access their bank accounts. Cyber thieves can then use this vital data to steal money without the person ever knowing they’ve been hacked.

To make matters worse, once the attack has taken place the crooks then cover their tracks by forcing the device that has been infected to perform a full factory reset. This will then delete everything that’s stored on the phone and there’s nothing the owner can do to stop it.

According to Cleafy, BRATA was first discovered by security researchers at Kaspersky back in 2019 with it targeting smartphone owners in Brazil. Now, before you breathe a huge sigh of relief that this malware is safely tucked on the other side of planet that’s not now the case any longer.

BRATA is spreading incredibly fast and it’s now made its way across the Atlantic with users in the UK, Poland and Italy all thought to be the next targets in BRATA’S sights.

This bug is also evolving at a rapid rate with new features that are making it harder to detect and more devastating once it infects a phone.

Although this attack sounds terrifying there is a pretty simple way to avoid becoming a victim of it. It appears that crooks are distributing BRATA via a download and, unlike many other forms of malware, it’s not yet been found on official app stores such as Google Play.

That means as long as you keep to well-known and trusted platforms when installing applications and files you should be safe. Where you must be alert is when receiving a text message or WhatsApp chat that asks you to download a file onto your device as this could make you a target.

Speaking about the new attack, Cleafy said: “A new BRATA variant started circulating last December. Our research shows that it has been distributed through a downloader to avoid being detected by antivirus solutions.

“The target list now contains further banks and financial institutions in the UK (new), Poland (new), Italy, and LATAM.

“According to our findings, we can expect BRATA to keep staying undetected and to keep developing new features.”



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Android and iPhone users can try out a helpful new WhatsApp feature …that’s probably going to seem a little familiar to longtime users. That’s because the leading messenger has just revived the chat support feature, which can be found in the WhatsApp app itself. WhatsApp devs previously trialled a chat support tool for the chat app last March, but this beta functionality was scrapped a few months after it first became available.

However, in a surprise turn of events, at the start of this year WhatsApp has not only re-added the feature – but brought it to even more users too. As highlighted in a post by WABetaInfo, iPhone and Android users can not only try out this chat app feature with the latest beta release, but it has also begun rolling out to the stable channel too.

To access this support feature, you will simply have to head to Settings > Help > Contact Us if you want help with any issues you encounter in WhatsApp.

This will put you directly in touch with a member of the WhatsApp support team who will be able to help you with your question, after which the chat session will be closed.

Only make sure you use the official section of the WhatsApp app to get in touch with tech support, and look out for the green verified checkmark to make sure you are talking with someone from WhatsApp.

While the feature has only just released, you don’t want to end up handing over any personal details in the event scammers try to take advantage of this new feature to pose as WhatsApp support to steal sensitive data.

In other WhatsApp news, it looks the chat app could take a leaf out of the books of one of its big rivals – Facebook Messenger – by adding reactions.

According to WhatsApp super sleuths WABetaInfo once again, the Meta owned app will soon allow users on iOS to react with emojis in a similar way to Messenger.

While the reaction feature isn’t available just yet, the ability to manage notifications for reactions is hidden inside the app’s code right now.

WABetaInfo explained: “You are now able to manage when you should receive notifications for reactions, for individual chats and groups, and which tone to play when you receive those notifications.

“Unfortunately, it’s still not possible to react to messages, but the fact it’s possible to manage these settings suggests that message reactions – which will initially be trialled as a Beta format and only rolled out to users on Apple iPhones and iPads – will be available very soon.”



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If you own a smartphone then you’ll almost certainly have received a fake text message over the past 12 months. 2021 was one of the worst on record for scams with cyber cooks using new methods, including sending messages that appear to come from delivery firms such as DHL or the Post Office, to try and trick people.

Many of these texts are now highly sophisticated with them often featuring links that take consumers to fake websites that look incredibly realistic. It’s a growing problem that can leave people’s personal data and bank details in the hands of criminals.

Now it seems Vodafone is trying to tackle this nightmare with the UK network boasting that its new anti-fraud defences are blocking many of these nasty texts.

In fact, the company says it has reported “a sustained decrease in overall reported fraudulent text messages” during the busiest shopping period of the year.

Thanks to this new SMS firewall technology, which looks at where the text has come from and who is the recipient, average volumes of scam texts fell by 76 percent in December compared to May, with over 45 million phishing messages blocked since the end of August 2021.

Along with blocking messages, Vodafone says that it has also made it easier for Android users to use its ‘7726’ service to report suspicious texts. Available to all customers free of charge, the service lets users share suspicious texts with Vodafone by forwarding them to the number 7726 for investigation. Android owners can report suspicious texts in Google’s Messages app simply by tapping a button.

Speaking about the news Ross Doherty, UK Senior Fraud Manager at Vodafone said: “We can all fall for a fraudulent message, which is why we continue to work really hard to beat the scams and prevent them from getting through.

“The December figures are really encouraging, but fraudsters continue to find new ways to attempt to scam customers into sharing personal and financial information. So, we continue to ask our customers to remain vigilant and report any suspicious text activity to us at 7726.

“This will help ensure we continue to keep one step ahead of the scams.”



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Samsung has long been the leader when it comes to foldable smartphones but it’s about to be challenged by an all-new rival and it could fix one of the biggest issues with bendy screens. Chinese firm HONOR, which used to be part of the Huawei brand until it split in 2021, has just revealed its first flexible device called the Magic V.

One of the headline features of this smartphone is that it includes a 7.9-inch display that, once fully opened, doesn’t have a crease going right through the middle of it. That’s something Samsung’s foldables have long been criticised for as it can be hugely distracting when trying to binge on a boxset.

Along with that technology, this phone certainly has plenty of other things going for it with Honor boasting that it features a 6.45-inch curved OLED display when folded which achieves a wider 21.3:9 aspect ratio making it far more useful.

Both screens also feature a speedy 120Hz refreshed rate for silky smooth scrolling and stutter-free gameplay.

Another area where the Magic V could beat its biggest rival is when it comes to raw power with this new phone getting the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 5G processor. This Qualcomm-made chip was announced late last year and offers more power, better efficiency and improved camera features.

Talking of the snappers packed into this phone, the Magic V gets a quad-camera array powered by AI with a 50MP rear camera and a 42MP front camera.

Users will be treated to all the usual photography functions including stunning night shots and the ability to zoom in on the subject they are shooting.

HONOR is also promising pro-style shots thanks to some impressive AI which automatically tweaks the settings to make sure images look top-notch.

If design is important to you then the Magic V features a waterdrop hinge which makes things thinner than most foldable plus it’s made from high-strength titanium alloy which not only makes it light but able to survive the odd drop on the pavement.

“We are thrilled to launch our first 5G foldable flagship, the HONOR Magic V, which demonstrates our expertise and innovation in system design and our commitment to always delivering a best-in-class user experience.” said George Zhao, CEO of HONOR Device Co, Ltd. “HONOR has strong ambitions to become the top performing smartphone brand in the premium foldable market and we are confident our first flagship foldable will be very competitive compared with existing models.”

There’s no word on price or a release date just yet but don’t expect this device to be a bargain as most foldables of this size cost well over £1,000.



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