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Malware went undiscovered for weeks on Google Play

Wonder what Google will have to say regarding this.

Security researchers have discovered malware hosted on the Google Play marketplace that went weeks undetected masquerading as games.

Android.Dropdialer, a Trojan that sends costly text messages to premium-rate phone numbers in Eastern Europe, had gone undiscovered for two weeks in the form of two game titles, Symantec researcher Irfan Asrar wrote in a blog post yesterday. The two games — “Super Mario Bros.” and “GTA 3 – Moscow city” — were uploaded to Google Play on June 24 and generated 50,000 to 100,000 downloads, Asrar said.

“What is most interesting about this Trojan is the fact that the threat managed to stay on Google Play for such a long time, clocking up some serious download figures before being discovered,” Asrar wrote. “Our suspicion is that this was probably due to the remote payload employed by this Trojan.”

The Trojan’s authors avoided detection during Google Play’s automated screening process by breaking up the malware into separate, staged payloads, Asrar said. Once downloaded and installed from Google Play, the apps would download an additional package for installation that sent the text messages.

Source: Malware went undiscovered for weeks on Google Play | Security & Privacy – CNET News.

Is Your Blog Over-optimized?

In the world of search engine optimization …

Well, that “level playing ground” is here with the April 24th release of the Penguin algorithm update, which has affected an estimated 3% of all search queries. If you saw your blog traffic dip unexpectedly on this date, it’s possible you’ve been “pecked” by the Google Penguin—an indication that your blog is considered to be over-optimized in the eyes of the search giant.

Of course, knowing that you’ve been affected and taking remedial actions to recover from a Penguin penalty are two different things. Because of Google’s natural reticence when it comes to revealing the exact parameters that cause a site to be flagged for over-optimization, it’s impossible to know exactly which factors led to your site’s penalty.

The key to determining how to move forward following a Penguin attack lies in identifying potential over-optimization flags that can be quantified and measured by the search engines. Remember, the Googlebot can’t manually assess the quality of every website online. Instead, it must rely on measurable signals that can be used to infer objective value.

Source:  Is Your Blog Over-optimized? : @ProBlogger.

“Android susceptible to sophisticated clickjacking malware”

Due to the loose restrictions Google places on it’s app-marketplace?

Clickjacking rootkits could pose the next big threat for the Android platform, according to a research team out of North Carolina State University. Led by computer science professor Xuxian Jiang, the team has developed a prototype clickjacking rootkit that’s more sophisticated than the other Android-oriented malware already out there.

This new prototype rootkit — which attacks the Android framework, rather than the kernel — differs from other malware in key ways, according to Jiang. “Unlike other rootkits for the platform, this one can function without a restart and without deep modification of the underlying firmware,” Jiang explained in a video in which he demonstrates the rootkit in action. “But it can still do all the things that a rootkit wants to do, such as hide or redirect apps.”

Source: Android susceptible to sophisticated clickjacking malware | Mobile security – InfoWorld.

In other words just as with other computing devices keep anti-virus software up-to-date.

Google Docs goes offline

Great news if you use Google Docs.

Image representing Google Docs as depicted in ...

Image via CrunchBase

The Google word-processing service is a Web-based alternative to programs such as Microsoft Word. Because Google Docs is a Web-based service, people who use the application have not been able to use it unless they have an Internet connection. But now that will be changing. And people will now be able to work in Google Docs on airplanes and other places where a Web connection may not be available.

Google said that other services, like Google Presentations and Spreadsheets will soon go offline as well. The company demonstrated how the offline Google Doc feature worked in Chrome.

via Google Docs goes offline | Internet & Media – CNET News.

How To Add a Google+ Tab/Stream to Facebook Page

So you’re interested in adding your public stream on Google+ to your Facebook Page.  The question is how to go about doing it.

Here’s one way:

You have to add an application into your Facebook page which will create an another tab for showing your Google+ stream into that page. You can also select your Google+ stream inside your page as landing tab by editing the feature of your Facebook page. By adding Google+ Tab into your Facebook page you could gain some more audience for your Google+ Profile or Google+ Page.

Go to the source for step by step instructions.  This process also works for Google+ Pages.

*** Since Google+ has been launched Pages so you can also use your Google+ Page ID Number instead of your Google+ Profile ID Number if you want to show your Google+ Page stream to your Facebook page.

Is this beneficial or do you think utilizing an RSS feed to post directly to the wall of the page would be better?  Keep in mind that the Google+ Tab can be made your default landing page by following these instructions.

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The “Why” For Having a Google+ Business Page

Not long ago, Google+ allowed for the creation of “pages”.  So now you’re on the fence as to whether you want another business page to update.  Here’s some reasoning why you want your business/organization on Google+.

The idea behind the Google business page is that it acts a lot like business pages already found on Facebook. It’s a place for you to explain what your business is all about. You can talk about what you do and how you do it. If you have a brick and mortar business, you can talk about your local area, and how your local business enriches that area. If your business is online, you can share and connect with your clients on your Google+ business page just as you would with a fan page on Facebook. I like to think of your Google business page (and Facebook page, et cetera) as a little mini-website. Condense the most important stuff from your regular website, and that’s exactly what you should be sharing on your Google business page.

When you connect to Google for businesses and create your first page, you gain access to the entire network of people currently using Google+. When you consider how many users Google+ has after only a few months, and how it’s continued to grow since then, that’s a huge number of potential new customers! In all likelihood, many of them haven’t heard of your business before, and at least a few of them will be using Google for businesses to find a company that does exactly what you do! When you create your Google business page, you’ll be able to connect with these people, start a conversation with and the a potential relationship is fostered.

But having access to the entire network of Google+ users isn’t the biggest benefit, at least for small businesses.

The largest benefit to having a Google+ branded business presence is the direct connection to Google’s search results. Try this…type a + sign before a big brand name in the Google search box and guess what? If the business has a branded Google+ page, the branded page will show up immediately.  The more that Google shows your page through other Google searches, the higher your visibility. For many small businesses and their search engine optimization marketing strategies, this could be a HUGE game changer.

Go to the source to see why you should maintain that Facebook page as well.

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Google+ Pages Managed via 3rd Party Apps

Google has made it easier to manage pages on Google+.

Google+ Pages can now post, share and interact with content on third-party social media applications, such as HootSuite, Involver and Buddy Media.

For marketers using multi-platform social media marketing campaigns, the move will allow them to manage multiple accounts from any of the various social networks included in their websites. Among the other third-party apps included in the initial roll out are Context Optional, Hearsay Social and Virtue.

While the feature is not available for users of personal accounts, the move represents another major step for Google+, which only recently opened the network for use by businesses and other organizations.

Still, Google+ Pages have critics in the early stages of their roll out. The primary issue has been that the service is still open to multiple administrators of the same account. Since many businesses that use social media marketing pages have several employees or a third-party agency updating their accounts, the integration of multiple admins is critical to the success of Google+ as a marketing tool.

Not included in the initial rollout was TweetDeck, a third-party application purchased by Twitter earlier this year.

The level of integration appears to vary although all the apps provide analytics.

While the integrations with Google+ vary, the functionality seems extensive at first glance. Hootsuite, which also announced it was a launch partner, specifically mentions that it supports sharing to different Circles, searching public Google+ posts, viewing recent user activity and managing Circle membership. The launch partners are also offering analytics for tracking the performance of an individual Google+ Page.

The question still remains can Google+ be a true player without 3rd party app management being available for Google+ profiles.

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Top 10 Social Web Products 2011

Interesting list for 2011 from ReadWriteWeb.

Almost every Web product these days has some kind of social element. But to make this list, the product has to have social networking or community building as a core part of its offering. So without further ado, here are our top 10 Social Web products of 2011:

1. Google+

Up till 2011, Google wasn’t known for its social networking prowess. Unless you count Orkut, a social network product that became a phenomenon…in Brazil only. At the end of June 2011 that all changed, with the worldwide launch of (in our opinion) the best social network product of the year: Google+.

Initially Google+ launched to a chorus of media outlets shouting “Facebook killer.” However, it soon became apparent that Google+ was going to be most useful to Google as the social component of its entire online product suite: including Google search, Google Reader and YouTube. Although it’s a more than useful standalone social network, too.

2. Facebook

Facebook not only continued its impressive growth over 2011, but released a number of innovative new features. Some of those announcements were spurred on by the arrival of Google+. But the important thing is that not only did Facebook respond quickly, they changed things up with a radical new design and an entirely new form of sharing media.

3. Twitter

Twitter was overshadowed a bit this year by Facebook and Google+, but it remains a force to be reckoned with as a mainstream social network. In September, it announced it had 100 million active users. It also got closely integrated into Apple’s iOS 5, which among other things enabled users to tweet directly from Apple apps like Camera, Maps, Photos and Safari.

Perhaps the feature that most epitomized Twitter’s continued growth as a mainstream tool was its usage with TV.

4. Tumblr

Tumblr is another social media product to have experienced huge growth over 2011. During the past year, Tumblr has grown from just over 100 million visits per month to over 350 million now (according to Quantcast). Tumblr gets over 12.5 billion page views per month, over 8 times more than WordPress.com. Although we should note that WordPress.com still gets more visits and it too has grown a lot over 2011.

Just as important as the user growth, is how Tumblr has brought the curation of content to the mainstream. Plus it’s having a big impact on journalism, with old and new media brands alike using Tumblr to provide curation to their readers.

5. Reddit

The Web of course is not just about reaching a mainstream audience – as Facebook, Twitter and others in our list have done. There are tens of thousands of social networks that appeal to a niche audience. Reddit is one example, although it has also shown strong growth by diversifying from its core tech-focused audience.

Go to the source to see which social web products were deemed to be in the top 10.  Do you agree with the rankings?  Considering Google has resorted to TV advertising for Google+ …

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The importance of the online image …

when it comes to the all-important job search.  Know what is out there and how it can help or hurt.

Find Yourself (on the Internet)

If you have any Web presence at all–even an anonymous blog or a habit of forwarding annoying e-mail messages to relatives–you should google yourself regularly. Occasionally, you’ll also want to run an in-depth online background check. And depending on the industry you want to work in, you may want to pay for a professional online background check. Here are some tips for finding yourself:

1. Search for your name in quotation marks (such as “Steven Smith”) and without them (Steven Smith) to see what comes up. Also search any variations of your name (like “Steve,” “Steve-o,” and “Stephen”) as well as all the usernames you use for any online service, in case hiring managers try to be clever.

2. Use site-specific searches for the Websites of companies you have worked for and schools you have attended. This is especially important if you’re looking for jobs that require a certain presence. For example, searching Google for site:pcworld.com Sarah Jacobsson Purewal proves that I’m not lying when I say I write for PCWorld.

3. Use keywords. Hiring managers will most likely look for information relevant to the job you’re applying for–such as “Sarah Jacobsson Purewal” freelance writer, but go ahead and search for your name along with worst-case-scenario terms–such as “drunk,” “arrested,” or “wanted”–just in case. This is also a good way to find out if you share a name with a criminal or otherwise unsavory character. In one sense, this may be better for you, since you can attribute any bad search results to the other person; on the other hand, it’s probably no treat to look for a job if your name happens to be Ted Kaczynski.

Head over to the source for more on this important subject.  And if you still think that it isn’t important, remember this tidbit from the article:

Then my mother sent me an e-mail with a photo she’d found of me–not an embarrassing one, but still not terribly professional. If my mother–whose most advanced technological skill is hitting Ctrl-C to copy text–could find that photo, what could a hiring manager with a middle-schooler’s level of technological savvy unearth?

A whopping 70 percent of human resources professionals have rejected potential candidates because of their online information, according to a Microsoft study. The good news: 86 percent of HR professionals said that a positive online reputation favorably influenced a candidate’s application to “some extent.”

 

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Hackers step up attacks

The recent increase in attacks on security firms raises some important questions when it comes to protection of intellectual property.

The Internet‘s security infrastructure is under attack. Two major incidents against Comodo and RSA have raised the question of not just whether the enterprise can withstand hacker attacks but if the security firms we all count on to guard the infrastructure can protect themselves.

Earlier this week, Internet security firm Comodo revealed it had been tricked into minting nine high-value digital certificates that could allow the attackers to create fraudulent sites that fool users into thinking they are visiting Google, Yahoo, Skype or Microsoft’s Live service. The sting on Comodo follows a more serious attack on RSA, which netted the infiltrators unspecified information that could compromise the security of the company’s one-time password product SecurID.

These breaches follow other recent high-profile security events, including Anonymous’s campaign to compromise HBGary Federal and Stuxnet‘s use of stolen code-signing certificates against Iran‘s nuclear capability. Altogether, it’s undeniable that attackers now see the value in focusing on those companies and products that provide defense.

Be sure to go to  the source to see what needs to change.

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