“Almost every Android device is compromised” (and a neat high voltage trick)

One in three Android apps (sample size of 1000) turns out to be infested with malware. Statistically, that means almost every Android device out there has some kind of malware on it.

Ouch. Use simpler phones, people. And open-source peer-reviewed software. (which may still have bug-doors, but at least malware is unlikely)

High voltage trick: I noticed that a high-voltage arc acts as an extremely precise metal detector. Given an arc of any length, it will tend to veer off and strike the surface of an object right over (or right next to) a conductive object below the surface. Presumably this has to do with an increase in local capacitance.

Sadly I don’t have either of my Tesla coils anymore, otherwise I’d test it further. This effect could be a neat adjunct to a nonlinear junction detector in a bug sweep: for surfaces that have no legit metal parts, watching where the arc goes gives you a precise idea of where something might be hidden. And with these kinds of voltages, gives a good chance that hidden thing isn’t working anymore.

For those of you interested in demining, imagine building a truck-mounted Tesla coil with a top electrode mounted on a long fiberglass boom. At the very it’s a good excuse to get funding for building a massive Tesla coil.

(On a side note, at least for the stun gun I recently picked up in a shop here, the 500,000V label appears plausible. While the electrodes as-is are too close to develop 500kV, putting a bit of foil on them to create a larger surface and then blocking the gap with a dielectric created arcs of ~8cm length as the arc went around the dielectric, or roughly 225kV according to the math.)


““We analyzed more than 1,000 Android applications and found a third compromised with some form of active or dormant malware,” said Jill Knesek, head of the global security practice at BT. “Almost every device is compromised with some kind of malware, although often it’s not clear if that code is active or what it is doing,” she said in a panel discussion at the NetEvents Americas conference here.

Wayne Rash, a technology journalist moderating the panel, said he was reviewing a Samsung Galaxy S3 handset and found malware in an Android applications provided by Google. “This is a device considered by some people to be the best smartphone on the market right now,” Rash said.”


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