Movies and series about cybercrime often show viruses and other malware as destructive and scandalous, but in reality, they are the most discreet and quiet that are most successful. An example was a new threat, called Mandrake, which managed to spend years hidden in Android apps undetected.
According to Bitdefender researchers, Mandrake was spyware, developed with the aim of stealing information from all types of smartphones, exposing various sensitive information about the victim.
The threat has been active at least since 2016 and appears to have been developed targeting Australian Android users. Over time, however, infections began to spread throughout the world, with particularly strong outbreaks in the United States and Europe.
To steal user information, Mandrake used several legitimate Android functions but abused them to take complete control of the user. From there, he was able to collect the GPS location and record the smartphone screen, all without exposing his activity to generate distrust, allowing him to steal bank details and passwords for access to all types of internet services.
One of the important points that have made Mandrake successful for so long is the fact that it is hidden in several apps on Google Play. Cybercriminals have gone so far as to create multiple apps with legitimate functionality, published by different front companies, and keep them frequently updated and ad-free, with the aim of keeping their victims satisfied with the service, allowing them to be spied on by more time. The store has already removed the apps after reporting it.
As Bitdefender explained to the ZDNet website, in order to circumvent the detection of Google Play, the infection of the cell phone occurred in multiple stages.
When the user did the installation, the application was clean, but within a short time, he would contact the server to download the malignant part, which would effectively harm the victims. And, because it was downloaded voluntarily, the application asks for abusive permissions, tricking the user into giving them, offering total control over the system.
The researchers do not try to pinpoint the number of infected, however. According to them, the estimate is between tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of people, which is not a very high number, but they speculate that the low volume of infected cell phones is part of the strategy to avoid detection.
Cybercriminals would also be targeting the attack to find more valuable targets and avoid some territories. In countries in Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, the malware has instructions not to work, even in case of infection.
What is Android System Intelligence?
For those of you Android phone users, you may often know Android System Intelligence on your Android system.
Android System Intelligence is a core component of an Android-based operating system that is responsible for many of the core features of a smartphone, such as providing automatic response options and keeping the screen on as long as the camera detects that you are looking at it.
And since it’s a component of the Android system that performs many useful functions, there’s no need to worry if you notice it running on your phone. You can disable Android System Intelligence if you want, but doing so will cause many features to stop working normally.
What features are enabled by this Android System Intelligence?
Here are some of the most important features enabled by System Intelligence:
- Sensor Attention: this is a sensor that can keep your phone’s screen active as long as you look at the screen. This prevents the screen from turning off while you are watching videos but leaves the screen off if you are not watching anymore.
- If you have ever experienced an incident where when you leave your Android phone when you watch a video and the screen turns off, that’s where the Android System Intelligence function works.
- Autorotation: This feature automatically rotates the screen orientation based on the position of the Android phone.
- Automatic captions: This feature is capable of generating automatic captions for media that have no captions available.
- Smart text selection: Activates targeted actions when you select the text, such as long-pressing an address to see directions.
- Now Playing: Automatically listens to and identifies music around you, and displays information even when the screen is locked.
- Notification management: Inserts useful action buttons into notifications, enabling notifications to open the relevant application or provide the required information when tapped.
How to fix this folder has an android access restriction
This folder has an android access restriction notification on an Android phone is a message that appears when we access data and OBB files on Android version 13.
In this article, we will show you how to access the existing Data and OBB folders on Android 13 and how to transfer files in them. In fact, it is a scoop storage feature that prevents File Manager from being able to access the Data and OBB folders.
The effect of this security feature is that you will not be able to access the Data and OBB folders on your Android device, especially those using Android 13. The following is how to overcome this folder having an Android access restriction.
Edit Data Folder File
- This method requires a third-party application called QuickEdit which you can download for free on the Google Play Store.
- Open Folder Manager then Navigate to Data Folder under internal storage, in the directory: /storage/emulated/0/Android/data
- Next, open the file using the System File Manager, then click the data folder on the Android version 13 device. Then find the data folder and file you want to edit, then open and edit it with QuickEdit.
That’s how to access the Data and OBB folders on Android 13. If you have other questions, please comment in the comments column below.
How to Enable Google Play Protect
Google Play Protect is a security feature offered by Google for Android devices. It helps protect your phone from malware, spyware, and other harmful applications by scanning all installed apps regularly. The feature is automatically enabled on your phone, but you may want to enable it manually if you have disabled it or if you have a new phone. In this article, we will guide you step by step on how to enable Google Play Protect on your Android device.
Step 1: Open Google Play Store
The first step is to open the Google Play Store app on your Android phone. You can find the app on your home screen or app drawer.
Step 2: Go to the Play Protect section
Once you have opened the Google Play Store, tap on the three horizontal lines located on the top left corner of the screen. This will open a menu, and you need to scroll down to find “Play Protect.” Tap on it to access the Play Protect settings.
Step 3: Enable Play Protect
Once you have opened the Play Protect section, you will see a toggle switch at the top of the screen. If it is turned off, you need to turn it on. If the toggle switch is already turned on, then the feature is already enabled, and you don’t need to do anything further.
Step 4: Check for updates
If you have just enabled Google Play Protect, it is a good idea to check for any updates. To do this, go back to the Google Play Store, and tap on the three horizontal lines again. Scroll down to “My apps & games,” and tap on it. You will see a list of all the apps installed on your phone, and if any updates are available, they will be listed here. Make sure to update all the apps to ensure that they are protected by Google Play Protect.
Step 5: Scan your device
After you have enabled Google Play Protect, it is important to scan your device to check if there are any harmful apps installed. To do this, go back to the Google Play Protect section and tap on “Scan device.” Google will then scan your phone for any harmful apps, and if any are found, you will be notified. You can then choose to remove the app or keep it installed.
Step 6: Keep your device updated
It is important to keep your Android device updated with the latest security patches and updates. To do this, go to the Settings app on your phone and tap on “Software update.” Check if any updates are available, and if they are, install them. This will help keep your device protected from any new threats that may emerge.
Step 7: Be careful when downloading apps
Google Play Protect is a great feature, but it is not foolproof. It is still important to be careful when downloading apps from the Google Play Store. Make sure to only download apps from reputable sources and check the reviews and ratings before downloading. Avoid downloading apps from unknown sources, as they may contain malware or spyware that can harm your device.
Google Play Protect is a valuable feature for Android devices that helps protect your phone from harmful apps. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can enable Google Play Protect on your Android phone and ensure that it is protected from any potential threats. Remember to keep your device updated and be careful when downloading apps to ensure that your phone remains protected.
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