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Fri, 19 Jan 2018
Malware infected gaming apps in Google store targeted kids with porn...

GOOGLE has been forced to pull malware-infected gaming apps from its online store after cyber security researchers revealed what they were showing young kids.

GOOGLE has removed apps targeted at children from its online store after it was revealed they were infected with malware that encouraged users to click on pornographic content and advertisements.

The malware was reported by cyber security company Check Point, prompting the search giant to act over security concerns for users and the fact that young children were being targeted with inappropriate images.

The malicious software displayed pornographic ads and tried to trick users into buying premium services, according to Check Point.

Dubbed “AdultSwine” by researchers, the malware hides inside gaming apps that Google Play data says have been downloaded three to seven million times.

“The most shocking element of this malware is its ability to cause pornographic ads (from the attacker’s library) to pop up without warning on the screen over the legitimate game app being displayed,” Checkpoint said.

“The malicious code can use its infrastructure to broaden its goals to other purposes, such as credential theft.”

A Google spokesperson said: “We’ve removed the apps from Play, disabled the developers’ accounts, and will continue to show strong warnings to anyone that has installed them.

“We appreciate Check Point’s work to help keep users safe.”

Games and apps intended for children have become a new target for cyber criminals in recent times, the security company warned.

The games infected by the AdultSwine malware included Paw Puppy Run, Subway Surf, Shin Hero Boy Adventure Game, Drawing Lessons and Lego Ninjago.

Check Point said it expected AdultSwine and similar malware to be repeated and imitated by hackers, warning users to be extra vigilant when installing apps, especially those intended for use by children.

— With Reuters



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Fri, 19 Jan 2018
Kenyans try new world of HIV self-testing kits

Truck drivers and prostitutes have taken to HIV self-testing like a duck to water, reveals recent studies.

In the latest of two studies, a majority of truck drivers and turn-boys in Nakuru chose ‘selfies’ or self-testing (self-testing is when you perform an HIV test on yourself, in private, and get an immediate result) instead of being tested by a health worker.

In the second study, prostitutes in Kisumu were used in what has been described as “successful distribution of self-test to their clients and partners”. Studies justifying the introduction of self-test kits in Kenya show truck drivers, sex workers, pharmacists and couples are eager to take up the practice.

The latest, reported in 2017 by US and South African universities and a Dutch NGO, North Star Alliance, claimed to have confirmed HIV self-testing as feasible among local truck drivers.

In a case of growing science activism in Kenya, the team had paid 149 truck drivers attending North Star Alliance roadside wellness clinics in Nakuru County to participate in the study. Truck drivers or their ‘turn-boys’ were given a choice between the usual HIV testing administered by a health worker or to self-test.

Overall, the results published in the journal Aids Behaviour, show, 56.38 percent of participants chose the self-test, 23.49 percent the provider-administered test and 20.13 percent refused testing.

More than half of truckers who chose to self-test did so without needing any guidance, while 47 per cent asked questions and 13 per cent needed intervention from the health worker. “Our findings suggest that self-administered oral HIV testing was acceptable among Kenyan truck drivers,” says the study.

The vast majority of the ‘selfies’ the study says, were able to administer the test and interpret the results correctly themselves on the first try. “More than half of those who self-tested did so correctly without soliciting any guidance.”

The study, involving researchers from the University of New York, US, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, shows most of the truckers were married. However, almost half (48.30 percent) of participants had regular partners on their trucking route in addition to their wives, 52.86 percent had paid for sex in the past six months and only 15.26 percent reported always using a condom.

Sometime last year, the Ministry of Health approved two HIV self-test kits which will be available for between Sh700 and Sh800 in selected pharmacies. The two are Oraquick, manufactured by Orasure Technologies Inc of the US and Insti by biolytical Laboratories of Canada.

Kenyans aged above 15 are now able to purchase, perform the HIV test and interpret the results on their own and at their convenience. But the launch was greeted with some disapproval especially by Kenyans on social media while self-test proponents are putting up a strong defence.

In the other study among female prostitutes in Kisumu by the University of Carolina, US, the NGOs Family Health 360 and Impact Research and Development Organisation showed the women are willing to convince their clients and partners to self-test for HIV.

In the results published in March in the journal Plos One, the researchers [...]

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Fri, 19 Jan 2018
I was not drunk – motorist charged with killing two cyclists.

Durban – Omesh Ramnarain, the motorist charged with crashing into and killing two cyclists on the M4 Highway leading out of Durban almost two years ago, says he was not drunk on the morning of the accident.

The Durban Regional Court on Monday heard his version that he had only consumed four cider drinks during that evening although at one stage “other patrons” at the bar had split drinks on him.

He also denied any negligence claiming that he was driving home at about 05:00 when he heard a “loud bang” and his windscreen shattered.

“I braked and moved towards the left in order to stop and moments later heard another bang. I could not see properly out of my smashed windscreen,” he said in a written explanation of his not guilty plea which was read into the record by his advocate Murray Pitman.

“I did not see the cyclists prior to hitting them. I did not expect them on the road at all because the M4 is a freeway which prohibits bicycles.”

Monday saw the start of the long-awaited five-day trial before Magistrate Anand Maharaj in which Ramnarain, a 33-year-old plumber, is accused of culpable homicide for the deaths of Richard Da Silva, 46, and his friend and cycling partner Jared Dwyer, 36.

The pair were on an early morning ride with a group of cyclists when they were struck by Ramnarain’s black Golf GTI. They both died at the scene.

The State’s first witness was James Murray, who said he had woken early that day to go for his first ever cycle ride in Umhlanga.

He said he was driving in his car heading north on the M4 when a black GTI “travelling at great speed” came up behind him.

“The road was empty. The vehicle got extremely close behind me and suddenly veered out and overtook. Another light coloured vehicle then overtook me. They appeared to be travelling together at high speed.”

Guilty/not guilty plea

Murray said he lost sight of them for a few seconds. When he rounded the bend, someone flagged him down.

“The GTI was stationary. It was damaged. The windscreen was smashed. I opened the door and asked if everyone was alright. The driver (who he identified as Ramnarain) just kept repeating ‘I was going straight’…

“I was about 30cm from him. I smelled the alcohol as I opened the door.”

Murray said the bikes were both mangled and the cyclists were “obviously seriously injured”.

While he initially said that the cyclists were both in the emergency lane, after being shown pictures of the scene by Pitman, he conceded that they were in the left hand lane.

Pitman also suggested that he had not spoken to Ramnarain while he was in his car and that he had already gotten out.

Murray conceded that he could not say whether the smell of alcohol was coming from the accused or a passenger.

Last year, Ramnarian’s previous attorneys told Maharaj that he would plead guilty to the charges in terms of a plea bargain agreement with Prosecutor Herman Mouton.

However, on the day of the [...]

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