Six (6) Android Games You Should Play Now not Tomorrow

Got a new device? You need to get some new games. Here are some quick recommendations for great Android games. Some are familiar from other platforms. Some are free. Some are paid, and some have specific hardware requirements. All are listed here.
1.  Minecraft Pocket Edition
Why it is great: Minecraft is an entertaining block-building and survival game. You can play either in creative mode where you build and invent things in your own randomly generated world or you can play in survival mode where you use your wits and resources to survive against the creepers who come out at night.
Note – this does not connect with your main Minecraft account if you play the computer version of the game.
Play for yourself or keep it around to entertain kids. (Turn off in-app purchases if you do this.)
Minecraft is a paid app ($6.99) but you can find occasional sales, in-app purchases run from $0.50 to $1.99.   More »
2.  Lara Croft Go
Based on the popular Tomb Raider series and developed by Square Enix, Lara Craft Go is a relatively simple but very addictive puzzle game you can take with you. The puzzles are designed for short bursts of play, so pull it out in the doctor’s office waiting room or while riding the bus home.
Lara Croft Go sells for $4.99 but is occasionally on sale for $0.99. It allows in-app purchases. If you like this game, you can also check out Hitman Go, which is also from Square Enix.  More »
3.  Buttons and Scissors
This is a free puzzle game where you try to cut matching color buttons off of a square of denim. Mechanically this feels similar to Bejeweled, but not completely the same. The logic puzzles offer great challenges for players of all ages.
The other big advantage to this game is that it does not require any connectivity. You can play this game on devices that aren’t connected to Wi-Fi or in that signal dead spot.
Buttons and Scissors is a free download but allows in-app purchases.  More »
 Did you want to try out the new trend in adult coloring books, but you don’t want to carry around coloring pencil and a coloringb book? Try out this app instead. It’s appropriate for kids or adults, and while it’s not the same as coloring in an actual coloring book, it is still very satisfying.
Mandala Coloring Pages is free (with ads) but also allows in-app purchases.  More »
Yes. You can play an Android version of Portal. This is a real console game. As such, it requires a real console. This version will only work on the Nvidia Shield version of Android TV.  The Nvidia Shield starts at around $199 but allows you to stream movies and play Android games on your TV.
Portal starts at $1.99 but this is “introductory pricing.”  More »
If you have a phone with a fast processor and terrific screen display, you can take it for a ride with this virtual reality game. This is a first-person shooter where you aim at balloons. You’ll need Google Cardboard. This is an inexpensive accessory that you can either make or buy for around $15 and will turn your phone into a virtual reality device. Obviously not a game you can play while waiting in a doctor’s office (unless your doctor is awesome) but a fun novelty game to play by yourself or after having one of your friends try on the headset.
VR Cardboard Shooter 3D is a free download.  More »

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2.27m users Reported! Installed Malware with tainted CCleaner Download


In the grand annuls of software irony, apps that explicitly promise to make your computer more stable being used to secretly distribute malware are top of the list, especially when they happen to be owned by anti-virus specialists. It’s a cluster of coincidences that makes news that CCleaner, the free system tune-up tool offered by Avast, was unwittingly used to load a backdoor in users’ PCs. During the period it was compromised, 2.27m people installed the infected app.

CCleaner began as an independent project by developers Piriform all the way back in 2003, as a way to remove unnecessary data such as temporary internet files and erroneous Windows registry entries. The app could also clear out file fragments, delete unneeded logs, and remove programs that have hooked into the Windows startup and thus load automatically each time the PC is booted. In July of this year, Piriform was acquired by Avast.

Come September 13, Cisco’s Talos Intelligence spotted something strange. While conducting beta tests with consumers of its latest exploit detection technology, it identified that the installer for CCleaner v5.33 was triggering an alert. Users had been downloading the file from the legitimate CCleaner download servers, Talos says.

The problem, it turned out, was that the CCleaner download was being coopted by a malicious payload. While the official app was signed using a valid digital signature issued to Piriform, Talos says, the 32-bit CCleaner binary “also contained a malicious payload that featured a Domain Generation Algorithm (DGA) as well as hardcoded Command and Control (C2) functionality.” With that tool installed, the PC communicates with a remote server to report that it has been compromised.

CCleaner 5.33 has been removed from the official servers, and is no longer available to download. However, it was the preferred version of the app between August 15 and September 11 of this year, after which point it was replaced by CCleaner 5.34 which did not suffer the same infection. According to Avast, 2.27m people downloaded the file in that time.

The advice now is to restore any potentially infected systems to a state prior to August 15, or to reinstall them. Anybody with CCleaner installed should update to the latest version, which in many cases will be a manual process.

“This is a prime example of the extent that attackers are willing to go through in their attempt to distribute malware to organizations and individuals around the world,” Talos concludes. “By exploiting the trust relationship between software vendors and the users of their software, attackers can benefit from users’ inherent trust in the files and web servers used to distribute updates.”

As for Piriform, Paul Yung, its VP of product, apologized for the security lapse though downplayed its severity. Writing on the company’s official blog, he argues that “the threat has now been resolved in the sense that the rogue server is down, other potential servers are out of the control of the attacker, and we’re moving all existing CCleaner v5.33.6162 users to the latest version. Users of CCleaner Cloud version 1.07.3191 have received an automatic update.”


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 a commission if you choose to purchase said product. The opinions on this page are our own.
 We do not receive payment for positive reviews.

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