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[08/17/15]   Newly Discovered Android Vulnerability Can Render Your Phone Or Tablet Useless

Security researchers at Trend Micro have discovered a new vulnerability that they claim is present in Android 4.3 Jelly Bean up to the latest Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, which constitute to almost half of the Android devices out there. The vulnerability, if and when exploited, could make your device silent, unable to make phone calls and completely unusable. This apparently is caused by the way Android handles media files.

The researchers already reported the issues to the Android engineering team back in May but the exploit is yet to be patched. Trend Micro explains that the bug is present in Android’s mediaserver service, which is used to index media files stored on the device. If a device tries to open a malformed MKV file, it causes the service to crash along with the entire operating system in the run to process it, thereby rendering the device unusable and preventing the user from interacting with it
This will cause the device to become totally silent and non-responsive. This means that:

No ring tone, text tone, or notification sounds can be heard. The user will have have no idea of an incoming call/message, and cannot even accept a call. Neither party will hear each other.
The UI may become very slow to respond, or completely non-responsive. If the phone is locked, it cannot be unlocked.
The report explains that the vulnerability can be exploited either via a website embedded with a malformed MKV file, or through a malicious app with an MKV file installed on a device that could cause the operating system to crash every time it attempts to turn on. With the latter approach, the malicious apps could be designed in a way so that it runs immediately every time the Android device restarts, therefore causing the operating system to crash upon boot.

As mentioned earlier, Trend Micro had already reported the vulnerability to Google on May 15, which was flagged as a low priority issue by the company and remains un-patched in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). This bug comes in a few days after another team of security researchers discovered an exploit which could potentially allow malicious individuals to gain access to a device by simply sending a seemingly innocent text message to the targeted number

[08/17/15]   Which Phones You Shouldn’t Buy Right Now?

Apple’s iPhone 6 / 6 Plus / 5s

Quite simply put, Apple’s next-generation iPhone is on the way. Speculation has it that Apple’s iPhone 6s is already in production with the Cupertino company requesting that manufacturing partners produce record numbers of the smartphone. Significantly improved performance, Force Touch integration, a larger battery, and a sturdier design are all reasons to stay clear of current-generation hardware and wait for the improved iPhone to arrive.

7 Reasons Why You Should Wait For iPhone 6s / 7
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 / Note Edge

Samsung’s highly anticipated Galaxy Note 5 is rumoured to be hitting shelves in less than a month, with announcement likely due for August 13th, meaning that it would be technology suicide to grab a fourth-generation Note right now. In terms of visual appearance it’s highly likely that Samsung’s Note 5 offering will be similar to the current device, albeit with a number of slight amendments. The newly established modern aesthetic will hopefully take the Note from being a popular device to one that hopefully turns around Samsung’s fortunes after successive yearly profit drops.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

If you’re in the market for a new smartphone it seems that now is the time to exercise just a little more patience. Next month is set to be a big month for Samsung with speculation suggesting the 5.5-inch S6 Edge+ will be unvieled alongside the aforementioned Galaxy Note 4 on August 13th. The stunning looking device borrows inspiration from the S6 Edge with a beautifully crafted external design complete with elegant rounded corners and large 5.5-inch display. Information is limited on the internal specifications of the device, but given the fact that it’s likely to drop in less than four weeks it’s worth waiting to find out.

OnePlus One

I bet you’re starting to notice a common theme here. The OnePlus 2 is one of the most anticipated Android devices of the year and looks to build on the success of OnePlus’ first-generation device. Potential consumers can expect a stunning slim line device complete with 4GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 810 processor. Dual-SIM capabilities, a 13-megapixel rear camera and a stunning 5.5-inch 2K display should convince consumers to wait a few days for the July 27 expected launch date.

Moto X (2014)

Motorola hasn’t really had the greatest of fortunes over the last few years. After being bought and subsequently sold by Google to Lenovo the handset maker will be hoping for some stability and success in the market. A recent leak has Android fans excited over this year’s third-generation Moto X 2015 which comes with a stunning physical appearance and a technical specification to compete with the best of the best in the Android world. It’s also expected to launch this coming week, July 28 to be exact, so not long to wait.

Moto G (2014)

The third-generation Moto G is rumoured to be coming on July 28 as well. That alone is a perfect reason to exercise some patience and not shell out for older hardware. A recent leak has suggested that the Moto G 2015 will ship with a 5-inch 1080p display, 2GB of RAM, and a Snapdragon 610 SoC.

[08/17/15]   Even Software Pirates Will Get Windows 10 Upgrade For Free

Microsoft continues to surprise us just when we start believing we’ve seen it all from the software giant. In a move that has literally left us bamboozled, but extremely optimistic for the company’s future, Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, licensed or not, when it launches this summer. Read on for further information.

After years of battling with software piracy – particularly pirated versions of Windows – Microsoft is willing to just roll with the trend this time around, by offering the upgrade to all qualified PCs running genuine, or non-genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Microsoft’s Windows Chief, Terry Myerson said, “We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10.” Speaking to The Verge, a Microsoft spokesperson said “Anyone with a qualified device can upgrade to Windows 10, including those with pirated copies of Windows.” This could literally mean that over a million PCs running Windows 7 or 8 will be getting free copies of the new Windows 10 OS this summer.

Microsoft, with the release of Windows XP, introduced software activation for its OS for the first time, but the security measure was conveniently countered. The activation methods, of course, continued to evolve with subsequent OS releases, but the measures were effectively deleted each time. Microsoft is finally letting users have their way, given that in 2011 former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had said that out of ten Microsoft software users in China, only one is actually paying for it. This issue further stems to countries like India, Russia and Brazil as well.

The Microsoft spokesperson further said that the company is going ahead with this move believing that with time, Windows users will realize the advantages that a properly licensed installation of Windows brings to the table. There’s also the issue where small retailers sell new PCs to users with a copy of Windows that is not genuine, which causes trouble down the road when a new version is released, but hopefully, with Windows 10, such users shouldn’t hit any sort of roadblock when the time for upgrade comes.

Windows 10 will debut this summer, When launched, the new OS will be available in 190 countries and 111 languages.

[08/17/15]   How To Make Windows 8.1 / 8 Bootable USB Flash Drive The Easy Way

Why do I need a bootable USB Flash Drive?

Most modern computers today don’t ship with an optical drive. If you want to install fresh copy of Windows from scratch, the easiest and most preferred way of doing that without an optical drive is to install it from a bootable USB flash drive.

The process to do this is quite easy to follow and anyone who has medium level of skill with handling computers will breeze through it.

Creating Windows 8.1 / 8 bootable USB flash drive:

Step 1: Download and install Microsoft’s Windows USB/DVD Download Tool from here.

Step 2: Now you will need .ISO file for Windows. If you already have a ISO file downloaded from MSDN or any other sources, just use that. You can also download it from Microsoft directly using our guide here. This will require a genuine Product Key to be entered though before you can download.

Note: If you have forgotten or lost your Product Key, follow this guide instead: Download Windows 8.1 Pro ISO file legally without Product Key. This will not only download the .ISO file for you without the Product Key, but will also automatically create a bootable flash drive for you without you needing this Windows USB/DVD Download Tool.

Step 3: Insert a USB flash drive having 8GB or greater storage capacity in a USB port on your computer.

Step 4: Launch Windows USB/DVD Download Tool you installed in Step 1.

Step 5: Choose the ISO file you downloaded in Step 2 by clicking on “Browse”.
Step 6: Click on “USB device” when prompted to choose media type. In the next step, choose your inserted USB flash drive

Step 7: The tool will now create a bootable USB flash drive using the .ISO file you provided. This will take some time, so be patient

Step 8: Once the tool has done its thing, restart your PC with the USB plugged in. On start up, you will need to enter the BIOS utility of your computer and boot from the USB. Since the procedure for entering BIOS utility is different for different computers, we leave it up to the readers to find out how to do this for their specific computer.

Step 9: Once booted from the USB drive; follow on-screen instructions to install Windows on your computer.

If you followed all the steps correctly, you should be well on your way to installing Windows easily from a USB flash drive. Good luck and have fun using Windows!

[08/17/15]   Hidden Android Secret Codes For Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Sony, LG And Other Devices

One of the most popular practices amongst software developers is to leave ‘backdoors’ within the code, which essentially allow anyone with knowledge to get into the system at a much deeper level than you’d expect from an end-user. These backdoors aren’t always with a malicious intent; most of the time, they allow the OEM or programmer to get into the system for troubleshooting when other, usual modes of access have been blocked. They can be quite friendly and helpful if you know what you’re doing.

Smartphones have a good share of these as well, where they’re generally known as secret codes. Most of the time, these numeric/symbolic sequences allow you to access hidden menus, diagnostic tests, areas that could change some of the most basic parameters of your device and whatnot. These secret codes, in fact, have not been exclusive to smartphones, but have long been a part of the dumb-phones and then the feature-phones before most major OEMs joined the smartphone bandwagon. For those devices that run Android, certain codes are shared across the board, and hence, can be used on a variety of devices.

Android codes

What follows is a collection of some of the secret codes common to the Android platform. All of these would be entered through the phone dialer (just punch in the sequence as shown). Since most hidden menus are manufacturer specific, there’s no guarantee that they’ll work across all Android smartphones, but you can try them out nevertheless on your Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Sony and other devices. Be advised, though, that some of these can cause serious changes to your device’s configuration, so don’t play with something that you don’t fully understand.

*#06# – IMEI number

*#0*# – Enter the service menu on newer phones like Galaxy S III

*#*#4636#*#* – Phone information, usage statistics and battery

*#*#34971539#*#* – Detailed camera information

*#*#273282*255*663282*#*#* – Immediate backup of all media files

*#*#197328640#*#* – Enable test mode for service

*#*#232339#*#* – Wireless LAN tests

*#*#0842#*#* – Backlight/vibration test

*#*#2664#*#* – Test the touchscreen

*#*#1111#*#* – FTA software version (1234 in the same code will give PDA and firmware version)

*#12580*369# – Software and hardware info

*#9090# – Diagnostic configuration

*#872564# – USB logging control

*#9900# – System dump mode

*#301279# – HSDPA/HSUPA Control Menu

*#7465625# – View phone lock status

*#*#7780#*#* – Reset the /data partition to factory state

*2767*3855# – Format device to factory state (will delete everything on phone)

##7764726 – Hidden service menu for Motorola Droid

Sony Secret Menu

You can find more of these spread across the internet, and they’re usually very handy to have, even if just to show off your geekiness to your social circle.

Update x1: More codes!

*#*#7594#*#* – Enable direct powering down of device once this code is entered

*#*#273283*255*663282*#*#* – Make a quick backup of all the media files on your Android device

*#*#232338#*#* – Shows Wi-Fi MAC address

*#*#1472365#*#* – Perform a quick GPS test

*#*#1575#*#* – For a more advanced GPS test

*#*#0283#*#* – Perform a packet loopback test

*#*#0*#*#* – Run an LCD display test

*#*#0289#*#* – Run Audio test

*#*#2663#*#* – Show device’s touch-screen version

*#*#0588#*#* – Perform a proximity sensor test

*#*#3264#*#* – Show RAM version

*#*#232331#*#* – Run Bluetooth test

*#*#232337#*# – Show device’s Bluetooth address

*#*#7262626#*#* – Perform a field test

*#*#8255#*#* – Monitor Google Talk service

*#*#4986*2650468#*#* – Show Phone, Hardware, PDA, RF Call Date firmware info

*#*#1234#*#* – Show PDA and Phone firmware info

*#*#2222#*#* – Show FTA Hardware version

*#*#44336#*#* – Show Build time and change list number

*#*#8351#*#* – Enable voice dialing log mode, dial *#*#8350#*#* to disable it

##778 (+call) – Show EPST menu

These codes are specific to HTC devices only:

*#*#3424#*#* – Run HTC function test program

*#*#4636#*#* – Show HTC info menu

##8626337# – Run VOCODER

##33284# – Perform field test

*#*#8255#*#* – Launch Google Talk service monitor

##3424# – Run diagnostic mode

##3282# – Show EPST menu

##786# – Reverse Logistics Suppor

[08/17/15]   Hidden Secret Codes for Google Android Mobile Phones

We have posted about hidden secret codes for Chinese mobile phones and various TV sets service menus in past:

List of Hidden Secret Service Codes for Chinese Mobile Phones
Hidden Secret Service Menu Codes for Sony, Samsung, LG and Philips TV
Now its turn of Google Android mobile phones.

Recently I got a Google Android mobile phone "Samsung Galaxy I7500". While I'm loving playing with it, I also found some interesting secret codes which can enable/disable lots of hidden settings in the mobile phone. These codes can also show many useful information about the phone.

So in this topic, you'll get several hidden secret codes which can be used in any Google Android mobile phone to access things which are not accessible by default.

FYI These codes have been obtained by decoding various .apk files present in the phone firmware.

DISCLAIMER: This information is intended for experienced users. It is not intended for basic users, hackers, or mobile thieves. Please do not try any of following methods if you are not familiar with mobile phones. We'll not be responsible for the use or misuse of this information, including loss of data or hardware damage. So use it at your own risk.



This code can be used to get some interesting information about your phone and battery. It shows following 5 menus on screen:

Phone information
Battery information
Battery history
Usage statistics
Wifi information
Menus might differ for different mobile phones. Check out following video which shows the above code in action:


This code can be used for a factory data reset. It'll remove following things:

Google account settings stored in your phone
System and application data and settings
Downloaded applications
It'll NOT remove:

Current system software and bundled applications
SD card files e.g. photos, music files, etc.
PS: Once you give this code, you get a prompt screen asking you to click on "Reset phone" button. So you get a chance to cancel your operation.


Think before you give this code. This code is used for factory format. It'll remove all files and settings including the internal memory storage. It'll also reinstall the phone firmware.

PS: Once you give this code, there is no way to cancel the operation unless you remove the battery from the phone. So think twice before giving this code.


This code is used to get information about phone camera. It shows following 4 menus:

Update camera firmware in image (Don't try this option)
Update camera firmware in SD card
Get camera firmware version
Get firmware update count
WARNING: Never use the first option otherwise your phone camera will stop working and you'll need to take your phone to service center to reinstall camera firmware.


This one is my favorite one. This code can be used to change the "End Call / Power" button action in your phone. Be default, if you long press the button, it shows a screen asking you to select any option from Silent mode, Airplane mode and Power off.

You can change this action using this code. You can enable direct power off on this button so you don't need to waste your time in selecting the option.


This code opens a File copy screen where you can backup your media files e.g. Images, Sound, Video and Voice memo.


This code can be used to enter into Service mode. You can run various tests and change settings in the service mode.

WLAN, GPS and Bluetooth Test Codes:

*#*#232339#*#* OR *#*#526#*#* OR *#*#528#*#* - WLAN test (Use "Menu" button to start various tests)

*#*#232338#*#* - Shows WiFi MAC address

*#*#1472365#*#* - GPS test

*#*#1575#*#* - Another GPS test

*#*#232331#*#* - Bluetooth test

*#*#232337#*# - Shows Bluetooth device address


This code can be used to launch GTalk Service Monitor.

Codes to get Firmware version information:

*#*#4986*2650468#*#* - PDA, Phone, H/W, RFCallDate

*#*#1234#*#* - PDA and Phone

*#*#1111#*#* - FTA SW Version

*#*#2222#*#* - FTA HW Version

*#*#44336#*#* - PDA, Phone, CSC, Build Time, Changelist number

Codes to launch various Factory Tests:

*#*#0283#*#* - Packet Loopback

*#*#0*#*#* - LCD test

*#*#0673#*#* OR *#*#0289#*#* - Melody test

*#*#0842#*#* - Device test (Vibration test and BackLight test)

*#*#2663#*#* - Touch screen version

*#*#2664#*#* - Touch screen test

*#*#0588#*#* - Proximity sensor test

*#*#3264#*#* - RAM version

NOTE: All above codes have been checked on Google Android phone Samsung Galaxy I7500 only but they should also work in other Google Android phones




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