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Android adware had nearly 150 million Google Play downloads before being pulled

More than 200 apps in the Google Play Store had malicious advertising code that could cause a phone to display ads outside the app, direct users to websites and app store links, and even download new apps, according to the security firm Check Point.

Check Point says it reported the malicious apps to Google, which confirmed it has removed them from the store. Those apps had amassed nearly 150 million downloads before being removed, according to Play Store statistics.BAD APPS KEEP GETTING INTO THE PLAY STORE

The malicious code made it into the apps by posing as legitimate advertising software. Developers would use it thinking the code would display ads properly — albeit, frequently, Check Point notes — inside their apps. In reality, it did much more. That allowed the adware to spread widely, hidden inside a variety of different apps and games in the Play Store.

Quite a few of the most popular apps infected with the adware were simulator games, including Snow Heavy Excavator Simulator, Real Tractor Farming Simulator, Heavy Mountain Bus Simulator 2018, Hummer taxi limo simulator, Excavator Wrecking Ball Demolition Simulator, and Sea Animals Truck Transport Simulator. (These names are all hilarious, and I could list a dozen more.) Check Point named the adware SimBad in reference to the glut of infected simulators.

Google reviews apps before they enter the Play Store, but its process has never been as strict or thorough as Apple’s review process for the App Store. That’s shown over the last couple years as more and more stories have come out about Google having to pull hundreds of apps due to the presence of troubling code: some displayed pornographic ads and tried to get users to download more apps, while others abused app permissions, and some even hijacked devices and used them for a distributed denial-of-service attack.

Last year, Google said it had made “significant improvements” in its ability to detect problematic apps and that it was able to remove 99 percent of them before they had ever been installed. But bad apps keep making it through, and the presence of SimBad is the latest evidence that Google still has work to do on improving its Play Store screenings and keeping Android users safe from malicious apps.

Update March 13th, 1:48PM ET: Updated to note that a Google spokesperson says the malicious apps have been removed.

How to Migrate WordPress Multisite

Migrating a WordPress Multisite installation can be a tricky business. It’s not as straightforward as it is with single site installations, and there are no plugins to help you out.

BackupBuddy is my preferred plugin for migrating single site installations, unfortunately it is not yet fully able to perform the same backup and restore procedure for a multisite installation. What it can do is export a single site from a multisite installation, which might be useful to some, but its not really what we are talking about today. Another plugin you might want to check out is WP Migrate DB Pro which helps you migrate databases from one multisite to another.

In this tutorial, I am assuming that we want to move a site from a local server to the production server. Here are the basic steps you’ll need to follow.

Step 1 – Move Database and Files

The first step is to open your FTP client and upload the files from your computer to the server. Next, on your server set up your database and user, and use phpMyAdmin to import all the database tables.

If you visit your site now it won’t work, we’ve got some more work ahead of us before we’ll be greeted by a fully working multisite installation on our production server.

Step 2 – Modify wp-config.php and .htaccess

Now we need to modify wp-config.php and the .htaccess files to reflect the new location, database name, user and password. This should be quite straightforward. Be careful to replace any instance of the old URL with the new one.

Step 3 – Modify Database Tables

This is the step when most things can go wrong. You need to carefully modify the database to reflect the new location of your site.

We will be doing lots of search and replace actions, and here is the SQL statement I use for these replacements.

Go to table wp_options

In this table, change the fields site_url  and home.

Go to table wp_blogs

Replace the domain  and path  fields with the new values.

Go to table wp_site

Replace the domain  and path  fields with the new values.

Go to table wp_sitemeta

Change the site_url  field

Searching and Replacing within each Subsite

At this point your site should be loading, however we still have potentially many references to the previous URL in each sub site’s tables. We need to change those through a search and replace procedure.

There are several possible solutions:

Another popular search and replace script (which takes into account the serialized nature of data stored in WordPress tables) is the Search and Replace DB script from Interconnectit.

I personally use the Search and Replace plugin and it has always worked fine for me.


That’s it! You should now have a perfect replica of your local multisite installation on your production server.

If you get lost, I’ve found it useful sometimes to set up a new clean MultiSite installation on the same server, and then compare values and files between that new installation and the one I’m trying to migrate. This can help give you a reference that you can use to identify mistakes you might have done in setting up the migrated website.

We also offer a WordPress Multisite migration service here at WP Mayor, if you’d prefer to avoid the hassle of doing things yourself.

Design Thinking, Explained – #EssentialReading For #Digital #Transformation Professionals Via @MIT @HBRpost with Image

Leads. Leads. Leads. If lead generation is one of the main goals of your marketing strategy, it’s important to have a B2B website design that is crafted around converting and capturing leads.

In this blog, we take a look at various ways to ensure your website is ready to convert visitors into new leads
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