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Print 79 comment(s) - last by Rukkian.. on Feb 11 at 5:17 PM

Fragmentation may need users wondering who should be patching their Android devices

Android fragmentation has been a significant problem for Android smartphone users, smartphone makers, and developers for a long time. Hardware capabilities of Android devices vary widely and not all smartphone manufacturers are willing to give older smartphones upgrades to the latest versions of Android OS (hoping instead that customers will simply buy a new smartphone).

Security researchers are now saying that the rampant fragmentation in the Android market could leave users vulnerable to attacks. According to the researchers, one of the major problems is that it remains unclear who is responsible for patching the Android operating system on smartphones on the market.
 
The question is should Google, the smartphone maker, or the wireless carrier be offering fixes for security issues. Google often moves quickly to patch security problems, but carriers and smartphone makers that use a customized operating system may drag their feet or simply not offer the fix at all.

This fact, according to security experts, means that the Android operating system leaves users more vulnerable to hackers, scam artists, and malware than competing operating systems.

“You have potentially millions of Androids making their way into the work space, accessing confidential documents,” said Christopher Soghoian, a former Federal Trade Commission technology expert who now works for the American Civil Liberties Union. “It’s like a really dry forest, and it’s just waiting for a match.”

The researchers say that if a major malware outbreak for Android devices surfaces, the system for updating smartphones using Android could dramatically slow efforts to protect information carried on the devices.

Source: Washington Post



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RE: apple not fragmented????
By Reclaimer77 on 2/8/2013 10:05:43 AM , Rating: 0
Maybe because iOS 6 is the same iOS from 4 years ago??

I mean seriously, iOS is so stagnated it's not even funny. Over "fragmentation" due to rapid advancement or stagnation, I'll take the former every time.

quote:
It's neutered all to hell with regards to major iOS 6 features (compared to the 4S and 5), but it at least is compatible with iOS 6 applications and has the latest security updates.


I guess that's a positive in your book? Yeah I really want an OS that's gutted to hell and locked down, with the same UI and functionality it had in 2008 lol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMiY1kSTHZw

This is a great video series I found which really breaks down the two OS's on a end user/usability level. At one point he even switches to Froyo Android 2.2. And it STILL beats iOS in features, ease of use, and customization.

As far as "security" goes, well I've never actually heard of someone in the wild getting a virus or trojan on their phone from the Google play or Amazon Android markets. Stray from those, and hey, you're swimming at your own risk and I have no sympathy for you.


RE: apple not fragmented????
By retrospooty on 2/8/13, Rating: -1
RE: apple not fragmented????
By Tony Swash on 2/8/13, Rating: -1
RE: apple not fragmented????
By retrospooty on 2/8/2013 11:08:30 AM , Rating: 2
LOL... I cant blame him for that. If I got rich 30 years ago, I would work hard either. I would do nothing but play all day.

His opinion is still valid, its the same thing I have been saying for months, so have many others. The iPhone is lagging behind the competition. Put simply, you can do more with almost any other high end phone on the market. There are alot of missing featuresm and IOS is stagnating, while Android, WP8 and BB10 are improving. If Apple doesnt do something to catch up, sales will start to be effected.


RE: apple not fragmented????
By drycrust3 on 2/8/2013 3:02:06 PM , Rating: 1
Just because a person doesn't do things that gain world wide attention doesn't mean those things aren't important. In some ways developing an internationally known (but now totally obsolete) computer in one's youth is far less important than having well behaved children.


RE: apple not fragmented????
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 2/8/2013 10:16:49 AM , Rating: 2
I don't disagree with you on stagnation and the UI looking the exact same since 2007. It's pathetic.

But the article was talking about keeping users protected from security vulnerabilities and getting timely updates. The 3GS is over three years old and still receiving regular updates.


RE: apple not fragmented????
By Reclaimer77 on 2/8/2013 10:24:55 AM , Rating: 2
"Security" is a non-issue on smartphones in my opinion. Just a straw man argument really. I mean what percentage of these devices even get infected with something? Like 1%, if that?

And, you know, Apple hasn't exactly had the best track record with pushing critical updates. They've been known to let stuff slide for weeks/months.


RE: apple not fragmented????
By jimbojimbo on 2/8/2013 11:12:22 AM , Rating: 2
That's a good thing... for the jailbreakers out there.


RE: apple not fragmented????
By djdjohnson on 2/8/2013 12:49:49 PM , Rating: 2
Somewhere along the line I read that Android phones have over a 30% infection rate. I wish I could find the source on that, though.


RE: apple not fragmented????
By Rukkian on 2/8/2013 1:18:52 PM , Rating: 2
I would love to see that documentation. The only people that should be able to be infected are those that allow installs from untrusted sources, and then go to infected locations. Most people have no clue how to even do that if they are stupid enough to get infected.

I am not really careful on my rooted phone, have lookout av, but it have never even found 1 issue in 1.5 years I have owned the phone.

I could see 30% of idiots that root their phone and say yes to any prompt, and allow installs from untrusted sources, and go to sites hosting .apk files. The thing is, that probably accounts for about .0001% of android phones out there.


RE: apple not fragmented????
By KoolAidMan1 on 2/8/2013 5:21:32 PM , Rating: 1
Malware gets into Google Play. Their automated filters let 20% of malware slide through. One came through a few days ago that pushes a Trojan onto your PC, and it also uses the microphone to record you and push that recording to the attacker.


RE: apple not fragmented????
By Rukkian on 2/11/2013 5:17:47 PM , Rating: 2
Got a link to this? I would love to see it. I am not saying I don't believe you, but I highly doubt it is legit, and not from IphoneRulez.com. Or from some nigerian prince trying to help you with your phone.

While there are probably a few minor bugs that get through Google Play filters (happens to Apple to), what you are suggesting sounds pretty fishy to me.


RE: apple not fragmented????
By Reclaimer77 on 2/8/2013 7:07:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Somewhere along the line I read that Android phones have over a 30% infection rate. I wish I could find the source on that, though.


Well that just sounds absurd of course. I would like to see that "source", because it can't even be possible for such a high number of devices to be infected.

Data shows most people just use their phones to text, make calls, and light browsing. There's just NO WAY you would get an infection doing that.


RE: apple not fragmented????
By FaaR on 2/8/2013 7:29:55 PM , Rating: 5
About 40% of android phones infected in china and russia: http://www.eweek.com/security/android-malware-rise...

...So yeah, it's possible.


RE: apple not fragmented????
By Reclaimer77 on 2/9/2013 9:07:20 AM , Rating: 2
Not relevant. Even if that data is correct, the massive gap between those markets and the US/European market tell me the OS isn't at fault.

Basically you have people in poor countries choosing to willingly install from third party untrustworthy app markets to get out of paying for apps. Has nothing to do with Android.

quote:
"in North America, less than 0.3 percent of users have had a malicious program installed on their phones, according to a recent report by network security firm Kindsight."


This is all that matters.


RE: apple not fragmented????
By retrospooty on 2/9/2013 5:12:09 PM , Rating: 2
exactly, at the company I work at we support over 300 phones, about 50/50 Android and iPhone. We have never once seen a single case of malware on either platform.


RE: apple not fragmented????
By messele on 2/10/2013 7:42:46 AM , Rating: 2
So your own limited experiences are all that matters? Let's see if you hold the same opinion when the billion phone cheapo Android Chinese botnet is inevitably activated at some point in the future because it was "somebody elses problem".

By this point Google will be firmly in bed with the Chinese, or at least they will be under the mistaken impression that they are.


RE: apple not fragmented????
By retrospooty on 2/10/2013 8:13:58 AM , Rating: 2
"So your own limited experiences are all that matters?"

Reading comprehension... No, My own experience managing 100's of Android and iPhones matches the stats posted above. "in North America, less than 0.3 percent of users have had a malicious program installed on their phones"

My point is anyone saying its a huge issue is exaggerating. 3 of 1000 Android users in the US have malware. End of story.


RE: apple not fragmented????
By Reclaimer77 on 2/10/2013 9:32:37 AM , Rating: 2
How does it feel to wake up every day and be a complete moron?

quote:
Let's see if you hold the same opinion when the billion phone cheapo Android Chinese botnet is inevitably activated at some point in the future because it was "somebody elses problem".


Uhhh IS there an Android botnet? I think you just made that up.

quote:
By this point Google will be firmly in bed with the Chinese


Who in the hell ISN'T in bed with the Chinese today? You know where every single i-Device is made right? And where all the parts for the i-Devices come from, right? I'll give you one guess.

I took a crap this morning that made more sense then you.


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