Researchers Claim Android Fragmentation Leaves Users Vulnerable to Attacks
February 8, 2013 8:37 AM
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Fragmentation may need users wondering who should be patching their Android devices
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.
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I got an iPhone 5 recently
2/8/2013 2:54:38 PM
It is my first smartphone. The fragmentation issue, google, maker, carrier, etc. meant I will end up with an unsupported device in less than 18 months if I chose Android. Not good when I generally buy expensive technology for the long haul.
RE: I got an iPhone 5 recently
2/9/2013 11:04:24 PM
You're also getting better third party support, smoother UI, and better hardware components (processor and display) with the iPhone.
If you want more flexibility with homescreen, settings, and hardware then there's Android. Lack of support can be bypassed by unlocking the bootloader and installing ROMs yourself. It's all about what your priorities are. I'm on WP right now, it's in this in-between area that is closer to the iPhone.
"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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