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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 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.


"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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