Security Concerns Raised Over Android Phones

Published by: Kelly Curtis on 15th Nov 2010 | View all blogs by Kelly Curtis
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Security Concerns Raised Over Android Phones

Researchers have announced that a number of smartphones running on Google's Android OS have security flaws that could enable hackers to retrieve personal information or record conversations.

In a demonstration at the Black Hat security conference in Abh Dhabi, a British researcher demonstrated a vulnerability in the web browser on the HTC Android phone which allowed him to install an application which gave him broad-based control over the phone.

Another method of attack researchers talked about is to get users to install a seemingly harmless application which can then be used by hackers to access data.  A researcher from MWR InfoSecurity demonstrated that the app can reinstall itself with increased access to give hackers broad powers, which include recording conversations.

The presentation at the Black Hat meeting was the latest in a series of discoveries made over the last two weeks which call into question the security of Android-based phones, which have overtaken Aple's iPhones to garner a 25 percent share of the global market during the third quarter.

A separate team of researchers presented a scenario at a recent conference in Oregon, using what appeared to be a harmless application for the popular mobile device game “Angry Birds.”  Those researchers demonstrated how the apparently harmless game could be used by hackers to install malicious software on phones that downloaded the program.
 
“We’ve begun rolling out a fix for this issue, which will apply to all Android devices,” Google said in a prepared statement released as a response to the concerns.  The statement went on to suggest users only download content from sources they trust.

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