Alright, so quick poll: how many out there are running Android 2.3.4? According to data released the answer should be about 1%, and more importantly, according to The Register, the other 99% of us are quite vulnerable to information theft. The UK based publication says that potential hackers steal authentication tokens that the Android device sends to various websites or accounts for security clearance. Care to know how you can be attacked? Check in after the break. » Read the rest
Want to know what people read the most this last week on TalkAndroid? Read on, my friend, and take a gander! We’ve got The Thunderbolt and Evo getting Gingerbread, CM7, Lookout on Android finding a stolen car, and more! Hit the break to check out all the most popular posts from this last week!
Are you a huge privacy aficionado? Sure you are – and that’s precisely why this latest news will excite you. Google is now, after an update to the Android Market, allowing you to opt-out of the targeted AdMob advertising system.
While we’re personally not huge on clicking on AdMob ads in the first place, it’s nice to see Google handing back a little bit of privacy to those who may not WANT advertising based on whatever their search habits may be.
Think this is good? Bad? Indifferent? Let us know in the comments!
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]
There’s been a lot of buzz around the internet over the past couple of days concerning the privacy hole found in Skype for Android by Android Police. Now, let me preface what I’m about to say with this: I’m a huge fan of privacy and security. I’ve dabbled in network penetration testing and overall security, and I know what it means to stay secure. Now with that being said, let me say this:
“The privacy hole isn’t a huge deal.”
Now, I’m waiting for the flaming to commence, but hear me out. The vulnerability works by using a malicious third party app to steal information from the Skype app. That means, in order to exploit the vulnerability, you have to have downloaded a malicious app onto your phone. Sure, we’ve seen some pop up in the Market in the past, but most malicious apps come from attempting to pirate perfectly legitimate APKs.
So, kudos to Android Police for revealing the exploit, as we’re all about security and privacy, but remember – Joe Plumber probably doesn’t have too much to worry about.
We reported yesterday that there has been a major security hole discovered in Skype for Android. The vulnerabilities make it possible for third-party malicious apps to easily access your Skype files, including your profile info.
As of late yesterday, Skype officially responded on their blog with the following:
It has been brought to our attention that, were you to install a malicious third-party application onto your Android device, then it could access the locally stored Skype for Android files.
These files include cached profile information and instant messages. We take your privacy very seriously and are working quickly to protect you from this vulnerability, including securing the file permissions on the Skype for Android application.
To protect your personal information, we advise users to take care in selecting which applications to download and install onto their device.
In other words: Yes, Skype is aware of the issue. Yes, they’re working on it. No, they don’t have a fix yet. However, with as relentless as the Android community is about their privacy (and rightfully so), you can bet that we’ll see an update with fixes soon. Be sure to keep it locked here for all the latest on this issue, and let us know what you think about it in the comments.
Unfortunately, there are those people out looking to steal our personal information every chance they get. And they are always getting better at that as well. This cause applications to be questioned, scrutinized, and put to the test as to the quality of its security permissions. But this isn’t a a bad thing, it keeps these companies on their toes to make a quality product.
This is what has happened with Skype for Android. Android Police through creating their own app called Skypwned, has found some vulnerabilities in Skype for Android that can leave our precious devices open to attack. Hit the source for more on this issue…
We all want it: remote wipe for our phones. Can we do it through terrific apps like Lookout? Of course we can – and we do! But, sometimes we need a little extra help… like to wipe our device automatically when it gets into the wrong hands. How about a device wipe after too many wrong password guesses from the lockscreen? Or after receiving a special password via text? Or how about after the SIM card is changed (my personal favorite)!?
Well, thanks to the genius minds over at XDA (who else?), we now can say “yea… my phone does”. The app is called Autowipe, and – while not new to the community, it has been out since July of 2010 – is now complete with a test mode, allowing users to test out functionality without, you know…. killing everything on your phone.
Be sure to hit the source link below to check out the full thread at XDA. Was there ever a time you could have used autowipe? Be sure to let us know in the comments!
We love Android, because it’s so versatile. We can tailor it to our user experience, it can transcribe our words to text messages, we can make video calls, and we can play games. But right now, there’s a woman in Peoria, Arizona who loves Android because it helped the police recover her stolen car.
» Read the rest
The smartphone market has a few different camps, each embracing their own train of thought on how things should be done. Apple’s iPhone does a lot of things very well, but it forces you to play the game their way. RIM has taken a “business first” approach with their Blackberry devices. And Android has made it their goal to do whatever it is that you might want to do, taking a jack-of-all-trades approach. Based on their massive gains in marketshare over the last few months, it seems that this has worked well for them. However, it has one major shortcoming, especially if corporate IT admins are to be asked: It just doesn’t have the security features of Blackberry to make it a valid alternative in the corporate world. But perhaps that’s about to change.
One of the things that makes the Android operating system as successful and popular as it currently stands is its flexibility. Despite this advantage, the OS hasn’t gained much traction as a business centric solution, due at least in part to its loose security. This could change, however, with the work of application developer Whisper Systems. Read on, after the break. » Read the rest