Tag: android app security

Android mobile security feature disabled by Google

One of the privacy control features that had previously been available on smartphones has been removed.

It has just been revealed that Google Inc. has decided to eliminate an experimental Android mobile security feature meant to help users to be able to boost their privacy levels by blocking apps from being able to collect some forms of their data, such as their location and the contents of their address books.

This change will mean that smartphone users of version 4.4.2 of the operating system will not be able to block that sharing.

In order to be able to use certain apps, users will no longer be able to rely on the Android mobile security blocking to stop their personal data from being collected. According to a Google spokesperson, the feature had accidentally been included in the Android 4.3 version (Jelly Bean) that was released last summer.

Many have expressed suspicion concerning the explanation about the removal of the Android mobile security feature.

Android Mobile Security DisabledWhile some have accepted Google’s explanation and are not bothered by the removal of the privacy tool, others are suspicious and don’t feel that the elimination of the feature was the best move when improvement would have been a superior path.

The concern that has now been expressed is that users of smartphones based on the operating system can choose not to upgrade to Android 4.4.2, but this could place them at an increased risk of other types of vulnerabilities that were overcome by the upgrade. This will cause people to have to make the choice between two different types of protection for their devices.

Many third party apps for these smartphones require personal information access, such as location data and phone call information, in order to be used, despite the fact that there is not always an obvious reason why the application would require this data in order to function. The added privacy feature gave users the ability to select which types of data could be collected by a third party application.

Now, the Android mobile security feature providing that ability will no longer be available to users who upgrade to the latest version of the operating system.

Metaforic identifies threat of Android applications

Metaforic identifies Android app threat100% of Android applications compromised, according to Metaforic

All of the most popular mobile applications for the Android platform may have been hacked, according to Infosecurity, an online resource for security information. This possibility is being echoed by Metaforic, a leading mobile security provider, which suggests that the likelihood of a person downloading a compromised application has risen exponentially over the past few years. Metaforic notes that as more compromised applications become available, they could create a serious security threat against major enterprises and even government agencies.

Lack of standards and wide variety of development practices seed potential threats

Application development has changed over the years and developers have adopted myriad practices in order to conduct their tasks. Because there are so many ways to create a mobile application, there is limited standardization that exists to protect the integrity of these applications and ensure they live up to a certain expectation. Metaforic notes that most, if not all, applications becoming compromised because of app repackaging. Repackaging refers to programs that are part of applications that automatically install software across a wide variety of platforms.

Few consumers take steps to protect their mobile devices

Another issue that is causing significant problems in the mobile security sector is the fact that very few people actually protect their smart phones and mobile devices. The vast majority of consumers do not have any kind of security software installed on their devices, leaving them at risk of having their device infected by malware or exploited in other ways. While most mobile devices have some form of internal security, third party software is often needed to completely ensure the security of a smart phone or tablet.

Metaforic advises consumers to find ways to protect themselves

Many of the compromised applications available for the Android platform are likely dormant in some fashion. That is to say that the threats associated with these applications have not yet been activated. Indeed, these threats may never actually take form, but given the fact that so many applications have been compromised — in many cases long before they have actually reached the app market — it may be prudent for consumers to find new ways to protect themselves.