Tag: mobile security concerns

Mobile security risk to Android devices could impact almost 1 billion

A bug that can infect that operating system can spread itself with nothing more than one text message.

Smartphones that run on the Android operating system are now at risk of an important mobile security flaw that could allow a properly infected text message to take over the device.

It is currently estimated that nearly 1 billion devices around the world are vulnerable to this bug.

According to mobile security experts, this flaw is now considered to be “the word Android vulnerability in the mobile OS history.” Zimperium researchers that focus on this type of issue were among those who initially released details regarding this threat, which has been called “Stagefright.” This threat is dangerous enough that it can infect an Android based smartphone simply through the receipt of an MMS message, regardless of whether or not the device user actually opens it.

Once the text is received, the mobile security bug activates a code which releases full control of the device to an attacker.

Mobile Security - Large Crowd of PeopleThis Android bug gives the attacker control over everything from the camera and microphone to the data on the device, which can then be copied. In their blog releasing information about Stagefright, the Zimperium researchers explained that “These issues in Stagefright code critically expose 95 per cent of Android devices, an estimated 950 million devices.”

While Google has already issued a repair for the security flaw for its Android operating system, many carriers and phone makers haven’t yet released the update to consumers.

The problem, itself, was first spotted back in April by Zimperium’s Joshua Drake. Drake received recognition for this discovery by Google, when the company released a statement saying “We thank Joshua Drake for his contributions. The security of Android users is extremely important to us and so we responded quickly and patches have already been provided to partners that can be applied to any device.”

Google also took care to point out the mobile security steps that are already in place for devices that run on its operating system. It pointed out that the majority of Android based devices, including all of the ones running on the newer versions of the OS, include a number of different technologies that have been “designed to make exploitation more difficult.” Among them is an app sandbox that is meant to help to keep user data and other device apps protected.

Mobile security woes hold back smartphone shoppers

Retailers have been working hard to encourage consumers to buy over their smartphones but still have barriers.

Recent reports are all consistently showing that as much as shopping via smartphones and tablets is growing, and retailers are pouring their resources into boosting their experience over these devices, mobile security remains a concern among consumers that is causing them to hold back from the true potential of the channel.

The focus, seems to be not only an engaging experience, but showing that it is a safe one, too.

Among the most recent reports, one has suggested that retailers are going to need to make a greater effort to convince shoppers that they have high enough mobile security to make it worthwhile to conduct their shopping activities safely online by way of their commerce sites. This could present a considerable challenge as this is a very new environment and many consumers hesitate when they are still feeling more comfortable using desktops and laptops.

The latest report has found that mobile security is one of the leading issues that causes shopping cart abandonment.

Mobile security and smartphone shoppersThe study was conducted by Jumio, which determined that among all m-commerce users, 65 percent will abandon their carts before completing their transactions. More than half of those people have done so because they have concerns over the mobile security that is involved in providing their sensitive data over their smartphones and tablets in order to complete a purchase.

One of the leading perceptions that remains regarding the use of smartphones and tablets is that there are serious mobile security issues related to them and that they are more dangerous to use in terms of the safety of sensitive data such as personal and financial information, than a traditional e-commerce platform over a desktop or laptop computer.

The same report also pointed out that 47 percent of its respondents who would have been willing to overlook certain mobile security worries struggled with the length of time that it took to load and complete the checkout experience over their smartphone or tablet. Over a quarter of the participants said that they had tried to make a purchase but that for some technical reason, they discovered that their order could not be placed.