Which? has revealed that more than a billion Android devices are at risk of being hacked, as they are no longer receiving updates. Users may be at risk of data theft and ransomware if their phone is more than eight years old.
Google’s data suggests that 42.1% of its users are using an OS version below 6.0. The Android Security Bulletin says no security patches were released for OS versions below 7.0 in 2019. Which? then concluded that 40% of Android users weren’t receiving security updates. As OS versions become older, exploits become clearer to hackers that want user data. Which? then asked AV-Comparatives to infect five Android phones with malware. This included the Motorola X, the Samsung Galaxy S6, the Samsung Galaxy A5, the Sony Xperia Z2, and the Google Nexus 5. AV-Comparatives succeeded in infecting every phone. It was even able to create multiple infections for some phones.
Which? shared these findings with Google, but Google appeared to show little concern. The Watchdog claims that Google “failed to provide reassurance that it has plans in place to help users whose devices were no longer supported.” In the future, they want Google and other large companies to have more transparency over security features in phones.
If you’re concerned about your phone being at risk, check if you can update it to a new version of the OS. Else, take care when downloading apps or APKs to your phone as they could easily allow access to your personal information. If an app asks for permissions you don’t understand the need for, don’t grant them. Finally, if you are especially concerned, invest in a trusted antivirus for your phone.
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Source: BBC News