There’s no questioning about the popularity of Google’s Mobile Operating System; Android. With a sleek interface & regular updates Google has delivered a highly potential product that runs on, literally millions of smartphones. Additionally, there are over a million applications or as they are simply called apps that extend the phone or tablet’s functionality. A significant portion of these apps can be apparently compromised very easily, to spew confidential personal data about the user.
German based Researchers at the Leibniz University of Hannover and the Philipps University of Marburg took apart 13500 of the most popular & more importantly free apps that people the world-over use everyday. Since these apps were downloaded directly from Google’s Play Store, there was no chance of mid-way tampering. Researchers found more than 1000 of these apps were formulated using incorrect or inadequate coding techniques which left them highly susceptible to external snooping. With little effort these researches easily peeled off whatever security measures that were built in & could tap into the data stream to usurp all sorts of data.
About 41 apps who collectively have almost 40 Million users world-wide, had their Facebook, email and cloud storage credentials and messages hacked easily. Additionally, highly sensitive information like bank account information, payment credentials for PayPal, American Express and others ready for the picking. Google’s Android OS is not the most secure operating system yet. Google does allow hackers to try & break the code of its products via contests in order to check & if needed, rectify the faults found. However, time & again fresh attempts often expose severe lapses in data security.
What can be done to prevent the data vulnerability?
Unfortunately there is little that the end-user can do. Since the application itself is flawed, the coders & developers will have to take apart their own creations & re-build them taking into consideration stricter protocols to prevent data theft. Google’s Android, at its core is an Open Source Operating System. While it greatly enhances its adoption, it could consider an even stricter approval process to ensure data integrity stays intact. Apple’s iOS has always followed a highly stringent process to test & approve the apps built for its ecosystem. Is Google’s comparatively lenient approach putting our data at risk? Isn’t it high time Google tightens its grip?
Image Courtesy | shinyshiny