Google’s Android operating system has been under attack recently from malware programs that are installed on your system using different applications. The applications that contained the malware were used to take information from your system, such as the IMEI/IMSI device specific code (A number designed to be unique to your device to help identify it.) and the version of the Android operating system you are using. This may not sound like much of a problem, however it could mean that these malware programs may end up taking more of your personal information held on the phone, and send it to different hackers across the world.
Newer versions of Android (From version 2.2.2 and above.) have patches that are immune to the malware bug. The problem is for people who haven’t updated their systems are at possible risk of falling victim to the bug. Google are currently readying a patch for download, which will make the older versions of Android safe against the malware application. It is up to the mobile phone carriers to make this security update available and known to their customers, and also up to the customer downloading and installing the patch.
Google is also using a kill switch system, which is designed to uninstall malware and other vicious applications from infected handsets with the knowledge of the user. According to Google’s blog, emails have been sent out to various users, informing them of the malware threat and what steps Google are taking to prevent any further damage done.
In keeping in line with prevention being the best cure, Google are also going to put security measures on their Android Market. It is hoped these measures will make it harder, if not impossible, for dodgy application developers to put harmful apps up and available for consumers and Android users. Google are keeping quiet about these security measures, and no information was given about what possibilities there are, or what plans are being put into place.
With the patch update being available, the last hurdle to securing the users of Google’s Android OS is the mobile operators and carriers, as some may be slower to make this update available to their users. This is out of Google’s control, as these versions of Android are decentralized from their access.
It is lucky that no damage has been done yet, and Google hope to keep this from spreading too far, and infecting too many phones.