The Strategist

Experts: 1 billion Android devices are prone to hacker attacks

03/16/2020 - 07:55

According to a study by the British consumer magazine Which?, more than a billion Android devices currently in operation may be susceptible to hacker attacks due to weakened security systems. Outdated versions of Android OS on these devices no longer support security updates. Built-in protection of such smartphonesis outdated as well.

Experts of the British magazine Which? conducted a study analyzing security systems of several popular models of smartphones and tablets Motorola, Samsung, Sony, LG, Google, which can still be bought on the Internet. The researchers found vulnerabilities for potential hacker attacks, including identity theft, gaining control of a smartphone with the possibility of its remote use so that the owner will have to pay for something that he did not use.

According to the survey, it turned out that 40% of current users of Android devices do not receive security updates from Google due to the fact that their devices have an outdated version of the OS.

The magazine separately emphasizes that models with the Android version released before 2012, including such popular ones as the Samsung Galaxy S3 or Sony Xperia S, pose a special risk of vulnerability.

Which? magazinesent the results of its research to Google to find out exactly how many Android smartphones in the UK could be at risk of hacker attacks.

The company replied that it could only be a few million devices with versions that have not been officially supported for a long time. According to the magazine, Google could not give an exhaustive answer to the question of what exactly the company is going to do to protect users from risks.

In this regard, the magazine decided to give consumers their own advice to minimize risks. Firstly, users with a smartphone purchased more than two years ago are advised to manually update the OS version on their device. If the OS is lower than Android 7.0 Nougat, the user should understand that there is a certain security risk for the device. Devices with very old versions, Android 4 or lower, pose the highest risk.

For users who have such obsolete devices, the magazine advises either to buy a new gadget with a modern version of the Android OS, or to install an antivirus program and update it from time to time. In addition, experts remind users of obsolete devices to be doubly careful when downloading programs and applications, as well as when opening links from SMS and MMS.