Data On Nearly One Billion Android Devices Can Be Hacked At Any Time!

Do you know that there are around 2.5 billion Android devices out there in the world? If the number has surprised you then wait for the bigger revelation by the consumer watchdog group Which? as according to them, more than 1 billion Android devices are at risk of being hacked because the security updates have just not been good enough to protect them lately.

While the vulnerability can lead users from around the world to face data theft, ransom demands or other malware attacks, people who still use Android phones dating back to 2012 or earlier should actually be more concerned.

When Google was approached by media outlets to comment, the company refused to say anything. However, when we look at the statistics provided by the company, then almost 42.1 percent of Android users worldwide have version 6.0 (Marshmallow) operating system or below (including Lollipop, KitKat, Jelly Bean, Ice Cream Sandwich and Gingerbread) installed on their smartphones.

Furthermore, going through the Android security bulletin, we saw no security patches being issued for Android version 7 or below in even 2019 as well. Which? Also stated that nearly 2 out of 5 android users haven’t even received any kind of security updates and to prove their point, they also tested 5 phones.
  • Motorola X
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
  • Sony Xperia Z2
  • LG/Google Nexus 5
  • Samsung Galaxy S6
Which? Proposed antivirus lab AV-Comparatives to infect each of the phones with malware and their hackers created multiple infections on some of them without any problem.

The watchdog group seems to be right with their concern as they want Google and other mobile operating system developers to clarify customers about how long will the security updates stay valid for. Moreover, mobile companies should also provide support to customers with some kind of options once the security updates are no longer valid for an Android version or smartphone.

Kate Bevan, Which? Computing editor was even more blunt in stating that the government should play its role in pushing manufacturers to remain transparent as the expensive Android devices have very short shelf life when it comes to losing the security support and that’s just not fair for anyone who buys the $500 smartphone or more with the hope of using it for a decent period of time.

In case of checking whether your phone is exposed to the threat and if yes what should you do?

First and foremost, you need to check if your Android device, that is two or more years old, can be updated to the newer version of the operating system or not. If your phone is running on Android 7.0 Nougat, try updating it via Settings > System >Advanced System update.

If your phone cannot be updated and is operating on Android Version 6 or lower, then be extremely cautious while downloading apps outside the Google App Store

Also be careful with suspicious SMS and MMS messages.

You should have your data backed up in two or more places (cloud and hard drive)

Install an authentic anti-virus app in your mobile. Although the choices would be very limited but having one can still save your data from getting stolen to some extent.

Read next: New Android Malware Might Steal Google Authentication Codes
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