Rampant security flaws and fragmentation forces company to ban Android phones and tablets

“The problem with fragmentation – 98.4% in Androids case – is that there are over a billion devices running at least five earlier versions that are all vulnerable to malware, data theft, and other major security vulnerabilities. Google does not update these – the manufacturer has to. Google’s recent response [is] ‘We will not fix issues in Jelly Bean 4.3.1 and prior,'” Ray Shaw reports for iTWire. “What that means is unless you have a recent KitKat 4.4 device or Lollipop you are screwed – the only way to get a little more secure is to buy a new device.”

“One major corporate user has banned Android devices on its network. ‘We simply cannot cope with managing the plethora of Android devices and apps on our network. We are happy to support iOS 8.x and Windows Phone 8.x – and apps from their stores but that is it!'” Shaw reports. “The comment on iTunes and Windows Store is interesting – both test all apps before listing and changes are monitored and retested. Google Play has found and removed malware from apps on its store but the issue is that there are thousands of alternative Android app stores that do not take the responsibility.”

“Google could use the carrot and stick approach with device makers – either they update the OS or they don’t get it!” Shaw reports. “But as Android is merely a thinly disguised vector for delivering advertising revenue to Google it probably won’t do that either.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If the explosions don’t kill you, the infections will.

Android. “Open” in all the wrong ways.

[Attribution: BGR. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Bill” for the heads up.]

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F-Secure: Android accounted for 99% of new mobile malware in Q1 2014 – April 30, 2014
Google’s Sundar Pichai: Android not designed to be safe; if I wrote malware, I’d target Android, too – February 27, 2014
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      1. No kidding since the kind of stability and security business craves can only come from someone like Apple who isn’t fragmented all over the place. What is wrong with people who would go NEAR an Android phone? They love justifying their bad choices in life.

        1. I’ve been an Apple user for 3 decades and there have always been Apple haters out there in large numbers. Prior to the iPhone, and it still may exist was a site called anythingbutipod.com or something like that. At this point (2004 or 2005) there was a lot of whining on Apple/iPod boards from people (me included) that carried iPods and cellphones and that Apple should combine them into an iPhone (yes, they called it that).

          When the iPhone came out, those of us hoping for years for such a device jumped on it. It fit perfectly into the iTunes (if not Apple) ecosystem that was already in place. The haters and tinkerers gravitated towards Android. We all got involved in our preferred ecosystems and history moves on.

          There are reasons for people to like Android. It has advantages over iOS just as iOS has advantages over Android. Personally, Android makes me nauseous, so despite all its faults I stick with iOS. I like the lack of malware and don’t really have a problem with the walled garden approach that Apple uses. Hell, it’s a phone, who wants to hack a phone?

          But Android users feel the same way about iOS as Windows users feel about OS X. There is no accounting for taste.

          Some android users, probably most android users are android users because of the price. Android is the new feature phone. You really can’t blame the ignorant for making ignorant choices, and you really can’t blame Android aficionados for enjoying their chosen platform.

  1. As Apple Insider pointed out recently, 89% of Google’s revenue is still from ADVERTISING!

    In spite of all the Android phones, tablets, flying cars, glasses, watches, Google Play/Plus/TV/underWear, secret decoder rings and stealth WiFi heists, Google is still an advertising company.

    Start with that presumption and everything else is falls into place.

  2. We use Airwatch MDM here and have about 40 Android phones and all have no encryption on. I asked the director that I thought that was one of the reasons of MDM was to force encryption of our data and got a response that it doesn’t work with all Android phones and causes slow downs and problems on some models! Thats nice, all iOS devices connected are encrypted, if it was the other way around we would be screaming to ban iOS devices!

  3. android fans used to argue with me saying “Apple is a Walled Garden”, I went like “that’s better than a Taliban controlled rat infested crime ridden War Zone”.

    2) For years tech writers who make a lot more money reviewing the vast numbers of Android devices (vs the few of iOS) deliberately skipped over the malware issue in reviews.

    3) One Android bloggist who didn’t take the threat seriously was shocked when he ran a scan for ‘fun’ on his own phone and found harmful malware. Millions of android users don’t realize their own phones are infected. Certain kinds of malware are extremely hard to remove.

    1. That’s a good question, Derek.

      …particularly since in the meantime, the US Fed’s are more broadly migrating off of Blackberry – – to the iPhone and a Samsung (Android). Got to wonder how much of the idea to pick both was to be able to claim “competition” (but at what cost in security?)

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