Linked by David Adams on Thu 24th Jun 2010 16:22 UTC, submitted by Governa
Privacy, Security, Encryption About 20 percent of third-party apps available through the Android marketplace allow third-party access to sensitive data, and can do things like make calls and send texts without the owners' knowledge, according to a recent security report from security firm SMobile Systems. There's no indication that any of the highlighted apps is malicious, but the report does underscore the inherent risks of a more open ecosystem as opposed to Apple's oppressive yet more controlled environment, with every app being vetted before availability.
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RE[4]: From a security firm
by kaiwai on Fri 25th Jun 2010 06:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: From a security firm"
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Google themselves are apparently going to take responsibility for "malicious applications". If Google are alerted by one end user to the existence of a malicious application, or if Google identify it themselves, they apparently can and will delete it from everybody's android phone.


No need to spam the same post over and over and over again simply to get your post count up; I read it once in reply to a previous post, there is no need to repeat it over and over again. As much as I'd love to believe in the benevolent dictatorship of Google, we have already seen it take a nasty turn in the case of Apple and the iOS platform - which is the reason why I've stuck to my good old iPod Classic and ZTE R6 Mobile phone.

Remember when Apple was the darling of geeks? there is nothing stopping Google from making the 'tough decisions' when they need to even if it means angering a few geeks along the way.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: From a security firm
by lemur2 on Fri 25th Jun 2010 06:25 in reply to "RE[4]: From a security firm"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Google themselves are apparently going to take responsibility for "malicious applications". If Google are alerted by one end user to the existence of a malicious application, or if Google identify it themselves, they apparently can and will delete it from everybody's android phone.
No need to spam the same post over and over and over again simply to get your post count up; I read it once in reply to a previous post, there is no need to repeat it over and over again. As much as I'd love to believe in the benevolent dictatorship of Google, we have already seen it take a nasty turn in the case of Apple and the iOS platform - which is the reason why I've stuck to my good old iPod Classic and ZTE R6 Mobile phone. Remember when Apple was the darling of geeks? there is nothing stopping Google from making the 'tough decisions' when they need to even if it means angering a few geeks along the way. "

I wasn't spamming ... I personally think this is very problematical. Google have already zapped two applications out of existence in the Android universe.

One the one hand, there is nobody in a better position than Google to take on such a "Android app police" role. They could be everybody's Android anti-malware monitor, without taking up anybody's Android CPU power. That bit is pretty neat, really.

However, having said that, they also effectively have built in a "veto" for themselves on what can be installed on Android phones. If Google don't like it they can wipe it from everyone's Android phone. In fact, if someone else (maybe the government or the RIAA or MPAA) don't like it, perhaps they may be able to force Google to zap it from everyone's Android phone.

That aspect of it seems even worse than Apple's shenanigans.

So how about a bit of sane discussion on Google's real-world provisions here, what Google are actually doing and planning to do, instead of pontificating from on high about how users cannot be relied upon to do the best thing by themselves. Apparently, for Andoid phones, they aren't going to be asked to.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: From a security firm
by lemur2 on Fri 25th Jun 2010 07:00 in reply to "RE[5]: From a security firm"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

So how about a bit of sane discussion on Google's real-world provisions here, what Google are actually doing and planning to do, instead of pontificating from on high about how users cannot be relied upon to do the best thing by themselves. Apparently, for Andoid phones, they aren't going to be asked to.


From the original quoted article, Google's response was this:

A Google spokesman dismissed those claims.

"This report falsely suggests that Android users don't have control over which apps access their data," the Google spokesman said on Wednesday morning. "Not only must each Android app get users' permission to access sensitive information, but developers must also go through billing background checks to confirm their real identities, and we will disable any apps that are found to be malicious."


Google apparently really meant it when they said they would disable any apps that are found to be malicious.

Googles in-built provision to remotely zap malicious Android apps destroys the original article's criticism of Android, but to my mind it opens up a whole plethora of utterly different potential criticisms for Google to answer to. The self-same zapper can presumably, at Google's say-so, zap anything at all on people's phones.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: From a security firm
by clhodapp on Fri 25th Jun 2010 11:05 in reply to "RE[5]: From a security firm"
clhodapp Member since:
2009-12-04

That aspect of it seems even worse than Apple's shenanigans.

Apple has the same power over iPhoneOS/iOS devices.

Reply Parent Score: 1