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Technology Pre-installed apps on low-end Android phones are full of security holes

22:50  15 november  2019
22:50  15 november  2019 Source:   engadget.com

Version of Android for feature phones leaks in alleged video

  Version of Android for feature phones leaks in alleged video The OS is thought to have since been scrappedGoogle’s work on Android for feature phones was first rumored earlier this year, when 9to5Google discovered references in Chromium’s source code to a new “touchless” mode for Google’s browser, designed for devices without a touchscreen. Screenshots later emerged which suggested that this touchless mode was destined for feature phones. However, as of earlier this month Google appeared to be removing this code, suggesting that it has shelved or rolled back its plans.

The DHS-funded report uncovered 146 apps , which come pre - installed on inexpensive Android handsets, would pull shenanigans like Kryptowire found these bugs on phones from 29 different manufacturers from relatively unknowns like Cubot and Doogee to marquee companies include Sony.

The DHS-funded report uncovered 146 apps , which come pre - installed on inexpensive Android handsets, would pull shenanigans like Kryptowire found these bugs on phones from 29 different manufacturers from relatively unknowns like Cubot and Doogee to marquee companies include Sony.

In what has become an annual reckoning, security research company Kryptowire recently published its 2019 report on the state of manufacturer-installed software and firmware for Android devices and, to no one's surprise, they found more than 140 bugs which could be exploited for malicious purposes.

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The DHS-funded report uncovered 146 apps, which come pre-installed on inexpensive Android handsets, would pull shenanigans like eavesdropping through the microphone, unilaterally changing their permissions or surreptitiously transmitting data back to the manufacturer without ever notifying the user.

Android 10 Go makes budget phones faster, more secure

  Android 10 Go makes budget phones faster, more secure Phones will start seeing the new operating system in the fall.Android 10 Go edition is for phones with 1.5 GB of RAM or less. While it doesn't have all the features of Android 10, the new version of the light operating system will launch apps 10% faster and make switching between apps faster.

These pre - installed apps can be clunky, annoying to remove, rarely updated… and, it turns out, full of security holes . Security firm Kryptowire built a tool to automatically scan a large number of Android devices for signs of security shortcomings and, in a study funded by the U.S. Department of

Furthermore, some pre - installed apps were signed with certificates belonging to companies known to engage in user tracking --such as Adups, AccuWeather, or The term "custom permissions" refers to a type of permission level for the Android operating system that is set up by phone manufacturers.

Kryptowire found these bugs on phones from 29 different manufacturers from relatively unknowns like Cubot and Doogee to marquee companies include Sony. And given that the average Android come with anywhere from 100 to 400 apps pre-installed, often bundled as part of larger app suites, these vulnerabilities pose a growing threat to users.

The problem isn't unsolvable, mind you. "Google can demand more thorough code analysis and vendor responsibility for their software products that enter the Android ecosystems," Kryptowire CEO Angelos Stavrou told CNET. "Legislators and policy makers should demand that companies are accountable for putting the security and personal information of end-users at risk."

The question, though, is whether or not Google and policy makers have the political will to take steps necessary to correct the issue.

Kryptowire

New Android phones in Turkey will have to do without Google apps .
New Android phones released in Turkey won't come with Google apps if the tech giant fails to resolve its issue with the country's authorities. According to Reuters, the company told its Turkish business partners that it will not be able to work with them on new Android phones to be released in the Turkish market. Its problems in the country started when its Russian competitor Yandex filed a complaint against it, prompting the Turkish competition board to open a probe.Back in 2018, the competition board ordered Google to change its software distribution agreements in order to allow consumers to choose a different search engine for their Android devices.

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