According to a group of computer scientists at North Carolina State University, a vulnerability exists within many Android devices that would allow hackers (or malicious apps) to bypass the permissions request process and tap into audio and location, wipe apps and data, or send unauthorized SMS messages, all without the user knowing.
This news may sound a bit sensational, but the researchers have created and tested a dummy app which effectively demonstrates the exploit:
Among the eight phones tested with the researchers' diagnostic app (Woodpecker), HTC's Evo 4G seemed to be the most vulnerable, able to "leak" eight different capabilities to their dummy app, which was not explicitly granted appropriate permissions by the user.
I'm curious to see what percentage of our readers who run custom ROMs are using AOSP (Android Open Source Project - something pretty close to vanilla Android, such as CyanogenMod), and what percentage are using something based on stock device ROMs. More specifically, I want to find out if people on certain manufacturers are more likely to go AOSP than others - in other words, is Blur/NinjaBlur pushing more people to AOSP than TouchWiz, or is there no difference?
Hot on the heels of the report from the analytics firm Canalys, market research firm IDC has reaffirmed Apple as the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. Unlike the findings from Canalys, which grouped smartphone OS platforms together irrespective of manufacturer, IDC's study has broken down shipment numbers in Q2 2011 according to device vendors. The findings (courtesy of Engadget) are as follows:
Smartphone shipments in Q2 2011 totalled 106.6 million, an increase of 42.2 million from last year.
Android updates are a bit of a tricky subject for all involved parties. Obviously consumers and Google are on the same page in that they want Android updates to roll out to individual devices as soon as possible. But for manufacturers and carriers, updates are costly to customize, quality test, and roll-out.
Manufacturer user interfaces (UIs) can be a bit of a hot-button topic in the Android world. Some prefer vanilla Android, à la CyanogenMod. Others have no issue with them whatsoever, and even actively seek to restoresome of the functionality. (Others still prefer to roll their own, or like the ability to switch at will...
In light of this week's bootloader lockdown bonanza, it makes sense to ask something related. We know that as an Android-centric blog, our readers are likely to be a bit more hack-'n-mod oriented, so we're interested to see: who will manufacture your next device?
The "why" isn't crucial, though you're certainly encouraged to share your reasoning via the comments.
If you’ve cruised the blogosphere today, you’ve probably noticed a number of articles talking about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and the Library of Congress having decided to add a few exemptions to the sweeping piece of legislation’s authority. Why is this a big deal? And is it a big deal at all?
On the latter, in some ways yes, and I’ll explain why only some later. For the former, it signifies a change in attitude over what constitutes infringement of digital copyright for two major pieces of technology, one of which we’re interested in here at Android Police (take a guess at what sort of technology that is).