Google Released Android Update to Fix Security FlawAdded: Tuesday, May 24th, 2011
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The security flaw in question let hackers to imitate public wireless hot spots that have been addressed by the phone earlier in order to capture an authentication token and access user information. Late last week Google responded with new Android version 2.3.4 to solve the problem.
It was just a couple days ago that the researchers at Ulm University in Germany discovered that the hackers could theoretically intercept information from a number of Google’s applications, including photo-sharing, calendar and contacts services. Besides, other Google apps were compromised, including Gmail. However, Google has already announced that its developers “fixed” the problem.
The flaw described above affected Android versions 2.3.3 and older, which in fact comprised almost all Android phones being in use at the moment. The security hole worked by letting unsecured Wi-Fi access points imitate public wireless hot spots having been accessed by the phone earlier in order to capture an authentication token. The latter could afterward be used by hackers to access and modify personal information in calendar, contacts, and even photo website Picasa.
The German researchers pointed out that the data flaw worked especially well if the name of the network of a certain provider was similar to one used earlier. In other words, if the smartphone was ever associated with the original network before, it was able to “recognize” it and automatically dial. Once the researchers found the security hole, they recommended all Android users staying away from open Wi-Fi networks for a while. Despite the fact that the issue might have been short-lived, Google’s team of developers decided to address the problem and soon claimed that the flaw has been fixed in 2.3.4 version of the OS.
Google announced last week that they started to roll out a fix addressing a potential security hole which could let an outsider to access information available in calendar and contacts. The Android update didn’t require any action from users and was supposed to roll out globally over the next week. Meanwhile, the users concerned that they might have been affected by the flaw were recommended to change their Google account password, which would cause rendering of all existing token authorizations for their account useless.
May 24th,2011Posted by:
Tuesday, May 24th, 2011No comments
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