500,000,000 Android phones are potentially vulnerable to the latest malware discovered in Google’s operating system . It is said soon. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the high-end handsets with the latest technology inside or the cheaper handsets with balance components. They all have the same problem: it is highly probable that at some point in the life of the device they will end up being affected by a serious security problem, a virus that either destroys the terminal from end to end or, even worse, steals information from the user.
One Android and dozens of manufacturers: danger calls danger’
The semi-open design of Android means that mobiles using the operating system are often a time bomb in the hands of the unsuspecting user . It goes without saying that nowadays the mobile is used for much more than just talking or sending messages and it contains such sensitive information as bank details, photographs or business and professional contact details that may come to light. Google is obviously the main culprit, after all it is the developer of the system, but the proliferation of manufacturers does not help to stop the annual drain of malware on smartphones with Android installed.
These viruses also have a very simple operation, which confuses and makes the user trust. In the case of the latest malware discovered, it is only necessary to click on a simple link or image, a priori harmless, to access a malicious website that puts the terminal’s data within the reach of the attacker and could even format it remotely . The attacker may have administrator permissions to do and undo as he pleases.
History repeats itself
But is not the first time this has happened, and unfortunately it will not be the last . Other malwares discovered in the history of Android have been known to get into the guts of the operating system. Most of them have been destructive and others even, as if access to banking information were not enough, have been dedicated to make calls without permission to special tariff numbers, with the consequent cries to the operators to try to recover the money spent on these calls made by the virus.
The great variety of Android, a serious problem
The expansion of Android phones is done differently from Apple’s philosophy . Samsung, LG, Sony, HTC… All of them manufacture a good number of smartphones with Android, and each corporation is dedicated to include its own changes within the system, making each mobile version totally different from another, even if they are from the same manufacturer. This leads to the almost imperative need for Google to give a wide hand on your system and agree that almost anyone develops for Android, so Google Play is full of applications of dubious quality , for being good, and with holes in their programming put there deliberately or, at other times, by the lack of optimization of the developer.
Malware and viruses take advantage of this situation and mercilessly attack the mobile phones of all these manufacturers. The real solution that Google puts on top of the table is the system update, but not all the terminals that are on the street have this possibility at hand, since the same manufacturers, with some exceptions, limit this update in order to launch more and more technically powerful mobiles in which they can easily run the latest version of Androd that is on the market.
What about Apple?
They’re not foolproof terminals either. You can find a bug to exploit in iOS at any time. However, the Apple philosophy makes it much more complicated to access a backdoor in the operating system . The iPhone is a ‘closed’ terminal, created with the same hardware that iOS runs on. This, which many people find almost sacrilegious, serves, among other things, to prevent anyone from programming a dangerous application that could jeopardize the security of the terminal.
Cupertino’s policy also prevents a stolen terminal from being used by a third party. There we have the case of Apple against the FBI for the famous iPhone 5c of the alleged San Bernardino terrorist. Not only have Californians refused to provide software that reverses the security of their own device, but the specialists of the US government have not been able to circumvent the security of iOS .