Android operating system highly insecure says report

The report from Columbus, Ohio-based S-Mobile, says that a further 5% of apps grant third party software access to make a call on the Android smartphone, whilst 3% can similar access to information to generate text messages.

S-Mobile has conducted an in-depth survey of some 20 000 apps on the Android smartphone operating system, and concluded that nearly half of the entire Android Market software requested user permissions that researchers would consider suspicious.

The situation is compounded, Infosecurity notes, as the company says that "dozens of applications have the identical type of access to sensitive information as known spyware."

"The Android operating system and the Android Market are quickly becoming the most widely used mobile platform and app store in the world", said Neil Book, S-Mobile's CEO.

"There are individuals and organisations out there right now, developing malicious code designed to capture your most personal information and use it to their advantage", he added.

The problem, adds Daniel Hoffman, S-Mobile's chief technology officer, is that the open source architecture that drives Android phones and the abundance of application stores available for all smartphone devices have allowed developers to quickly create and post thousands upon thousands of new applications.

"As a result, applications are currently available that have the potential to cause serious harm to devices, customers and to the broader cellular network", he said.

To counter the problems raised in its report, S-Mobile has developed a spyware detection technology that it has integrated into its Security Shield software for the Android platform.

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