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Researchers publish dirty dozen vulnerable smartphones – and they all run Android

The analysis from Bit9 says that all 12 smartphones found to be the weakest in terms of security run the Android operating system.

Android phones, says the report, own the list, accounting for every single spot, with the Samsung Galaxy Mini taking the top spot, and the HTC Desire and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 rounding out the top three.

This may not be so surprising, Infosecurity notes, as the report says that 56% of Android phones in the marketplace today are running out-of-date and insecure versions of the Android operating system software.

The study found that smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC, Motorola and LG often launch new phones with outdated software out of the box, and they are slow to upgrade these phones to the latest and most secure versions of Android.

In some cases, says the analysis, the phones are not updated at all, as the manufacturers shift their focus to newer models, leaving existing customers stranded with insecure software.

“Smartphones are the new laptop and represent the fastest emerging threat vector,” said Harry Sverdlove, Bit9’s CTO.

“In our bring-your-own-device work culture, people are using their smartphones for both personal and business use, and attacks on these devices are on the rise. This dynamic is changing the way corporations think about protecting their confidential data and intellectual property. This is the new security frontier”, he added.

The `dirty dozen’ list includes:

1. Samsung Galaxy Mini

2. HTC Desire

3. Sony Ericsson Xperia X10

4. Sanyo Zio

5. HTC Wildfire

6. Samsung Epic 4G

7. LG Optimus S

8. Samsung Galaxy S

9. Motorola Droid X

10. LG Optimus One

11. Motorola Droid 2

12. HTC Evo 4G

But wait – before all the iPhone owners reading this news report start gloating - coming in at number 13, with what Bit9 calls an honorary mention, is the Apple iPhone 4 and older models.

The criteria for the list, says Bit9, was based on the smartphones with the highest market share that were running out-of-date and insecure software and had the slowest update cycles.


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