Android - still has security risks..

Android – still has security risks..

When Google released the latest version of its Android operating system last week, KitKat, the company touted the OS was the most secure ever.

In several ways, it is.

The chocolate-bar-named mobile OS contains a new safeguard called OS hardening.

This security feature is designed to make it more difficult for a hacker or malicious app to get root access to your phone or tablet. That being said, it will also make it more difficult for people who want to “root” their hone with different operating systems.

Another security feature is called “digital certificates,” designed to prevent so-called “Man-in-the-Middle” attacks.

Such a hack is when someone on the same wireless network you’re on, say – at a coffee shop, intercepts the data travelling between your phone and the Internet at large.

What could happen is that a website may appear to be the one you’re looking to pull up on your device, but it’s actually a fake that is pulling in your login details, for example.

But Kaspersky Lab researcher Stefan Tenase says these changes don’t really do much to address key Android security concerns.

On the Securelist blog, he writes that Android market fragmentation is still a big issue. That is, very few people are on the latest, most secure version of Google’s mobile OS. About 25 per cent of users are still on Android 2.3 – released ages ago.

And it’s up to carriers to release the update operating systems to users – which doesn’t always happen quickly.

Another big problem, Tenase says, is that people can still download and install apps from third-party app stores, which are often more vulnerable to malicious apps.

Are you worried about security on your Android device?

Maurice Cacho