More than one billion Android devices have been found to be at risk of hacking, this is due to security updates no longer taking place.
Which? the industry watchdog has been the company to find the possible vulnerability, which could leave users around the world exposed to; data theft, ransom demands and other malicious attacks.
If you have an Android handset older than 2012 then this article is especially for you.
“Not reassured by Google’s response.”
The owner of the operating system, Google has released data showing that 42.1% of Android users are using version 6.0 or below.
The Android security bulletin has showed no security updates have been issued for versions prior to 7.0 in 2019.
We are now on Android version 10.0, which means there are only three versions receiving updates.
This means that only 3 out of 5 handsets are still receiving the required security updates.
Anti-virus lab AV Comparatives went on the infect some handsets with malware, succeeding on every attempt.
The findings have been shared with Google, however their response, “failed to provide reassurance that it has plans in place to help users whose devices were no longer supported”
Which? want Google and other suppliers to provide additional transparency for users on how long a device will be maintained.
This isn’t the first update issue recently, you may remember back in May some Samsung devices could no longer run Netflix due to updates in the OS.
“It’s very concerning that expensive Android devices have such a short shelf life before they lose security support, leaving millions of users at risk of serious consequences if they fall victim to hackers.
“Google and phone manufacturers need to be upfront about security updates – with clear information about how long they will last and what customers should do when they run out.
“The government must also push ahead with planned legislation to ensure manufacturers are far more transparent about security updates for smart devices – and their impact on consumers.” said Kate Bevan, Which? Computing editor.
So what do you need to check if you have an Android device?
- If your device is over two years old check if you can update via the settings.
- If you cannot higher that Android 8.0, you are at risk, especially on Android version 4.0 or lower.
- Should this be the case it is advisable to proceed with caution when on the internet or downloading applications.
- Keep in mind even an email or text can allow a hacker access
- Install a mobile anti-virus