Google has stepped up its response to recent worries over, implementing a back-end fix that means the majority of smart phone users still using versions 2.3.3 and older won't have to wait for an update.
Yesterday's initial statement from Google acknowledged the issue, stating that it was "aware of the problem" and had "already fixed it for calendar and contacts" in the latest 2.3.4 software.
A subsequent statement confirmed it was dealing with the flaws the original researchers had discovered: "Today we're starting to roll out a fix which addresses a potential security flaw that could, under certain circumstances, allow a third party access to data available in calendar and contacts. This fix requires no action from users and will roll out globally over the next few days."
Reading around the subject further suggests the fix must be implemented on Google's servers rather than on individual handsets. That should mean users won't have to wait for their networks to push out an update in order to secure their phones. Unfortunately, what isn't immediately clear is how a phone user will know when their handset is safer to use.
We spoke to a couple of the UK networks about the issue. They seemed happy to toe Google's party line, stating they wouldn't be giving specific advice to customers using Android phones. This would make sense if the problem is solved entirely by Google, though we got the impression the networks spokespeople weren't wholly clued up on the security issues involved.
While the risk of data theft is low, it looks as if Google's developers left some gaping security holes. It's worrying that only in versionwere these issues substantially addressed.
Having nearly forgotten about theand issues, now we have to question Google all over again. It would be unfair to single out Google for sloppy systems, with and suffering similar (and worse) failures in the last month.
It's not the first time Android phones coming on to the market and , Google needs to stay one step ahead of hackers. The overhaul expected towards the end of the year should help matters, but users need to know their data is safe now.has been called into question, however, and it certainly won't be the last. With the deluge of
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