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Some Android phones fail to enforce permissions, exposed to unauthorized app access

Joshua Tucker, @joshmtucker
December 2, 2011
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Eight Android phones, including the Motorola Droid X and Samsung Epic 4G, were found to house major permission flaws according to a research team at North Carolina State University. Their study revealed untrusted applications could send SMS messages, record conversations and execute other potentially malicious actions without user consent. Eleven of the thirteen areas analyzed (includes geo-location and access to address books) showed privileges were exposed by pre-loaded applications. Interestingly, Nexus devices were less vulnerable, suggesting that the other phone manufacturers may have failed to properly implement Android's security permissions model. Google and Motorola confirm the present flaws while HTC and Samsung remain silent. Exerting caution when installing applications should keep users on their toes until fixes arrive.

[Thanks, John]




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