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Daily Dose - Researchers Slam Android Over Apps that Leak GPS data

10.01.2010
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A study from researchers at Duke University, Penn State University, and Intel Labs has discovered that 15 out of 30 popular Android applications selected at random were sending GPS data and phone numbers to advertisers and remote servers.  Several months ago, it was discovered that one app was sending phone numbers to a server in China, but this week's news suggests a more widespread problem with Android applications.  Researchers blame Google for this situation saying, "Android's coarse grained access control provides insufficient protection against third-party applications seeking to collect sensitive data." 

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Comments

Fabrizio Giudici replied on Sun, 2010/10/03 - 7:04am

I welcome security researchers, in all cases. But I'd really like to read some comparative survey (*) - when one focuses on a single system e.g. on Android, it's easy for people to misinterpret (or to spread FUD) that the specific system is worse than others. My opinion is that all systems are more or less subject to the same (in)security levels, also because the user is always the weaker ring of the chain. For instance, the referred chinese malware is a wallpaper that reads your personal info: I mean, it's up to the user to understand that a wallpaper doesn't need GPS, connectivity and personal information access, so he shouldn't install it. It's a tough problem that has more to do with education than technology.

(*) I didn't read the whole PDF paper, but I searched for iPhone and iOS and only found a single reference in the bibliography. So I think I can safely assume it's not a comparative survey.

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