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Android Privacy

8% of Android Apps Are Leaking Private Information 159

Posted by samzenpus
from the sieve-phone dept.
kai_hiwatari writes "Neil Daswani, who is also the CTO of security firm Dasient, says that they have studied around 10,000 Android apps and have found that 800 of them are leaking private information of the user to an unauthorized server. Neil Daswani is scheduled to present the full findings at the Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas which starts on July 30th. The Dasient researchers also found out that 11 of the apps they have examined are sending unwanted SMS messages."
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8% of Android Apps Are Leaking Private Information

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  • Compared to... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mederbil (1756400) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @09:19PM (#36830660)

    ...100% of your Facebook apps! Nothing to worry about here, folks.

  • Permissions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @09:22PM (#36830698)
    I think a finer control over permissions for applications is required. Some applications ask for something like "ability to make calls", so that feature X works. If you don't care about feature X you should be allowed to deny such permission.

    Another example, the permission "read phone state and identity". Developers often say, "oh, we are not reading your phone number, just your IMEI to ensure your identity". They still have access to the phone number, why not fine-grain it and say: "ok, the IMEI, that is ALL you can see".
  • That's obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gr8_phk (621180) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @09:32PM (#36830784)
    When simple one-player games and such say they require full internet access I think "that may be for ads". When they require access to contacts, SD card, etc... That usually means don't install it. Unfortunately most of the apps I've looked at require full internet access AND access to contacts and don't get installed as a result.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @09:43PM (#36830872)

    as much as I hate to say this, because, well, this attitude is what got us into the mess with consumer computers... this is my phone I'm talking about, I shouldn't have to go through all this mess to keep my phone secure. ....I know, I know.. but doing infosec configs on phone is still a more arcane deal than computers, plus I really don't want to have to root my android phone, to be able to trust it in the first place.

    Perhaps if app permissions weren't 'set it and forget it', if the OS allowed us to go back and revoke perms directly from the GUI.

  • Requires rooting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @09:45PM (#36830880) Homepage Journal

    LBE Privacy guard, Droid wall, or just a ADB terminal and iptables

    Which requires 1. phones to have a security vulnerability that allows rooting, 2. users to know how to root a phone, 3. users to somehow learn that they should install a firewall on their phones, and 4. users to somehow learn which firewall programs are safe and which are not (see also fake antivirus on Windows).

  • by Trufagus (1803250) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @10:24PM (#36831072)

    Wow! CTO of company that makes money selling security software for Android says that Android has security problems!

    If you think you can get honest and objective info about this problem from the CTO of a company that is in the business of selling solutions to the problem, then you should not be allowed to use the Internet.

    I'm not saying that there isn't a problem - I'm just saying that this is so obviously the wrong source that it is no better then an advertisement.

  • ...and... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by msauve (701917) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @11:12PM (#36831302)
    what exactly is an "unauthorized server?" Given that Android enforces constraints (permissions []) when you install an app, are they claiming that there are apps which can get Internet access without explicitly being granted permissions by the user when installed?
  • by bonch (38532) * on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @11:56PM (#36831514)

    This study looked at 10,000 Android apps. Your claim is that iPhone apps are "just as bad," which implies that you also studied 10,000 iPhone apps and that 800 were found to be leaking private data. Could you provide the link to your study, or is all you have an anonymously posted anecdote about running Cydia on your single phone without any examples given of the apps you're describing?

Recursion is the root of computation since it trades description for time.