Android malware infects 85 million devices
A new malware has infected 85 million Android smartphones, generating around $300,000 each month in fraudulent ad revenue for its creators, according to Check Point.
The malware, dubbed “Humming Bad,” was first spotted in February and likely sprouted from a company in China. It infects Android devices undetected by setting up a permanent rootkit — a set of software tools that enable an unauthorized user to gain control of a computer system.
But security issues on Android are not new. This is because the third-party device makers and network operators that are responsible for deploying security patches when vulnerabilities are discovered, are often slow to provide updates. Subsequently, the Android ecosystem is fraught with security flaws, which results in a number of setbacks for Android.
Android devices receive only 1.26 updates per year on average, according to a study from the University of Cambridge. As a result, known vulnerabilities often go unpatched for extended periods of time. For example, patches for the Stage fright software bug that affected Android devices in 2015 only reached a fraction of Android’s active user base of 1.4 billion.
Google has taken numerous steps to make the Android ecosystem more secure for users. For example, the company announced in May that it would begin publicly ranking phone makers that use its OS, but lag on rolling out software updates. Nevertheless, security in the Android ecosystem will only significantly improve if device manufacturers and network operators make an effort to deploy updates in a timelier manner.
Originally posted on: BusinessInsider.com