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Android’s Rollercoaster Security Ride

A popular commercial in the 2000s depicted the debate over Mac computers versus PCs. Currently; the larger battle is between what types of smartphones consumers carry. Do you run on iOS software, or are you an Android backer? For the latter group, the last year has been a difficult time to defend that particular software system. It seems as if there is always a new Android security issue waiting around the corner, but really, how bad has it been?

If Android has so many security issues, why is the software platform so popular? Easy. It’s an open source software platform. As PYMNTS.com’s own David Evans discussed earlier this year, Android’s software is free – any smartphone manufacturer can download the code and use it without license fees or anything. However, this is truly a double-edged sword. With there being no “King of Android,” security weaknesses are a serious risk with OpenSSL.

For example, in August 2013, the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about the security of Android phones. The government agency released a report saying Android accounts for 79 percent of mobile malware, while Apple’s iOS accounts for 0.7 percent.

Flash forward to April of this year, and not only did Android users’ hearts break, but they bled. News broke of the “Heartbleed” bug, which potentially put millions of phones at risk. The vulnerability could expose people to hacking of their passwords and other sensitive information.

Here are a few of the heartaches that have happened to Android users over the last month alone.

 

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