Nearly 90 percent of Android devices vulnerable to malware, research says

By Doug G. Ware   |   Oct. 14, 2015 at 5:09 PM
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CAMBRIDGE, England, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Researchers at Britain's University of Cambridge have concluded that nearly 90 percent of the world's Android devices are vulnerable to malware attacks.

The study concluded that, on average over the last four years, 87 percent of devices running an Android operating system have been susceptible to malicious attacks from malware apps.

"This is because manufacturers have not provided regular security updates," researchers wrote in a blog post. "Some manufacturers are much better than others, however."

The researchers said their study has indicated that devices manufactured by Google, LG and Motorola have been more resistant to the malware than others. Part of the reason, they say, is because they offer regular Android updates.

"The problem with the lack of updates to Android devices is well known and recently Google and Samsung have committed to shipping security updates every month," the blog post said.

The research, which will be presented at the Workshop on Security and Privacy in Smartphones and Mobile Device, was partly funded by Google, CBS News reported.

The study referred concerned consumers to research each manufacturer's malware risk at AndroidVulnerabilities.org.

"We recommend users only install apps from Google's Play Store since it performs additional safety checks on apps," the blog post said. "Unfortunately Google can only do so much, and recent Android security problems have shown that this is not enough to protect users. Devices require updates from manufacturers, and the majority of devices aren't getting them."

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