Most smartphones in the world run on the Android system. So, when a big problem is revealed, the impact is going to be global, involving hundreds of millions of users.
One such problem has just been highlighted by ZDNet, which said that the Android apps that are being used, each has as many as 39 security vulnerabilities, flaws or bugs, on an average that hackers can take advantage of. Among these are even banking and payment apps.
These then, potentially, have the power of causing an immense amount of damage to users, including loss of money.
ZDNet, quoting a report by CyRC, said that over 60% of Android apps contain these security vulnerabilities and users have virtually no idea what damage is being caused as a result till, perhaps, it is too late. CyRC reportedly analysed as many as 3,335 free and paid mobile apps that are present on the Google Play Store. The report was based on AtlasVPN data. In short, at least, some of the apps that users have on their smartphones can have unforeseen consequences for them.
The problem, unfortunately, is not new. According to the report, some of these vulnerabilities were identified and pointed out as far back as two years ago, yet they are still present in Q1, 2021, indicating that no fixes have been rolled out to solve the problem, leaving users to fend for themselves as best as they can.
The worst category of Android apps that have a bug in them were free ones. As many as 96% had some vulnerabilities in them, according to AtlasVPN data. With gaming so much in vogue with both youngsters and adults smitten, it was no surprise that this category (top-grossing games) came next with a whopping 94%.
Next on the list, which is something that should really worry everyone, is banking and financial apps with 88%. Even health and fitness category logged an average of 36% security vulnerabilities.
Then there is Education. According to AtlasVPN, “Educational apps had the highest number of exploitable Android vulnerabilities with possible fixes as of the first quarter of 2021 – 43%.”
How big a problem is it? Considering that Google Play Store itself is gigantic, the bugs will be affecting a huge number of people.
AtlasVPN said, “Given that the Google Play store applications have been downloaded millions of times, it is safe to say they pose significant security risks to Android users.” – Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Tribune News Service