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More Than 1 Billion Android Phones Are At Risk, Is Yours Too?

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More Than 1 Billion Android Phones Are At Risk, Is Yours Too

According to the latest report, more than 1 billion Android devices could be exposed to attackers. This is because they are running old operating systems without security support.

Unlike Apple, with its iOS operating system that usually update their devices up to 5 years after launch, on Android, the update cycle period is shorter, about two or three years. Now, more than 1 billion Android devices are at risk as they are running older versions of Android that no longer have the support of Google or its partners.

Which Android versions are at risk?

Today, Google is only releasing security updates for devices with Android 10, Android 9, and Android 8. Those are the operating systems for a maximum of three years.

In this way, a device with Android 7 or earlier, are no longer eligible for security updates. Therefore, they have many risks to get exposed to attackers.

This is especially worrying because, according to the latest Google report on Android adoption data, it was revealed that 40% of Android devices that are still running worldwide are using operating systems that do not already have updates security. People are still actively buying and selling old android versions in the market.

It is claimed that it is the responsibility of manufacturers to ensure the users will receive updates. People want Android phones to receive security updates for a more extended period. For example,  just like what Apple currently offers with iOS or even Microsoft with Windows. While Google usually gives three years of security updates for their Pixel phones, for the rest of the device manufacturers, companies typically offer two to three years of updates. Then, if the phones are low-end phones, the security updates last just a year.

Is iOS Is More Secure Than Android?

It is true that the myth that Android is a less secure system than iOS is not necessarily true. However, this system is more likely to receive attacks due to the absence of security updates.

The possibility that they may hack you by exploiting security failures is small, but not being protected is still a problem that puts us at risk.

Does Google have specific models and brands that are at risk? Google has not discussed the issue, and both the media and the BBC have tried to contact the giant Mountain View without success.

The Latest Security Updates of the Old Android Version

The problem lies primarily in the Android 6.0 Marshmallow version. This version of Android that now has been four years old (we are already close to the eleventh version), and Google itself admits that 42.1% of users are still stuck in that version or have a lower one.

In fact, versions before Android 7.0 Nougat did not receive security patches of any kind in 2019,  leaving even more exposed to these devices. Thanks to this data, we know that  2 out of 5 users would no longer receive any security update.

When the journalists shared this data with Google, the tech giant’s response was lukewarm; “We could not guarantee that we have plans to help users whose devices are no longer compatible.”

This way, Google should be more transparent with users about how many security updates their devices will receive. Some android users hope that Google provides support on older smartphones, so they do not have such a short lifespan.

Ben is a digital entrepreneur and founder of OnTechEdge.com. He is a technology passionate who loves sharing his ideas on smartphones and gadgets. He looks forward to imparting the spectrum of his insight and verdicts on the ‘Technology-driven world’ of today. He plans to take OntechEdge forward with the consistent support from you readers, friends and family! Ben Kemp is also author of the book "How To Tell a Story On Social Media in 2020". Direct email address: [email protected]

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