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Android phone owners warned over security exploits

05 April 2011 - 14:35 by Mike Price

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Another security expert has come out to make consumers aware of the potential dangers related to using a smartphone based on the Android operating system from search giant Google.

Android is one of the most popular smartphone platforms in the world and has gained its position in the market thanks to the open-source nature of the software, which allows multiple manufacturers and developers to create handsets and services tailored to people with different budgets and requirements.

By nature, the open source software can be accessed by virtually anyone and the popularity of Android is making it an increasingly attractive target for hackers and malware writers. Since many consumers are now using their mobiles to carry out safe shopping online, it makes sense to prepare yourself and ensure that this safety is not compromised.

IT expert and long time industry commentator, Wayne Rash, told InfoSecurity Magazine that Android users need to beware of viruses and malware which specifically target the platform.

He said that many malicious programs which can infect Android mobiles are sent there to sniff out payment card details and bank account information, which may be lurking on your phone. As such anyone who wants to keep on enjoying safe shopping online from their mobile should avoid leaving such precious data lying around unprotected.

Google's rivals in the mobile market, including Apple, Microsoft and Research in Motion, are less prone to being exploited by hackers, according to Mr Rash. This is because they keep their platforms close to their chests and lock out third party access.

Android is faced with a problem in that with hundreds of thousands of apps developed for it and with not entirely fool proof tests in place to keep out the worst of the potentially malicious software, some users could be duped into installing something which looks innocent but turns out to be malignant.