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64% of Android phones feature nearly three years old OS: Report

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New Delhi: Around 64 percent of Android smartphones shipped in India in 2015 featured the aging Android KitKat OS, which is nearly three years old, says a latest report.

According to the report released on Thursday by the market research firm CyberMedia Research (CMR), Over 70 percent of Android smartphone users in India do not receive an update to the latest Android Operation System (OS) or its latest features at the time of purchase.

The study was conducted across 158 different smartphone brands and covered 1,476 device models.

“With increase in commoditisation of hardware features owing to competitive pressures, Smartphone vendors will need to start focusing on creating differentiation through user experience enabled by OS and software features,” said Faisal Kawoosa, lead analyst (telecoms) CMR.

“Typically, a consumer nowadays needs to purchase a premium-priced smartphone to access the latest Android OS or software-enabled features,” he added.

The key reason for the delay in sending updates to existing Android smartphones is that handset vendors prefer to launch new models, rather than focus on updating existing ones to provide a consistent user experience.

“While iOS (Apple) users lead with 96 percent users updating the OS at least once, Android lags behind at an abysmal 38 percent,” the findings showed.

Interestingly, the major drivers for OS update are that 77 percent users seek performance improvements and 57 percent users want to explore new features.

The report titled “State of Mobile Operating System Adoption in India” was jointly released by CMR and CREO — a Bengaluru-based consumer technology company. (IANS)(Photo: www.v3.co.uk)

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Advanced SMS Phishing Attacks Affecting Android Phones: Report

However, Sony refused to acknowledge the vulnerability, stating that their devices follow the OMA CP specification

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A French soldier watches code lines on his computer during the International Cybersecurity forum in Lille, northern France, Jan. 23, 2018. VOA

A security flaw in Samsung, LG, Sony, Huawei and other Android smartphones has been discovered that leaves users vulnerable to advanced SMS phishing attacks, Check Point Research — the threat intelligence arm of cybersecurity firm Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. said on Thursday.

Researchers at the cybersecurity firm said certain Samsung phones are the most vulnerable to this form of phishing attack because they do not have an authenticity check for senders of Open Mobile Alliance Client Provisioning (OMA CP) messages.

“Given the popularity of Android devices, this is a critical vulnerability that must be addressed. Without a stronger form of authentication, it is easy for a malicious agent to launch a phishing attack through over-the-air (OTA) provisioning.

“When the user receives an OMA CP message, they have no way to discern whether it is from a trusted source. By clicking ‘accept’, they could very well be letting an attacker into their phone,” Slava Makkaveev, Security Researcher, Check Point Software Technologies, said in a statement.

The affected Android phones use OTA provisioning, through which cellular network operators can deploy network-specific settings to a new phone joining their network.

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FILE – A worker sits a computer at the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) in Arlington, Va., Aug. 22, 2018. VOA

However, researchers at Check Point found that the industry standard for OTA provisioning — the OMA CP, includes limited authentication methods and remote agents can exploit this to pose as network operators and send deceptive OMA CP messages to users.

The message tricks users into accepting malicious settings that route their Internet traffic through a proxy server owned by the hacker.

Also Read: Lenovo Launches Three New Smartphones in India

The findings were disclosed to the affected vendors in March; Samsung included a fix addressing this phishing flaw in their Security Maintenance Release for May (SVE-2019-14073), LG released their fix in July (LVE-SMP-190006), and Huawei is planning to include UI fixes for OMA CP in the next generation of Mate series or P series smartphones.

However, Sony refused to acknowledge the vulnerability, stating that their devices follow the OMA CP specification. (IANS)