Android OS found to have "high risk defects"

A study has shown that Google’s Android operating system could be susceptible to hackers due to programming errors, citing “high risk defects”.

The study, by code analysis group Coverity, examined the publicly disclosed version of the Android kernel, according to a report in the Financial Times, which operates within the HTD Droid Incredible phone.  The programming errors discovered by Coverity’s analyses show that hackers could gain easy access to personal information such as emails and other sensitive information stored on the phone.

With smartphones becoming commonplace for both private and work-related use it is a worrying sign that they are potentially susceptible to external monitoring.  For example, many compainies’ employees, as well as top officials across Whitehall, often use smartphones such as a BlackBerry or iPhone for work – though they are both considered to be safer than the Google OS. 

However with the rapid growth of Android it is vital that Google steps up the level of security seen in competing handsets, as they too become more common in the workplace.

“We want them to fix the problems. We are trying to follow the model for responsible disclosure,” Mr Chou, co-founder of Coverity said.

Chou says that he will release full details of the programme errors in two months, which have “significant potential to cause security vulnerabilities, data loss, or quality problems such as system crashes”.