One of the amazing things about Android is that it is an absolute playground for hackers. And the worst bit is that vocal Androidians are complicit, by their very love, in something that, let’s be fair, should never be allowed at home or in business – the loss of your personal data without your knowledge.
Indeed, everyone over there seems to be living on a different planet, gurning happily away at how clever they are to be installing the latest widget or rooting or romming (sounds as dirty as it actually is) whilst their lives are picked over in some darkened room.
But it’s ok, the Android manufacturers know what they are doing, right? They’re large corporations, they’ll look after you? Well, here’s just how vulnerable they truly are, courtesy of Slashgear.
Sony’s own Backup & Restore app hacked, taken over
When you have a smartphone, you’d like to trust that the apps coming straight form the manufacturer of that phone are secure. More to the point, you’d probably safely assume any software designed to access your information stored in your phone would be something that couldn’t be compromised in any way. A new report suggests Sony’s own backup and restore app has been hacked, but that’s not even the most sensational news. Hackers have taken over the app entirely, even claiming ownership in Google Play.
It’s not yet clear how the app may have been compromised, but a search for Sony’s Backup and Restore app in Google Play show the app as you might expect it to be found, but also shows the Developer as “Nirav Patel Kanudo”. The app is now managed by the “HeArt HaCkEr Group.”
It’s even possible Sony’s entire Play Store profile has been compromised. Sony has commented on the situation, but hasn’t revealed any info we might find helpful about the situation, or assuring in any way:
Sony Mobile takes the security and privacy of customer data very seriously. We are currently investigating these reports. More information will follow as soon as we have fully assessed the situation.
The fix? Don’t use Sony’s Backup and Restore app for the time being, and if you’ve got it installed on your device, delete it (if possible). It’s not yet known if the app is doing anything harmful or nefarious, but pirates have taken over Sony’s ship. Assume the worst.
If it can happen to Sony, it can happen to anyone.
Let’s read those damning words again:
It’s even possible Sony’s entire Play Store profile has been compromised.
Assume the worst.
So, both Sony and Google can’t stop this apparently. And if Google can’t stop it for Sony, what’s to stop hackers doing the same for another device?
And people actually go out of their way to get Android devices in highly sensitive government or business scenarios? Never mind the implications for an individuals personal freedoms.
Still, I’m sure U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, herself a fully fledged Androidian, would merrily shake off any suggestion that Android is in any way insecure.
Wouldn’t want anyone in the US Government using a BlackBerry now, would we?
Oh, sorry, only the ones where they don’t want someone else to know what’s going on.
Perhaps Megan should be sourcing phones for the cleaners?
Even then I wouldn’t trust an Android device…