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Recent Android flaw largest update ever

Phone makers are offering security fixes after a major software bug was discovered in July.

It seems Android users are susceptible to hijackings that could affect up to a billion phones. Unfortunately, manufacturers have been painfully slow on solving the issue because many variations of Android are widely used.

However, security fixes are now in the works.

Android has been working to resolve a vulnerability issue known as Stagefright, which can allow hackers access to phone data simply by sending the user a video message.

“My guess is that this is the single largest software update the world has ever seen,” said Adrian Ludwig, Android’s lead engineer for security, at hacking conference Black Hat.

Google, LG and Samsung have all said many of their products will get the fix followed by monthly updates.

Android is an open source operating system, with the software freely available for phone manufacturers to modify and use on their handsets.

While the Google-led project provides the security fixes, it’s up to the phone manufacturers to send out the monthly updates to their devices, but some mobile phones running old Android versions are no longer updated.

“The very nature of Android is that manufacturers add their own software on top, so there have been delays in software roll-outs,” said Jack Parsons, editor of Android Magazine.

“In the US it’s even worse because mobile carriers often add their own software too, adding another layer of bureaucracy holding up security fixes.

“There’s no real villain here, that’s just how the system works. But there will always be security concerns with software, so it’s right that some of the manufacturers are stepping up to deal with this now.”


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