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87% of Android phones are open to known hacking attacks

If you remember, we told you over the summer that Google and Android developers had agreed to issue monthly security patches, to ensure that the nearly 1 billion Android devices around the world are as safe as they can possibly be. As it turns out, Android devices are a lot more vulnerable to hackers and malware than you thought.

A few months ago, Google was dealing with one of the worst malware bugs we've ever heard about. With the Stagefright bug, hackers could take over your smartphone, steal your sensitive information and seriously invade your privacy, such as recording your phone calls.

Google had a tough time fixing Stagefright, in part because it can't issue security patches for Android devices that it doesn't make, which is most of them. Not that many people have its Nexus phones. So, those monthly security patches are important, and more needed than you could imagine.

Google and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom found that 87% of Android devices are vulnerable to attack from malware that they know about. Who knows how many vulnerabilities are out there that they don't know about?

Google and Cambridge are continually tracking Android smartphones and tablets to see which ones are secure and which ones aren't. How secure is your Android device?

Google and Cambridge conducted their study with 20,000 Android users who downloaded Google's Device Analyzer app. They ranked Android smartphone and tablet makers by how secure they are, based on the number of their devices that aren't at risk for vulnerabilities.

Plus, they looked at the number of devices that are using the most recent Android platform, and the number of phones that still need security patches. The good news for Google's Nexus phone is that they ranked No. 1 as the safest.

Yet, being No. 1 in this case isn't anything to brag about. Only 5.2 out of every 10 Nexus phones are free of vulnerabilities; the not-so-good news is that almost half of Nexus phones are still vulnerable to malware attacks.

How does your smartphone maker compare to Nexus' 5.2 rating? Here's how they stack up: LG (4.0), Motorola (3.1), while in the 2s were Asus, HTC, Samsung and Sony. Other Android makers are even less secure than those.

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Source: Engadget
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