When you hear the word "smartphone" and the phrase "security flaw" together, your thoughts probably turn immediately to Android. After the recent news about flaws like Stagefright affecting nearly every Android gadget, it's only natural. While Apple gadgets can also have security flaws, and a recently discovered one could net a hacking team $1 million, it's generally more secure than its competitor.
One of the reasons Android is more vulnerable to hackers is because it lets the user do more. It lets you install apps from any source. Plus, it has always supported apps that can modify basic parts of the operating system, such as third-party keyboards like Swype or automation apps like Tasker. That means malicious apps have an easier time installing and making huge system changes.
Android is also in use by hundreds or even thousands of manufacturers around the world. Each one likes to add its own apps and change other parts of the operating system to make its gadgets stand out from the other Android-based competitors.
Unfortunately, these apps and changes often add even more security holes than Android would have on its own. That's just the case with one popular new smartphone, as a team of Google security experts just found.