Lately, there have been some frightening reports about various malware and ransomware hitting Android devices. Just a few weeks ago, we let you know about Google's annual Android security report, which found a shocking number of Android devices are at risk - 420 million to be exact.
Now there is another wave of malware that's locking up Android devices and demanding users pay around $200 in Apple iTunes gift card codes to regain access. Experts believe that these new attacks are opening up a brand new wave of Android vulnerabilities, which is why it's critical that you're aware of them.
So far, the attacks are impacting Android users with 4.x operating systems. This operating system is much older, and was primarily used in 2012 and 2013. However, the majority of Android devices out there still use them.
A few days ago, we told you about the challenges for Android device manufacturers, when it comes to pushing out the most current security patches. Right now, only around 4% of Android users have the latest security patches from Google. This is because there are so many versions of Android's operating systems that manufacturers and carriers of Android devices are able to choose which of those versions they'd like to develop their products around. In most cases, these manufacturers and carriers move on from older versions of the OS, and discontinue sending out security patches.
Andrew Brandt, the researcher at Blue Coat who discovered this frightening vulnerability, explained, "What we have here is a fully operational operating system which no longer receives updates. Users are in danger of infection just by using it. Having installed things without any user interaction until it's too late is a pretty scary new development in Android threats."