Duo Security recently published early results from its “X-Ray” report, which suggests that more than 50% of Android devices need a software patch to fix security issues. Duo Security’s report is collected from its X Ray application, which it launched a few months ago in an effort to help Android users discover if their device has vulnerability issues.
“Since we launched X-Ray, we’ve already collected results from over 20,000 Android devices worldwide,” the company said in a recent blog post. “Based on these initial results, we estimate that over half of Android devices worldwide have unpatched vulnerabilities that could be exploited by a malicious app of adversary.” The company blames both manufacturers and carriers for delaying Android updates.
“Yes, it’s a scary number, but it exemplifies how important expedient patching is to mobile security and how poorly the industry–carriers, device manufacturers, etc. — has performed thus far,” Duo Security’s chief technology officer Jon Oberheide told InformationWeek in an email.
We doubt the situation is going to change anytime soon. There are simply too many Android devices with too many different versions of the operating system out there. As it stands, only a handful of devices currently run Google’s latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system. Worse, Android is the most at risk for malware attacks, according to a recent report from McAfee. The firm found that there are nearly 13,000 different mobile malware apps out there, and the majority of them are targeting Android smartphones.
You can download the Duo Security’s free application by visiting http://xray.io if you want to scan your own smartphone for vulnerabilities.