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Millions of Android users hit by malicious data theft app - Page 4

post #121 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by gristan View Post







>Recently I have switched to Verizon when I got my HTC Incredible. The phone is awesome and smart phones rule, but the poor sound quality, poor reception, and more dropped calls than I care to remember with Verizon makes me despise them. I love the incredible for what it can do. But I hate Verizon for what it can't.

>P.S. I also got to play with a friends iphone 4. The first thing I tried was to block the reception since it had no bumper. I found that to be an impossible task. The thing had full bars!


>Today I was playing with HTC Desire and I could easily kill the signal using the "iphone death grip" on it. And it was a total surprise to me. 4 bars to zero in a few seconds. No wrestling, just a normal grip.
First time I heard about the iPhone's issue I was like OMG, but apparently quite a few phones out there share this issue. It's a pity that nobody treats other phones' deathgrips seriously. Frankly, it's ridiculous. Seems that no-one cares about other phones.
.
Meanwhile I do not care how big an issue it is on other phones, finger vs. a completely casual left hand grip is ALL THE SAME to me. Since the issue is there, one way or another, I'll be getting an iPhone 4.
.
Fingers vs. grips - all the same, since they effect the exact same, so called "normal use".

You have to remember that the average phone maker is bringing out dozen of phones each year as compared to the one per year Apple product line. This means that if they can deliver 80% against user expectation they are doing OK - as long as they sell phones. HTC took a hit on the smartphone side - because Apple raised the bar and the other makers have to speak to the bar -not ignore it and hope that they offer something "good enough". This has Motorola working overtime to erase a dismal past few years and throwing a lot of their resources into the Droid effort - good for those who are carrier or Android loyal but it is still built on their current hardware framework - which means using their existing antennas. These were "good enough" until someone started calling out Apple for signal attenuation and suddenly "good enough" isn't. Not a bad thing.
post #122 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by harmoniousDISCORD View Post

Hello all. After reading the three page discussion that's taken place on this site concerning the app that may/may not have been collecting personal data, I felt compelled to create an account and ask a few questions.

Now I understand that this site is about as Apple-biased as you can get, but come on.. do you guys spend all day just looking for things wrong with Android? Is it an insecurity thing or do you really think iOS is the best thing since sliced bread? Your hatred of all things Android is absolutely ridiculous! I mean, it seems like somebody that worked at Google killed your best friend or something. I don't think there could be any more bitterness and hatred here.

See? Just because I use and love Android doesn't mean I have to spend all day searching for faults in other OS's. Sure, I love that I can sideload apps onto my phone without having to root it, and I actually prefer the Android Marketplace to the App Store (even though there is a higher chance of there being dangerous apps on it). The way I see it, I would rather be able to decide for myself if something is safe than have somebody else decide for me, and that's exactly what Android lets you do when it tells you what information an app has access to. Don't blame Android because people don't pay attention to warnings. If you see a calculator app is going to have access to your passwords, IMEI, stored passwords, and credit card, you probably shouldn't download it.

Who'da thunk a site named APPLEINSIDER would be biased??!! Dur. Contributors here don't have to look all day long for Android stuff - it gets reported and recorded in AI for general comment, if it's relevant. Your commentary smacks of the worst kind of defensiveness - spoken to in volumes by the effort you took to prove to the posters here how even-handed you are, how you like some parts of the iPhone, but not others. It is not in dispute that the app in the article collected info - so no "may/may not" about it. Whether it was the deep delve that was originally claimed is in dispute - and that's OK. I don't expect any balance on the threads over in Androidland and I expect all kinds of diatribe about perceived and imagined faults of the iPhone, Apple or ATT - and get it in reams of screen drivel. It's OK - my expectations are met - you have highly unrealistic expectations and went to great lengths to prove it. Just stop. These are not the commenters you are looking for. This is AI - a site about Apple, complete with a fine set of internalized trolls and clueless idiots to match any on the Android fan fora.

If you wish I can throw you a bone as condescending as your comments, but it's unneccessary and not worth my time. Get over yourself. Enjoy Android. Don't sweat the Apple fansites commentary - see its real easy. Move on.
post #123 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

IMO this is the one major difference between the application stores. With Apple you are guaranteed that when you install an application it comes from the developer you think it does (because they are all signed). You have no such guarantee with the Android application store.

All Android applications are signed
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American centrism dominates 50% of the population here. That half don't think outside the box ... or perhaps just don't think. © digitalclips
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post #124 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

So, a more open platform has disadvantages (not that something like this can't happen with the Apple model), but that doesn't mean a closed platform doesn't also have disadvantages. It is strange how people can't see that while Apple's closed model has some major advantages, like security, that it doesn't mean it is perfect. It is possible for Apple's closed model to remain secure and yet allow more flexibility.

Are you REALLY giving any creedence to those few in this forum that actually are idiotic enough to make the claim of perfection for the platform? Is that REALLY necessary?? And who in here has said that the closed model isn't a mixed bag, just like Android is a different mixed bag. There are decided personal preferences - but that's ALL they are - experience has proven all of this pretty conclusively by now I would have thought.
post #125 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewysBlackmore View Post

there's no way to build a slim device that has a battery with decent life AND a secure coverplate to keep it in place.

Check out Samsung Captivate and you'll be surprised. It's 0.39" thick, has replaceable battery and secure battery compartment lock
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post #126 of 211
I am very much laughing in the face of all the Droid trolls.
post #127 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLoveStuff View Post

I am very much laughing in the face of all the Droid trolls.

As Apple fanboy you have to, otherwise you'll find that there are a lot of good devices beside Apple's ones. Keep laughing and be blind!
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post #128 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by gin_tonic View Post

Check out Samsung Captivate and you'll be surprised. It's 0.39" thick, has replaceable battery and secure battery compartment lock

and the battery life in regular useage is what? See- address the entire argument, not bits and pieces. A Hyundai Elantra has four wheels and can drive on the highway - that makes it as good or better than a Dodge Viper - right? The Captivate might be a really good smartphone - and that's OK. I prefer my iPhone - because after repeatedly going to the ATT store and trying out all the other options the iPhone still is a much better use experience FOR ME. If you have found a phone that fits your needs - goody! You are now a happy consumer - why sully your experience with posting drivel in obviously fan-laden fora?

It's OK to be a fanboy - if that makes you happy, but pissing in other people's wheaties is just dumb and post-adolescent angst. Why are you so bloody threatened by personal preferences at variance with your own? Isn't the very critical "anti-fanboy" behavior you are practicing here just another form of fanboyism? It's not bad that this happened on the Android platform - because just like all the issues called out about the Apple platform the scrutiny will help the platform (hopefully) get better.
post #129 of 211
Android phones should not be allowed in the Enterprise.
post #130 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

IMO this is the one major difference between the application stores. With Apple you are guaranteed that when you install an application it comes from the developer you think it does (because they are all signed). You have no such guarantee with the Android application store.

Every single app in the Android Market is signed.
post #131 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by davesw View Post

Android phones should not be allowed in the Enterprise.

And should not be allowed because...
post #132 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewysBlackmore View Post

It is not in dispute that the app in the article collected info - so no "may/may not" about it.

Yes, it's disputed. That an app has some permission doesn't imply that the app is collecting data.
post #133 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

Every single app in the Android Market is signed.

Well bugger me... that removes one of the last differences I thought existed. Turns out both stores are pretty much the same thing!
post #134 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

And should not be allowed because...

post #135 of 211
Wow. Fanboys are still treating replaceable batteries as some sort of killer feature? Even though hardly anybody would ever be carrying around an extra battery unless their phone's battery was completely awful? Even though there are cases out there that act as a second battery for the iPhone?

And this idea that an app that stores information on your phone or allows you to tether it is equivalent to an app that SENDS INFORMATION to somebody in China is ridiculous and shows that Android fanboys don't understand that details matter (but I'm not surprised as these are the same people who think that making Gnome/KDE full of chrome and gradients makes them just as good as OS X and Windows).

I feel bad for the people who the average consumer with an Android phone: Google just wants to sell their information, the phone companies just want to fleece them, and even the Android community looks down at them with contempt (read the reactions of fanboys who think that it's the user's fault that they click yes to a vague warning that almost every app they install gives). Hopefully, for their sake, the iPhone will be released on more networks soon.
post #136 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by davesw View Post

...

Great argument, if it was one.
post #137 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

Well bugger me... that removes one of the last differences I thought existed. Turns out both stores are pretty much the same thing!

There are two things to consider.
  1. What does signed mean in comparison to the Android and iOS app stores?
  2. Does the average customer know that if they bypass the Android Marketplace and install an app they downloaded from another site that its not going to be signed and could potentially be harmful?
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post #138 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

Great argument, if it was one.

no i wasn't arguing or debating with you..

there's nothing to debate. ANDROID = FAIL.
post #139 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There are two things to consider.
  1. What does signed mean in comparison to the Android and iOS app stores?
  2. Does the average customer know that if they bypass the Android Marketplace and install an app they downloaded from another site that it’s not going to be signed and could potentially be harmful?


1 Signed means exactly the same than in Apple App Store, you have to sign up for a developer account, pay and every app you publish is signed with you unique id.

2 Sideloading apps is disabled by default, when you turn it on you have a nice warning about what implies sideloading an app outside the market
post #140 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

Yes, it's disputed. That an app has some permission doesn't imply that the app is collecting data.

Gwydion, you may have missed this in an earlier posting:

Quote:
"[Update]: MyLookout chimed in with us to clarify some details that other outlets have been reporting. Specifically, the app does collect data from your phone, but only the devices phone number, subscriber identifier, and voicemail number fields are retrieved. SMS and browsing history are not touched by any of the apps they analyzed throughout their Blackhat conference. Your voicemails password is also not transmitted unless you included the password in your phones voicemail number field.

Were not yet certain on what the developers intentions are for using the pieces of data it does send to China so we cant outright call it malicious but it is collecting and sending data nevertheless. Hopefully that clears up some of the confusion everyones been faced with regarding the read-only property READ_PHONE_STATE that the application uses to access certain pieces of data."

So yes, unless further information is forthcoming - there is every appearance that in fact the app collected/collects info and sends it elsewhere. What is in diispute is the claim in the OA that is was MORE than whatis called out above.
post #141 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by davesw View Post

no i wasn't arguing or debating with you..

there's nothing to debate. ANDROID = FAIL.

I see, only irrational fanatism.
post #142 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

No issues with the 3 Android phones and two Android tablets in my home, but the spouse's iPhone 4 appears to be dropping calls a bit more than usual today (as indicated by her angrily exclaiming as much upon walking through the door this evening), and the old iPhone 3g didn't take too kindly to that last firmware update.

Oh Well... I guess we're just Android-Lucky

Sorry, but your post makes no sense to me, it's not like the hackers are going to tell the people who downloaded their app, "hey we just stole your info - thanks." You may not have downloaded the app in question and who's to say the next android app you d/l won't be hacker free? Hackers don't tell the people whose info they steal that they stole it, you don't find out till you notice banking problems or they start using your info for some other malicious purpose or start spamming you and everyone on your contact list. That's the worry with their marketplace you won't know till it's too late.
post #143 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

1 Signed means exactly the same than in Apple App Store, you have to sign up for a developer account, pay and every app you publish is signed with you unique id.

I guess I wasn’t clear enough on this point. My question wasn’t about what signed itself means, but what the level of in-depth analyzing this different stores take before approving, signing and deeming safe for all users.
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post #144 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewysBlackmore View Post

Gwydion, you may have missed this in an earlier posting:



So yes, unless further information is forthcoming - there is every appearance that in fact the app collected/collects info and sends it elsewhere. What is in diispute is the claim in the OA that is was MORE than whatis called out above.

Yes, I have seen it, and when first they said that was collected some information and sended somewhere and later they say that no, this information is not collected, is this other I start to doubt what forensic have done.

And I doubt when a security company doesn't know about the things they are studying, like Android permissions.
post #145 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I guess I wasn’t clear enough on this point. My question wasn’t about what signed itself means, but what steps an app takes and how scrutinized it is being stores to get signed and approved and deemed safe for all users.

Ah, completely different way from App Store, apps are not scrutinized. You can publish anything you want anytime you want.

And yes, Apple scrutinizing makes App Store more secure than Android Market
post #146 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewysBlackmore View Post

Who'da thunk a site named APPLEINSIDER would be biased??!! Dur. Contributors here don't have to look all day long for Android stuff - it gets reported and recorded in AI for general comment, if it's relevant. Your commentary smacks of the worst kind of defensiveness - spoken to in volumes by the effort you took to prove to the posters here how even-handed you are, how you like some parts of the iPhone, but not others. It is not in dispute that the app in the article collected info - so no "may/may not" about it. Whether it was the deep delve that was originally claimed is in dispute - and that's OK. I don't expect any balance on the threads over in Androidland and I expect all kinds of diatribe about perceived and imagined faults of the iPhone, Apple or ATT - and get it in reams of screen drivel. It's OK - my expectations are met - you have highly unrealistic expectations and went to great lengths to prove it. Just stop. These are not the commenters you are looking for. This is AI - a site about Apple, complete with a fine set of internalized trolls and clueless idiots to match any on the Android fan fora.

If you wish I can throw you a bone as condescending as your comments, but it's unneccessary and not worth my time. Get over yourself. Enjoy Android. Don't sweat the Apple fansites commentary - see its real easy. Move on.

Just because I take a more reasonable stance on the iPhone/Android debate doesn't mean i'm being "defensive" of Android. Your mistake level-headedness for extreme fanboyism.. it's not. I understand that this whole forum is crawling with trolls and fanboys, but that doesn't mean everybody can't be a little more civil. Perhaps I'm the odd one for not hating Apple and all it's supporters..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

Yes, it's disputed. That an app has some permission doesn't imply that the app is collecting data.

Exactly. Just because an app has permission to access information doesn't mean it's using or transmitting it.
post #147 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

I see, only irrational fanatism.



it's not irrational fanatism to criticize an insecure OS that failed to protect millions of users from spyware.
post #148 of 211
The iPhone has similar problems with rogue apps. I think this is the biggest flaw in downloading apps for phones or iPods - you are at the risk of having data stolen and forwarded to criminals. You would think that the iPhone people would be more careful, but they are not.
post #149 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod0 View Post

Just had to create an account for this. The hatred here towards android is scary. For the record I own and have owned many products from both sides of this discussion.

I'm currently an Android user, I own an iPad, Macbook and PC and I don't and never will understand what can only be described as the fan boy behavior occurring on this thread.

Lets face it, if it weren't for Android, Apples major rival, there would be very little to no competition, causing the entire mobile market to become almost stagnant. \

First of all ... welcome to AI discussion.

The "hatred" you speak of is just a reaction to user's of other formats coming on to a Mac discussion board and continually trying their best to tell us why we are wrong to choose Apple.

Question for you: If a visitor to your home started to tell you why you were stupid to buy/decorate your home like this ..... would you not get PO'd at them ... I know I would not be inviting them back anytime soon. Problem is ... here you don't need an invitation to participate and you can display any kind of distasteful behavior you feel the need to.

As for Android supplying healthy competition ... There was no Android when the first iPhone was introduced, a phone that everyone and their dog has been trying, mostly without success, to reproduce.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...... Apple's best competition comes from Apple itself .... always has ... always will.

In any case, again, welcome to AI.
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post #150 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

By the way, with those permissions an app can't read most of the thing the reports says.

Your point is not for the avg user, the avg user doesn't know how to turn off/on most options on their phone or home computer, most (not all) use their devices as they come out of the box. You're tech smart I'm guessing and know how to do such things, many do not.

My friend recently visited and he's a smart guy but not tech smart and I had to setup his email and teach him some tricks on the iPhone he didn't know - same for another friend. So, you and many here may know how to make their tech items more safe or set them up, but this and many other hacker apps will hurt the avg user.
post #151 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

Yes, I have seen it, and when first they said that was collected some information and sended somewhere and later they say that no, this information is not collected, is this other I start to doubt what forensic have done.

And I doubt when a security company doesn't know about the things they are studying, like Android permissions.

OK, so the all-or-nothing approach to accuracy is especially convenient when defending a platform's vulnerability - we see it all the time in Apple supporters - so I'll accept that argument at face value. However, it is perhaps too convenient to say, "well since they don't toe the mark on one aspect of their report the whole thing is wrong" - as in throwing the baby out with the bathwater - if you've heard the term before. And irresponsible as a stance from a security prespective - rather better to take the vulnerability at face-value and deal with it as real until proven otherwise than to simply shrug it off - yes?
post #152 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod0 View Post

Well said TBell. Since the dawn of the computing age until the iPhone, it was completely up to the user what software they were allowed to install on there computers.

Did a PC always allow Mac software to run on it? .... No.

Did a Mac always allow PC software to run on it? .... No.

Only by "jailbreaking" most computing devices is the user "completely free" to run anyone's software.. so, IMHO, your post is completely wrong.
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post #153 of 211
Android is open…to data thieves.
post #154 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by davesw View Post

it's not irrational fanatism to criticize an insecure OS that failed to protect millions of users from spyware.

Which spyware?
post #155 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by lostkiwi View Post

... only difference is that the information is now going to someone in Shenzen...

Hey hey hey... now you've gone too far, I've been to Shenzhen a couple times and have fond memories. Made some good friends there... leave them alone.
post #156 of 211
Wow, Lookout wants to sell software to "protect" us from mobile malware, yet they can't even accurately diagnose a threat before crying wolf.

I'm not sure if they blew it, or if it was misreported. This massive "threat" isn't even mentioned in their blog, so they are clearly in backpedal mode while they try to get their junk in a pile.

That said, every Android app install presents a list of of access permissions and requires explicit user approval before it will install. If you install a wallpaper app and give permission for it to access your phone data, that is your fault for being careless.

Kudos to Apple for trying to create a safe, idiot-proof App world. However, I don't need idiot-proof and would prefer some flexibility. Besides, the recent flashlight-tethering app was approved by Apple and then pulled after all the online buzz about it. So despite Apple's claims, it doesn't appear that they are meticulously examining the code for submitted apps...
post #157 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by harmoniousDISCORD View Post

Just because I take a more reasonable stance on the iPhone/Android debate doesn't mean i'm being "defensive" of Android. Your mistake level-headedness for extreme fanboyism.. it's not. I understand that this whole forum is crawling with trolls and fanboys, but that doesn't mean everybody can't be a little more civil. Perhaps I'm the odd one for not hating Apple and all it's supporters..



Exactly. Just because an app has permission to access information doesn't mean it's using or transmitting it.

According to your previous post you jumped in because you saw three pages of posting about this one issue - assumably you just happened along and this caught your attention somehow - don't get that - but OK - let's roll with it. The extent you went to appear reasonable in a random posting about a purported Android issue (and the accuracy of said report is even in question), on what is and has been for quite some time, an Apple-oriented "fan" site begs the question! You took great pains to present yourself here as level-headed - an act which is immediately suspect as far too many "defenders" (and "detractors")engage in exactly that behavior before making silly statements.

Again, it was reported via update (see up-thread) that the only thing in question about what was happening with the app was which information was being transmitted, not WHETHER information was being transmitted. Until it is proven differently it is safer to assume the validity of that statement and respond accordingly.

Tossing off words like "hate" and "love" is equally as specious for the defender as the detractor. Similarly for universals like "always", "never", "everyone", "no one" and so on. But to come to a fan site like this as say "now, now each platform has its merits and issues. Why can't we all link arms (metaphorically) and sing "kumbaya" is as arrant an act of silliness you could want. People aren't here to be the UN of technology. You were one of those kids who tried to stop recess fights and got beat up weren't you
post #158 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewysBlackmore View Post

OK, so the all-or-nothing approach to accuracy is especially convenient when defending a platform's vulnerability - we see it all the time in Apple supporters - so I'll accept that argument at face value. However, it is perhaps too convenient to say, "well since they don't toe the mark on one aspect of their report the whole thing is wrong" - as in throwing the baby out with the bathwater - if you've heard the term before. And irresponsible as a stance from a security prespective - rather better to take the vulnerability at face-value and deal with it as real until proven otherwise than to simply shrug it off - yes?

No, I'm not defending Android vulnerability to spyware, I'm arguing about this specific app and the information that have been reported from the beginning.

If you read the thread, my first post was about the permission that has this application and the impossibility that with it the app collected SMS's, browser history, etc.

The way Android Market works makes it less insecure to spyware but this report, or the way it has been disclosed, make it's very doubtful.

They haven't said who accounted the downloads, Android Market shows downloads in ranges: 0-500, 500-1000, ..., 50.000-250.000 and >250.000

The server in china is the server where wallpapers are located for download, so accessing it is no rogue. They haven't said how send data there.

etc, etc.
post #159 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnb View Post

Wow, Lookout wants to sell software to "protect" us from mobile malware, yet they can't even accurately diagnose a threat before crying wolf.

I'm not sure if they blew it, or if it was misreported. This massive "threat" isn't even mentioned in their blog, so they are clearly in backpedal mode while they try to get their junk in a pile.

That said, every Android app install presents a list of of access permissions and requires explicit user approval before it will install. If you install a wallpaper app and give permission for it to access your phone data, that is your fault for being careless.

Kudos to Apple for trying to create a safe, idiot-proof App world. However, I don't need idiot-proof and would prefer some flexibility. Besides, the recent flashlight-tethering app was approved by Apple and then pulled after all the online buzz about it. So despite Apple's claims, it doesn't appear that they are meticulously examining the code for submitted apps...


SEE!!?? This nails it (thanks shawnb!) The report is in question - don't even know if it is correct at all (credit Gwydion's points there perhaps). This is an expression of PERSONAL PREFERENCE, with teh reasons justifying the choices made. Simple and to the point. None of this, "well, I like bits of this and bits of that, and some other stuff over there are well... aannnd the color's nice too, so I now can justify calling you all to be more reasonable and be like me". *whew*

Now shawnb - one niggling little detail - Apple NEVER claimed to be exhaustively or meticulously examining the code. Point in fact is that Apple is under a lot of pressure by critics to "lighten-up" the review process and allow stuff through more easily. So even though it is reviewed, critics WANT the process to allow challenges like this to happen - in the name of "freedom". But then they are all too willing to attack the process when it does just exactly what they claim they want it to.
post #160 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by CIM View Post

Android is open to data thieves.


rofl OWNED
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