Originally Posted by mjtomlin
Wow! Reading comprehension goes out the window when you're blinded by bias.
Anyone who thinks this is a minor threat really needs to get their head examined. This vulnerability affects ALL apps in so much that any UPDATE made to that app regardless of where it was originally installed, can potentially be infected without the operating system knowing. Obviously any curated app store will be immune to this if they are diligent in checking for malware. But a user tricked into an update from another source is at risk and this is the real problem as most users aren't aware of what's happening... this was the biggest problem with most Windows epidemics; clueless users clicking things they shouldn't.
A user could go to a website that's been hacked and a message pops up that looks like a system message, saying something like...
"There is a new version of the Calculator app... Would you like to update?"
Well, how threatening is a calculator app... not at all, most people who didn't realize what was happening would probably click Yes. Then their device would be infected. The same thing could happen from an official looking email.
I'm shocked at the amount of misinformation going around here. I know this is an Apple blog, but please - do some Android research.
1. This does not affect any app in Google Play. Google has already blocked every application that uses this loophole, including updates, per the article.
2. This only applies to side-loaded applications. Which have always been a security risk. Google warns you to the effect when you enable them; which is why I download Avast! if I sideload any applications.
3. Updates are perfectly safe, if you use good developers. And I seriously doubt that any reputable company can simply get "infected" with malware without someone noticing almost instantly. Even IF you don't use major developers all the time, Google catches these things pretty fast - check around the blogosphere historically and you'll see what I mean.
4. Sideloading apps IS important for some, like me. I.e. a game, Plants vs Zombie (botnets), doesn't work on my Nexus 10. But it works on my Galaxy Nexus. So I found the APK online, scanned it, and installed it manually - now it works like a charm!
5. @GTR, nice joke - xD but Samsung has 'sold' 20 million Galaxy S4s
, apparently. Which is quite a lot, even by Apple's standards.
6. Finally, none of this really matters anyway, because even if Google HADN'T blocked these applications, it would have to be by an app developer deliberately trying to infect you. All the standard apps - Falcon Pro, Gmail, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, and yes - Plants Vs Zombies - are safe.