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Security flaw opens all modern Android devices to "zombie botnet" takeover [u] - Page 2

post #41 of 245

Yo, you peeps be bugging out, for real bro. Damn Apple fanboys always writing about such trivial issues.

 

This is not even an issue at all, I'm telling y'all. First of all, on my Android phone (it's huge, much bigger than those puny Apple phones), I just have to write and maintain my own suite of security apps and install them, it's not that difficult to do. It's also a fun thing to do, since I never use my phone for anything useful like surfing the web and silly stuff like that, so this keeps me busy. I also root my phone at least three times a week, completely wiping the system and starting from scratch. Last night I installed a test build of 4.0.3, moving up from 4.0.2. Life doesn't get much more exciting than that, for real bro. And besides, anybody who gets a virus or has an infected Android phone is a complete moron. It's their fault, not Google's. 

post #42 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

I wonder what's going to happen with regards to returns once this news gets widely distributed around the world in local newspapers and TV?

 

I hope Apple can ramp production up quickly : )

post #43 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

 

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?"

 

If android users mostly use their phones as featurephones and don't browse the web much -- as some on these forums have claimed -- this scenario would be quite unlikely.

post #44 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

I'm a tech nerd and I love that I can root and side load apps.

 

Android: pitting every phone company in the world against one, getting a higher number, and considering it a major achievement.
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Android: pitting every phone company in the world against one, getting a higher number, and considering it a major achievement.
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post #45 of 245

my god am I going to enjoy the specific grief of all those Apple hating, openess exuding twats.

post #46 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

I wonder what's going to happen with regards to returns once this news gets widely distributed around the world in local newspapers and TV?

 

It won't hit the media.  We know that.

post #47 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Yo, you peeps be bugging out, for real bro. Damn Apple fanboys always writing about such trivial issues.

 

This is not even an issue at all, I'm telling y'all. First of all, on my Android phone (it's huge, much bigger than those puny Apple phones), I just have to write and maintain my own suite of security apps and install them, it's not that difficult to do. It's also a fun thing to do, since I never use my phone for anything useful like surfing the web and silly stuff like that, so this keeps me busy. I also root my phone at least three times a week, completely wiping the system and starting from scratch. Last night I installed a test build of 4.0.3, moving up from 4.0.2. Life doesn't get much more exciting than that, for real bro. And besides, anybody who gets a virus or has an infected Android phone is a complete moron. It's their fault, not Google's. 

 

This made me laugh out loud.  Thanks for that. :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

If android users mostly use their phones as featurephones and don't browse the web much -- as some on these forums have claimed -- this scenario would be quite unlikely.

 

"As some on these forums have claimed?"  It's NOT a claim.  It's statistics.  My god.

post #48 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

 

 

You know, Heidi may be a complete freak, dumb as a brick, and have 10 cosmetic procedures in ONE day -- but I would "root" that in a heartbeat.

post #49 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

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.
Except when you have an update that changes permission needed the system tells you the new permission the app needs. So it you read a permission that says "Allow remote wipe" from a calculator app and you update the app anyways, then you deserve to get your phone remote wiped.
post #50 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

 

If nobody "sideloads" apps, then why do Android proponents cite it as a primary feature of the platform? 

 

Also, 2% of statistics unfavorable to one's personal wishes are just pulled from your ass, apparently.

 

Because when you do have to use it, it's enormously useful!  Before Swype was added to the PlayStore, that's how I installed it.  That's how I installed SwiftKey betas.  That's how I install a bunch of really really useful root apps from XDA.  That's how I installed the Amazon App Store App when I was using it.  That's how I install Ad blocking apps when Google decided to get a little evil and removed them from the Play Store.  And even then I'm very careful to disable side loading of apps as soon as I'm done installing the app.

 

The reason this doesn't get too much play (even though in concept it's very dangerous) is because it'd be extremely unlikely for someone to install an app from *any* store and then side load an updated app.  Why wouldn't they simply update the app from the store?  There are far more likely scenarios for them to get malware by sideloading apps in the first place if they got it from unreputable sources - basically pirating the apps.  And if they did that, well, serves them right.  I really can't understand how anyone can pirate apps that cost about a cup of coffee or a lunch at most.

post #51 of 245
Well we know these will never be Obama phones, however, NSA phones has a familiar ring to it!

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #52 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

Imagine how easy it would be to send out update notices for Facebook that install a new version of the app that looks to the system like the one it "securely" installed via Google Play. Broken. This is a real issue, and its not easy to solve. Curious why you're so interested in nobody hearing about it. Security through obscurity? Market share through incompetent dumping?

 

 

Because that's not how updates work.  That's not in the normal workflow.  You don't get emails with updates.  You get notifications which takes you straight through to the Play Store.  Assuming the person is not savvy enough to know that, then they will not be savvy enough to enable the "Unknown Sources" setting, which is disabled by default.  And even if they do enable it *and* ignore the big warning that pops up stating it's dangerous, the chain is broken.  Google was smart enough to remove the download complete notification which would initiate the install again.  They will have to go back to the email and start the process again. Basically, they would have to be pretty persistent in getting the update.

 

But theoretically, sure.  It's possible.  There could be someone out there who could do that.  As I have said before, I have been using Android for almost 5 years now and I have never had a single malware on any of my devices.  I periodically check my devices with the security apps these guys typically sell and in 5 years, not a single one of them has found a single malware on my phone.  Yes, I'm a techie.  But that also goes for the phones of my wife, my kids, my sister and my niece who are most decidedly non-techie (well, except my son).

post #53 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuwafuwa View Post

That's Android for you.

That's Google for you. Never trust a company who's name rhymes like Schmoogle.  

 

Google is now to be referred to as SCREWGLE.

post #54 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

The number of people actually rooting their system, etc. is very small, but I think those kind of geeks collect devices so they represent a lot of sales in units.  The average person doesn't have or want to spend time being a phone geek, they have other things to do with their life than geeking out with a smartphone.

 

I don't think too many of them collect devices or represent a lot of sales, but other then that I totally agree.  I also believe that the number of people who root/jailbreak their phones is relatively small.  That's exactly what I was getting at.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

 

 

2/10  Would not bang.

post #55 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

I wonder what's going to happen with regards to returns once this news gets widely distributed around the world in local newspapers and TV?

 

Ahaha, good one!

 

As if the 'news' media are going to report a problem with something that isn't Apple tech.

post #56 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

 

It won't hit the media.  We know that.

Yeah it will.  it may take a little time, but the bigger markets will cover this one.   Google's going to have to put out a Press Release about it once they figure out what to tell everyone.  Maybe this will help S4 sales since it's supposed to be not affected by it.  But as the article suggests, practically all Android phones.

post #57 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

 

 

"As some on these forums have claimed?"  It's NOT a claim.  It's statistics.  My god.

 

To be more accurate, it's one _interpretation_ of some statistics. I was merely pointing out that the posited scenario of android users getting exploited through shady websites is unlikely to happen if the vast majority use their phones as featurephones.

post #58 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

 

If nobody "sideloads" apps, then why do Android proponents cite it as a primary feature of the platform? 

 

Also, 2% of statistics unfavorable to one's personal wishes are just pulled from your ass, apparently.

 

Because Android proponents are fans. They use all the available feature sets, and tweak around with their phones. 

 

I have no "personal wishes" about who side loads applications, I do not care. I don't own an Android phone. I cannot see my Mother, or friend or colleague digging through the settings of their phone to uncheck an option so they can load some APK. So yeah, the 2% is just a guess, there are no official stats on it. But i'm confident that it's incredibly low. Which is why contrary to Window's PCs in my family/friends that get infected, I never have a friend come to me with an android malware problem...not once, not ever.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

 

But that isn't true.

 

"if an attacker tricks a user to manually install a malicious update for an app originally installed through Google Play, the app will be replaced and the new version will no longer interact with the app store. That's the case for all applications or new versions of applications, malicious or non-malicious, that are not installed through Google Play"

 

Imagine how easy it would be to send out update notices for Facebook that install a new version of the app that looks to the system like the one it "securely" installed via Google Play. Broken. This is a real issue, and its not easy to solve. Curious why you're so interested in nobody hearing about it. Security through obscurity? Market share through incompetent dumping?

 

Also: putting one's head in the sand and saying there is no malware problem didn't work for Windows XP a decade ago. 

 

If you read my last line you quoted, that's social engineering. Being 'tricked' to install a trojan is the name of the game. That happens on Mac OSX and every other computing device on the planet outside of iOS which does not allow side loading apps (one of the very few platforms if not only platform that does this)

 

If you were to trick someone via Facebook, and they click that app update button it will download an APK file that could not launch because Android by default would restrict it from running. They would have flip some settings and go through a fair amount of warnings before being allowed to run that file. 

 

---

 

Is there a security flaw? yes. It's just not a big deal. Security analysts love to get their name in the news cycle with this stuff. Get back to me when people are infecting themselves with malware out of the default app channels such as Google Play. 

post #59 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by os2baba View Post

 

Because that's not how updates work.  That's not in the normal workflow.  You don't get emails with updates.  You get notifications which takes you straight through to the Play Store.  Assuming the person is not savvy enough to know that, then they will not be savvy enough to enable the "Unknown Sources" setting, which is disabled by default.  And even if they do enable it *and* ignore the big warning that pops up stating it's dangerous, the chain is broken.  Google was smart enough to remove the download complete notification which would initiate the install again.  They will have to go back to the email and start the process again. Basically, they would have to be pretty persistent in getting the update.

 

But theoretically, sure.  It's possible.  There could be someone out there who could do that.  As I have said before, I have been using Android for almost 5 years now and I have never had a single malware on any of my devices.  I periodically check my devices with the security apps these guys typically sell and in 5 years, not a single one of them has found a single malware on my phone.  Yes, I'm a techie.  But that also goes for the phones of my wife, my kids, my sister and my niece who are most decidedly non-techie (well, except my son).

 

Ok you made my point a lot better. Good job! 

 

:)

post #60 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Yeah it will.  it may take a little time, but the bigger markets will cover this one.   Google's going to have to put out a Press Release about it once they figure out what to tell everyone.  Maybe this will help S4 sales since it's supposed to be not affected by it.  But as the article suggests, practically all Android phones.

 

Well, I suppose it depends on what you mean by "media."  If you mean places like Ars, then it's already there.  If you mean the WSJ or NYT, it won't happen.  They only talk about problems that Apple (and MS, to a lesser extent) have.  I will bet you dollars to doughtnuts that there is no story about this in the WSJ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

 

To be more accurate, it's one _interpretation_ of some statistics. I was merely pointing out that the posited scenario of android users getting exploited through shady websites is unlikely to happen if the vast majority use their phones as featurephones.

 

No, it's not one interpretation.  I'm sorry, but people who are using Android are using them for much less than people who are using iOS.  That's a fact.  Do with it what you will.

post #61 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

If android users mostly use their phones as featurephones and don't browse the web much -- as some on these forums have claimed -- this scenario would be quite unlikely.

 

1. that's not just something some on this forum have claimed... there are numerous statistics to back that up.

 

2. That's not the point. A link to a download/install can come from anywhere, not just while browsing the web. That was just an example.

Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #62 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

 

Well, I suppose it depends on what you mean by "media."  If you mean places like Ars, then it's already there.  If you mean the WSJ or NYT, it won't happen.  They only talk about problems that Apple (and MS, to a lesser extent) have.  I will bet you dollars to doughtnuts that there is no story about this in the WSJ.

 

 

What's "dollars to doughnuts" mean, exactly?  Yeah WSJ and NYT will cover it.  If Google has to send out outdates on all versions of their OS's dating back to 4 year old OSs for this, they will have to release an official Press Release and that will get picked up. This will affect Google's stock if this is as bad as it sounds.

post #63 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

What's "dollars to doughnuts" mean, exactly?  Yeah WSJ and NYT will cover it.  If Google has to send out outdates on all versions of their OS's dating back to 4 year old OSs for this, they will have to release an official Press Release and that will get picked up. This will affect Google's stock if this is as bad as it sounds.

 

Seriously, you don't know what "dollars to doughnuts" means?  Yeesh, I must REALLY be getting old.  It basically means that I would give you great odds in a bet on whatever subject we're discussing.

 

Eh.  I'll believe it when I see it.  I doubt anyone outside the insular tech internet "media" will discuss this in the least.

post #64 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

 

 

No, it's not one interpretation.  I'm sorry, but people who are using Android are using them for much less than people who are using iOS.  That's a fact.  Do with it what you will.

Well if that were unambiguously true, it sounds this exploit wouldn't actually affect most android users, since they're not likely to get malicious app updates just by making phone calls, texting their friends, or playing the occasional solitaire -- whatever one usually does on featurephones. Unless of course your average user subscribes to non-google play app sources.


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 7/3/13 at 7:05pm
post #65 of 245
With news like this they should rename Android, Windroid!
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
post #66 of 245
You should put some music to that post & sell it on iTunes 1smile.gif
post #67 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

What's "dollars to doughnuts" mean, exactly?  Yeah WSJ and NYT will cover it.  If Google has to send out outdates on all versions of their OS's dating back to 4 year old OSs for this, they will have to release an official Press Release and that will get picked up. This will affect Google's stock if this is as bad as it sounds.

 

It's not as bad as it sounds as there's already safety guards in place (scroll up to read about them).  However, the fact that something isn't as bad as it sounds has never stopped the media before.  In fact, they love to blow things out of proportion and try to scare people into being afraid of things that aren't nearly the threat they're made out to be.

 

Maybe DED is becoming a real journalist after all!  lol.gif

post #68 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

Well if that were unambiguously true, it sounds this exploit wouldn't actually affect most android users, since they're not likely to get malicious app updates just by making phone calls, texting their friends, or playing the occasional solitaire. Unless of course your average user subscribes to non-google play app sources.

 

It IS unambiguously true, as many, many analyses have shown over a long period of time.  It's probably also true that this will affect few Android users, for the reasons you state.  That doesn't mean it's not important.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

 

It's not as bad as it sounds as there's already safety guards in place (scroll up to read about them).  However, the fact that something isn't as bad as it sounds has never stopped the media before.  In fact, they love to blow things out of proportion and try to scare people into being afraid of things that aren't nearly the threat they're made out to be.

 

Maybe DED is becoming a real journalist after all!  lol.gif

 

Oh, get lost.  You're not even a good troll.

post #69 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

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.

Also:
"[Update: a report by Computerworld notes that Samsung has included a patch rectifying the issue for one device: its flagship Galaxy S4. The article noted Forristal as saying that "Google has not released patches for its Nexus devices yet, but the company is working on them."]."

Wouldn't that mean that all devices besides the S4 (back to 1.6 or whatever they said) are vulnerable, regardless of the App Store users access? Not sure how many that leaves, but some storage boxes in a warehouse somewhere are safe...
post #70 of 245

Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Does this affect all of the new Gingerbread phones? 

 

They make phones out of gingerbread? Xmas isn't for another 5 months.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #71 of 245
Man hackers enjoying this, I had heard about 2 years ago "you need to buy security software for smartphones,it's tons easier than windows for security hacks on windows; on the off set IOS has no known security hacks" here we have donut and Ice cream sandwich users have 4 millions ways to be hacked, go google!
post #72 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

 

In fact, they love to blow things out of proportion

 

You mean like...antennagate? Mapgate?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #73 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

If android users mostly use their phones as featurephones and don't browse the web much -- as some on these forums have claimed -- this scenario would be quite unlikely.

 

Yes of course. Nobody uses an Android phone for things like web surfing. Android phones are for advertising your 1337n355. It's all about having the best specs in the room.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #74 of 245

I love how whenever there's an article about malware or security on Android all the losers/apologists crawl out from their hole with the usual excuses: "you have to be an idiot to get malware", "if you stay in Google Play you're OK" or "this is a minor issue".

 

Right now there are a large number of people who are continually coming up with malware for Android. It's simple numbers. If people weren't getting their devices infected and allowing people to make money (whether through ID theft, premium text messages or other) then there wouldn't be so many people creating new types of malware.

 

You whiners can yap all you want about what you "think" but the very fact that so many people are creating so many new versions of malware prove that it's a lucrative business. I don't need to listen to your lame excuses about how hard it is to catch something. They are irrelevant.

post #75 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

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.
post #76 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

What's "dollars to doughnuts" mean, exactly?  Yeah WSJ and NYT will cover it.  If Google has to send out outdates on all versions of their OS's dating back to 4 year old OSs for this, they will have to release an official Press Release and that will get picked up. This will affect Google's stock if this is as bad as it sounds.

 

Slightly off topic does how does Google even make any money off Android?  It can't be a significant portion of their revenue.

post #77 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by runbuh View Post

So - according to this, I have to load a compromised app (an app originally signed and distributed by a legitimate developer, then compromised by a rogue). Can someone explain how this is supposed to happen via the app store? Doesn't seem likely.

 

A user can receive an app as an email attachment on their phone. They could also receive it as an MMS (Multimedia SMS). If the app is signed, clicking it should trigger the install screen.

post #78 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkop View Post

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.

 

Oh for the love of god ...

 

FROM THE LINK *YOU* PROVIDED:

 

"That's roughly 1.7 times faster than sales of the Galaxy S3 (that's global channel sales, not sales to consumers) at the same point in that device's life cycle."

 

(emphasis added)

 

Please: If you're going to attempt to make some point about how someone else was wrong, at least do it with statistics that back up your point, and not those that undermine it entirely.

post #79 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

 

 

You are more likely to get a virus if you root her than if you rooted the phone...

post #80 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

 

Slightly off topic does how does Google even make any money off Android?  It can't be a significant portion of their revenue.

 

They don't -- directly.

 

Google is an advertising company, not a tech company.  They make money off of advertising.  That's why they give Android away for free: The more devices on which it runs, the more devices that are producing ad revenue for Google (at least in theory; in practice? that's more debatable).

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