Over one billion Android devices are vulnerable to hacker attacks because of a lack of security updates, according to a study by Which?.
Using data from Google, the study found that 40% of Android users globally were no longer getting security updates from Google, which puts them at risk of a whole host of attacks from data theft to ransom demands.
“It’s very concerning that expensive Android devices have such a short shelf life before they lose security support – leaving millions of users at risk of serious consequences if they fall victim to hackers,” said Kate Bevan, editor at Which?. “Google and phone manufacturers need to be upfront about security updates – with clear information about how long they will last and what customers should do when they run out.
The company tested various devices by handset makers including Samsung, Motorola and Sony and noted that on many devices hackers were able to steal personal information and sometimes even take control over a handset.
The older the phone and operating system, the higher the users’ risks were.
According to Which? models older than 2012 pose a particular risk as these do not include enhanced security versions.
Although Which? did share its findings with Google, the tech giant did not comment or reveal how many devices would be affected. It is estimated that one billion Android devices could be prone to the attacks.