If you're a user of Android Apps are you certain your personal details are secure? According to latest research, more than 1,000 3rd-party apps could be vulnerable to security attacks.
In a recent study by teams at Hannover and Marburg Universities in Germany, it was discovered that many free applications available from the Google Play Store do not use appropriate security measures to protect their users' personal information, including details for email services, online bank accounts and social media sites. The study focused on purely legitimate applications but their automated checks still found 1,074 that were insecure due to incorrect usage of security protocols (about 8% of the 13,500 tested). Furthermore the teams were able to manually hack into 41 out of 100 selected applications - gathering sensitive information from apps that have been downloaded millions of times across the world.
The full blame may not reside with the app builders however, some users don't even realise there may be a security problem. A follow up survey to the research found that about 50% of participants weren't able to identify whether they had a secure connection or not and over 55% considered security certificate warnings of medium to low risk. The research report included a list of possible countermeasures which could reduce the chances of security breaches; always using HTTPS connections, restricting developers to standardised code and giving users visual security feedback were just a few. The report concluded that there was more work yet to be done to find the optimum balance of education, simpler tools, and new countermeasures that will provide app users with a more secure experience.
More about this story can be found on the BBC News Pages and you can read the full research report here.