Big hole in security on HTC Android devices

Gizmodo reports that Android Police has found a big security hole on HTC Android phones that provides apps potential access to sensitive data including contact information and location data. Read more about it here.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Security on mobile devices is something that does not appear to have been thought through fully. We are only now getting used to having a computing device that is part personal and part business, completely mobile and easily transportable (and so easily lost or stolen!), and with different form factors, manufacturers, versions and patch-levels.

This will lead to serious difficulties not only for individuals using the devices, but also for companies building consumer apps as well as for enterprises planning to include mobiles into their scheme of things. No enterprise till date has had so little control over its computation infrastructure. Floppies and pen drives being taken out of the office with critical data in them will be hardly worrying when compared to the potential for misuse of mobile phones that have full access to sensitive corporate information.

We are in the Android honeymoon period. Once we start getting serious about using the potential of mobile computing, only then will we understand the full ramifications of pervasive computing. But that is the price of progress, and human ingenuity will find new ways to tackle new problems, just like always.

Till then, reconcile yourself to the fact that we are living in interesting times!

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