Most iPhone users have few issues with security on iOS, thanks to Apple’s walled-garden ecosystem and the fact that about 98-percent of mobile device malware lives on Android OS. The latest is called Quadrooter which affects almost every Android device running Qualcomm chips, which is to say the vast majority of Android-based smartphones. Unlike the F.B.I. vs. Apple and the iPhone, hackers can gain full control of a device thanks to Quadrooter.
Sounds serious, right? It is. And there’s no cure. Yet.
Yes, Qualcomm engineers worked feverishly on a patch and one will arrive one day soon, but the damage extends far beyond the fix. Why? The fix will be an upgrade that works only on newer devices and only on specific brands. Most of those one-billion Android smartphones will never see a fix to the Quadrooter vulnerability.
What will be the #1 method to fix an Android smartphone running the aforementioned Qualcomm chips?
Buy a new Android device that’s running Android 6.0 Marshmallow; a device that gets updated rapidly. Says who? A tech writer for ZDNet. That’s important to know because the number of manufacturers that actually issue patches is notoriously small. Samsung and LG come to to mind, but not all their models are easily upgradable, if at all.
The #2 method advocated by ZDNet is to apply updates and patches when they’re available. Duh. That’s what iPhone users do and do with ease. By the time iOS 10 is released later this year more than 90-percent of all iPhones and iPads will have been upgraded to iOS 9.x. Compare that to the 10-percent or so of Android devices running Marshmallow which was released about the same time as iOS 9 last year.
If you own an average Android smartphone or tablet you’re in a pickle because you bought a pig in a poke. How so? Most cell phone makers don’t want you to upgrade. They want you to buy a new phone. In most cases Android smartphones simply cannot be upgraded to newer, more secure versions which patch vulnerabilities such as Quadrooter.
ZDNet’s tech writer has yet another step you can perform to your Qualcomm-based Android device that will eliminate the Quadrooter security issue forever.
Put a hammer through it and send it to the recycling center. Don’t mess about with third-party patches or third-party antivirus programs, because these are just Band-Aids over what will rapidly become a gaping wound.
So, let me get this straight. To avoid the Quadrooter vulnerability that infects nearly a billion Android-based smartphones, the #1 method is to buy a new phone that runs the latest Android version, but only after it gets patched. The #2 method is to patch your smartphone with an upgrade. With what? Most Android smartphones cannot be patched, most seldom get upgraded, so unless you are lucky enough or smart enough to know which of the few Android smartphones can be upgraded, you’re stuck. Again.
And the #3 method is to smash the phone with a hammer. How is that a worthy recommendation? What about a #4? Buy an iPhone and never worry about such upgrade methods again. Why wasn’t that mentioned by a tech magazine which purports to have an understanding of how the technology in our devices actually works?