A security hole discovered in Android leaves nearly 99 percent of phones vulnerable to data theft. The authentication token for Google (GOOG) accounts, known as ClientLogin in Android versions 2.3.3. and earlier, is being sent unencrypted, making it relatively easy to be snapped up by a hacker. Discovered by researchers at Germany’s University of Ulm, this latest security scare has many in a panic. While Google patched the security hole earlier this month, it’s another example of the things smartphone users need to watch out for.
The security flaw was reported several days after Google faced a Senate hearing, which addressed the company’s data collection methods and use. Highlighting the need for new standards in mobile security, the Federal Communications Commission will be holding a public education forum to discuss smartphone location tracking systems. The goal, as reportedly stated by the FCC, is to explore “how consumers can be both smart and secure.” It’s a first for the FCC, delving into the matters of location-based services and privacy. Inviting smartphone operating systems suppliers, privacy groups, members of the telecom industry, and academia, the forum will take place in Washington, D.C. on June 28th.
Game devices, platforms bet big on Android
While Android security continues to be a serious issue for Google’s OS, entertainment rings in the excitement over new devices and platforms in the mobile space. Sony (SNE) Ericsson’s Xperia Play smartphone (dubbed the PlayStation Phone in earlier rumors), is finally preparing to hit Verizon (VZ) Stores on May 26th. The gaming phone, which will run on a modified version of Android Gingerbread, will cost $199 with a two-year contract. The first PlayStation certified phone comes at an interesting time; the return of the PlayStation Network is encouraging, though early sales of the device have been lower than expected.
Game platforms are proving to be lucrative on Android, with Adknowledge also teaming up with Ansca to offer its monetization capabilities to developers. Maker of Corona SDK, Ansca enables developers to create and manage apps across iOS and Android. With the inclusion of Adknowledge’s Super Rewards platform, developers can also include action-based monetization perks that accommodate end users with virtual rewards. Adknowledge’s platform has seen great success on Facebook, and is now expanding on its mobile presence. Partnerships such as this extend prime placement for Adknowledge, joining a growing trend around new monetization methods for third party Android markets.