Some Android Apps can Secretly Copy and Send User Photos to Remote Servers

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AndroidUsers of Android devices have been warned that certain apps can secretly copy and send images stored on the handset to remote servers without asking for permission. A security loophole grants some 3rd-party apps the ability to copy and send images without providing notification, as long as the device is connected to the Internet. In general, the photo file system in Android is designed similar to desktop platforms like Mac OS and Windows to make it more user-friendly. By default, images are stored on a microSD card, which make it easier for users to transfer images to a PC. However, apps don’t need permission to access images stored in internal storage. As more devices use only internal storage, some apps can access images more easily.

Experts are urging Google to address the problem, especially due to the heightened risk. They argue that the permission system should be designed with higher security level and developers should spend more time to find possible loopholes, before hackers do. The Internet giant has also already come in for a good deal of criticism, due to its decision to change the privacy policy. It is a reminder how tricky it can be to maintain security in a platform that’s used by many 3rd party manufacturers. For example, Android was originally intended for devices that uses microSD card and it is understandable that issues can arise on devices use no external memory card. Although users can report suspicious in the Android Market, some of them can still inadvertently get malicious apps from other sources.

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