Menu
Google pushed developers to fix security flaws in 275,000 Android apps

Google pushed developers to fix security flaws in 275,000 Android apps

Over 90,000 developers acted based on alerts issued through the Google Play App Security Improvement program

Over the past two years, Google has pressured developers to patch security issues in more than 275,000 Android apps hosted on its official app store.

In many cases this was done under the threat of blocking future updates to the insecure apps.

Since 2014, Google has been scanning apps published on Google Play for known vulnerabilities as part of its App Security Improvement (ASI) program.

Whenever a known security issue is found in an application, the developer receives an alert via email and through the Google Play Developer Console.

When it started, the program only scanned apps for embedded Amazon Web Services (AWS) credentials, which was a common problem at the time.

The exposure of AWS credentials can lead to serious compromises of the cloud servers used by apps to store user data and content.

Later that year, Google also started scanning for embedded Keystore files. These files typically contain cryptographic keys, both public and private, that are used to encrypt data or secure connections.

In the early days of the ASI program, developers only received notifications, but were under no pressure to do anything.

That changed in 2015 when Google expanded the types of issues it scanned for and also started enforcing deadlines for fixing many of them.

The company provides detailed information on the flaws it detects along with guidance on how to fix them. However, developers who fail to resolve the problems within the timeframes provided by Google can lose the ability to release future updates for the affected apps through Google Play.

Google added checks for six new vulnerabilities in 2015, all of them with a patching deadline, and 17 in 2016, 12 of which had a time limit for fixes.

These issues ranged from security flaws in third-party libraries, development frameworks and advertising SDKs to insecure implementations of Android Java classes and interfaces.

For example, developers who used the Supersonic SDK in their applications have until January 26 to upgrade the SDK to version 6.3.5 or newer.

Older versions of this SDK expose sensitive functions through Javascript that are vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks.

Until April 2016, the Google Play App Security Improvement program helped developers patch 100,000 applications.

Since then the number almost tripled, around 90,000 developers patching security issues in over 275,000 apps, said Rahul Mishra, Android security program manager in a blog post Thursday.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Reseller News honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand channel at the 2018 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards honoured standout individuals across seven categories, spanning Entrepreneur; Innovation; Rising Star; Shining Star; Community; Technical and Achievement.

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel
Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments