updated 11:15 am EDT, Fri September 27, 2013
Some apps fail to properly employ SSL
Researchers have reportedly discovered a new Android vulnerability that potentially affects a large number of devices. The issue is said to be directly related to the WebView programming interface, used for web-based features within native apps. Some Android apps reportedly fail to properly secure data as it is transferred between the Internet and the app's WebView feature, leaving the device open to attack by someone else on the same Wi-Fi network.
"The lowest impact attack would be downloading contents of the SD card and the exploited application's data directory," research firm MWR InfoSecurity wrote in an advisory that was spotted by Ars Technica
The researchers suggest many Android apps are using older versions of SDKs for advertising networks, serving as a vulnerable route for man-in-the-middle attacks. Taking a close look at the top 100 apps in the Play Store, 62 were found to be "potentially" vulnerable to such attacks.
Despite the reports, Android's other security restrictions are said to serve as further protection against malicious code that is injected using the WebView vulnerability. Google also improved security with Android 4.2, providing more tools for developers to protect against such attacks.
Due to the software upgrade delays for most Android phones, an immediate resolution would require developers to update their apps with proper implementation of SSL encryption for WebView data.