Feeds

Googlephone security team seeks bug hunters

Android needs You

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Google's Android security team has appealed to bug hunters to help it iron out flaws in the platform.

In a posting to a full disclosure mailing list, Android security staff concede that security bugs in complex software stacks are inevitable. They are inviting help from the security community in identifying and ironing out vulnerability wrinkles before they begin to show.

It's a refreshing approach that contrasts with the lack of openness from Apple's rival iPhone development team of whom little has been heard, apart from a recent job ad for a reverse engineer.

"As you may expect, building and maintaining a secure mobile platform is a difficult task," an Android security team member writes. "While we have found and fixed many of our own bugs as well as flaws in other open-source projects, we realize that the discovery of additional security issues in a system this large and complex is inevitable."

The Android team expressed a preference for hearing about bugs first-hand rather than learning about them through such channels as full disclosure mailing lists. Responsible disclosure of this type will help Google to push out patches in a timely manner.

"We do appreciate and encourage responsible disclosure, especially since Android will be deployed on many different devices that will require a large amount of coordination to patch," the post explains.

At this stage of the game would-be bug hunters do not have the benefits of devices running Android to test with. Vulnerabilities in early emulator software have already been discovered by security tools firm Core Security back in March.

A beta (0.9) version of the Android Software Development kit was released on Monday. More details on the security features of the platform will follow, the Android team promise.

"We will be releasing more details of the security features of the Android platform over the next several months, as well as developer documentation and guidance on how to use these features in your Android applications," the post, which gives contact details and links to information on the security philosophy for Android, explains.

The Android mobile device platform is based on Linux and developed by Google and the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of hardware, software, and telecom firms. Google has promised to make the majority of code for the Android platform available under the Apache open-source licence, once the first full version of the software is released later this year. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.