Over the last few years, security researchers have been able to crack various Android phones during Pwn2Own hacking competitions. Now one firm has collected its research and finds a potentially significant global problem: Android security may be dependent on the country of use.
One problem is the open and global nature of the Android operating system. Handset manufacturers seek to differentiate themselves and gain a competitive edge over other manufacturers by adding their own proprietary apps to the default Android device — sometimes known as bloatware. “Specifically,” commented F-Secure UK director of research James Loureiro, “we have seen devices that come with over 100 applications added by the vendor, introducing a significant attack surface that changes by region.”