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17 Dec 12 Android flaw leaves Samsung vulnerable, users charge


A suspected fault in how Samsung Electronics has implemented the Android’s kernel in several of its devices could allow a malicious application to gain total control over the device.

The vulnerability was described on Saturday by the user “alephzain” on XDA Developers, a forum for mobile developers. It affects devices using the Exynos processor models 4210 and 4412. Alephzain wrote that the issue was a “huge mistake.” (See also “Mobile Malware: It’s bad now, but will be worse in 2012.”)


By Sunday, another developer on the forum, Chainfire, had posted an Android application package (.apk) file that will successfully exploit the vulnerability.

“You should be very afraid of this exploit,” Chainfire wrote. “Any app can use it to gain root without asking and without any permissions on a vulnerable device.”

Affected devices include versions of Samsung’s S2 and S3 mobile phones, the Galaxy Note and Note II, Galaxy Note Plus and Galaxy Note 10.1, according to the post by Chainfire.

Hackers have increasingly targeted the Android operating system, building applications that appear benign but can contain code that can steal data from a device or perform other malicious actions. Google has responded to the rise of malicious Android applications by implementing an automated scanner in its Play marketplace to detect malicious ones.

But unvetted Android applications abound around the internet, posing a risk to users. Security vendors have found malicious applications that send SMS messages to premium rate numbers and ones that intercept one-time passcodes for banking applications.

Samsung officials did not have an immediate comment.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2020711/android-flaw-leaves-samsung-vulnerable-users-charge.html

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17 Dec 12 Samsung devices vulnerable to dangerous Android exploit


A suspected fault in how Samsung Electronics has implemented the Android’s kernel in several of its devices could allow a malicious application to gain total control over the device.

The vulnerability was described on Saturday by the user “alephzain” on XDA Developers, a forum for mobile developers. It affects devices using the Exynos processor models 4210 and 4412. Alephzain wrote that the issue was a “huge mistake.”

By Sunday, another developer on the forum, Chainfire, had posted an Android application package (.apk) file that will successfully exploit the vulnerability.

“You should be very afraid of this exploit,” Chainfire wrote. “Any app can use it to gain root without asking and without any permissions on a vulnerable device.”

Affected devices include versions of Samsung’s S2 and S3 mobile phones, the Galaxy Note and Note II, Galaxy Note Plus and Galaxy Note 10.1, according to the post by Chainfire.

Hackers have increasingly targeted the Android operating system, building applications that appear benign but can contain code that can steal data from a device or perform other malicious actions. Google has responded to the rise of malicious Android applications by implementing an automated scanner in its Play marketplace to detect malicious ones.

But unvetted Android applications abound around the internet, posing a risk to users. Security vendors have found malicious applications that send SMS messages to premium rate numbers and ones that intercept one-time passcodes for banking applications.

Samsung officials did not have an immediate comment.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Article source: http://www.itworld.com/security/328303/samsung-devices-vulnerable-dangerous-android-exploit

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11 Apr 12 Android won’t challenge Apple’s tablet dominance in 2012, says Gartner


IDG News Service - Worldwide tablet sales to end users are expected to total 118.9 million units in 2012, with Apple continuing to dominate and the Android camp struggling to replicate its success in the smartphone market, according to market research firm Gartner.

That global sales forecast, which was released Tuesday, represents a 98% increase from 2011, during which 60 million tablets were sold.

Apple will sell about 73 million tablets during 2012, giving it 61.4% market share, compared to 66.6% during 2011, Gartner said.

At the same time, Android will not make much headway. Sales of tablets based on Google‘s OS will grow from 17.3 million to 37.9 million, allowing its market share to increase by 3 percentage points to 32%, according to Gartner.

“Basically, Android’s market share isn’t going to increase that much compared to 2011,” said Roberta Cozza, principal analyst at Gartner.

The two biggest vendors will be Samsung Electronics and Amazon with its Kindle, which will get a boost from an expected international rollout.

There are several reasons why Android won’t be able to challenge Apple. Google and its hardware partners haven’t done enough to make the ecosystem more interesting for users, according to Cozza.

The main issue is the lack of applications dedicated to tablets that, therefore, take advantage of their capabilities. That’s due partly to the fact that traction among developers for tablet apps hasn’t been as great as with smartphones, Cozza said.

Fragmentation also continues to be an issue, according to Gartner. For example, the use of different GPUs (graphic processor units) makes life difficult for games developers.

However, Apple’s dominance will gradually be eroded. By 2016, tablets sales will have grown to about 369 million units. Apple will have a 46% of the market and the Android camp’s share will have grown to 37%, as the latter platform matures.

The third horse in the tablet race over the next couple of years will be Microsoft. As the launch of Windows 8 draws closer, the hype is picking up. Its arrival will allow Microsoft and its partners to compete on a more equal footing with Apple’s iPads and Android-based tablets.

By the end of the year, Microsoft and its partners will have sold about 4.9 million tablets to mainly enterprise users, giving it a 4.1% market share.

Sales will grow, but Microsoft will remain the third-largest platform and its share will not surpass 12% by 2016, according to Gartner.

That is based on the assumption that tablets running a Microsoft OS will still mainly be purchased for enterprise users, according to Cozza. But Microsoft is a bit of a wild card in the tablet market. If the company can turn Windows Phone into a success among consumers, that could also help propel tablet sales, she said.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Article source: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9226055/Android_won_39_t_challenge_Apple_39_s_tablet_dominance_in_2012_says_Gartner

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10 Apr 12 Android Won’t Challenge Apple’s Tablet Dominance in 2012, Says Gartner


Worldwide tablet sales to end users are expected to total 118.9 million units in 2012, with Apple continuing to dominate and the Android camp struggling to replicate its success in the smartphone market, according to Gartner.

That global sales forecast, which was released Tuesday, represents a 98 percent increase from 2011, during which 60 million tablets were sold.

Apple will sell about 73 million tablets during 2012, giving it 61.4 percent market share, compared to 66.6 percent during 2011, Gartner said.

At the same time, Android will not make much headway. Sales of tablets based on Google’s OS will grow from 17.3 million to 37.9 million, allowing its market share to increase by 3 percentage points to 32 percent, according to Gartner.

“Basically, Android’s market share isn’t going to increase that much compared to 2011,” said Roberta Cozza, principal analyst at Gartner.

The two biggest vendors will be Samsung Electronics and Amazon with its Kindle, which will get a boost from an expected international rollout.

There are several reasons why Android won’t be able to challenge Apple. Google and its hardware partners haven’t done enough to make the ecosystem more interesting for users, according to Cozza.

The main issue is the lack of applications dedicated to tablets that, therefore, take advantage of their capabilities. That’s due partly to the fact that traction among developers for tablet apps hasn’t been as great as with smartphones, Cozza said.

Fragmentation also continues to be an issue, according to Gartner. For example, the use of different GPUs (graphic processor units) makes life difficult for games developers.

However, Apple’s dominance will gradually be eroded. By 2016, tablets sales will have grown to about 369 million units. Apple will have a 46 percent of the market and the Android camp’s share will have grown to 37 percent, as the latter platform matures.

The third horse in the tablet race over the next couple of years will be Microsoft. As the launch of Windows 8 draws closer, the hype is picking up. Its arrival will allow Microsoft and its partners to compete on a more equal footing with Apple’s iPads and Android-based tablets.

By the end of the year, Microsoft and its partners will have sold about 4.9 million tablets to mainly enterprise users, giving it a 4.1 percent market share.

Sales will grow, but Microsoft will remain the third-largest platform and its share will not surpass 12 percent by 2016, according to Gartner.

That is based on the assumption that tablets running a Microsoft OS will still mainly be purchased for enterprise users, according to Cozza. But Microsoft is a bit of a wild card in the tablet market. If the company can turn Windows Phone into a success among consumers, that could also help propel tablet sales, she said.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/253511/android_wont_challenge_apples_tablet_dominance_in_2012_says_gartner.html

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29 Oct 11 Microsoft, Compal Sign Patent Deal Covering Android, Chrome


Microsoft has signed a patent agreement with Taiwan’s Compal Electronics that provides coverage under its patent portfolio for Compal’s tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other consumer devices running Android or the Chrome platform, the company said Sunday.

As a result of the agreement, companies accounting for over half of all Android devices have now entered into patent license agreements with Microsoft, its general counsels, Brad Smith and Horacio Gutierrez said in a blog post.

More than half of the global contract manufacturer industry for Android and Chrome devices is now under license to Microsoft’s patent portfolio, following the agreement with Compal and earlier ones with two other contract manufacturers, Wistron and Quanta Computer, Microsoft said.

The company claims similar success for its licensing program with companies producing devices under their own brand, which it calls original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Microsoft announced last month a cross-license patent agreement with Samsung Electronics that gives Microsoft royalties for Samsung’s mobile phones and tablets running the Android mobile platform.

Following the agreement with Samsung, Microsoft now has license agreements in place with OEMs that account for 53 percent of all Android smartphones in the U.S., the general counsels said.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Microsoft said the licensing deal with Compal, its tenth around Android so far, would bring it royalties, but did not provide details.

Microsoft has offered a licensing program to makers of Android devices to avoid being sued by the company for allegedly infringing its patents, which was embraced last year by HTC for its mobile phones running Android.

The company’s “license-first” approach hasn’t always worked, and in March it filed legal action against Barnes Noble, and its device makers Foxconn International Holdings and Inventec for alleged patent infringements by Nook devices which run Android.

Microsoft also has ongoing litigation with Motorola Mobility. Google said in August that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Motorola for about US$12.5 billion

“Our firm view remains, however, that licensing is the best way forward for the industry, and we will continue to prefer the licensing path to litigation,” Gutierrez said in March.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John’s e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/242427/microsoft_compal_sign_patent_deal_covering_android_chrome.html

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24 Oct 11 Microsoft, Compal Sign Patent Deal Covering Android, Chrome


Microsoft has signed a patent agreement with Taiwan’s Compal Electronics that provides coverage under its patent portfolio for Compal’s tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other consumer devices running Android or the Chrome platform, the company said Sunday.

As a result of the agreement, companies accounting for over half of all Android devices have now entered into patent license agreements with Microsoft, its general counsels, Brad Smith and Horacio Gutierrez said in a blog post.

More than half of the global contract manufacturer industry for Android and Chrome devices is now under license to Microsoft’s patent portfolio, following the agreement with Compal and earlier ones with two other contract manufacturers, Wistron and Quanta Computer, Microsoft said.

The company claims similar success for its licensing program with companies producing devices under their own brand, which it calls original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Microsoft announced last month a cross-license patent agreement with Samsung Electronics that gives Microsoft royalties for Samsung’s mobile phones and tablets running the Android mobile platform.

Following the agreement with Samsung, Microsoft now has license agreements in place with OEMs that account for 53 percent of all Android smartphones in the U.S., the general counsels said.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Microsoft said the licensing deal with Compal, its tenth around Android so far, would bring it royalties, but did not provide details.

Microsoft has offered a licensing program to makers of Android devices to avoid being sued by the company for allegedly infringing its patents, which was embraced last year by HTC for its mobile phones running Android.

The company’s “license-first” approach hasn’t always worked, and in March it filed legal action against Barnes Noble, and its device makers Foxconn International Holdings and Inventec for alleged patent infringements by Nook devices which run Android.

Microsoft also has ongoing litigation with Motorola Mobility. Google said in August that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Motorola for about US$12.5 billion

“Our firm view remains, however, that licensing is the best way forward for the industry, and we will continue to prefer the licensing path to litigation,” Gutierrez said in March.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John’s e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/242427/microsoft_compal_sign_patent_deal_covering_android_chrome.html

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24 Oct 11 Microsoft, Compal sign patent deal for Android, Chrome


IDG News Service - Microsoft has signed a patent agreement with Taiwan’s Compal Electronics that provides coverage under its patent portfolio for Compal’s tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other consumer devices running Android or the Chrome platform, the company said Sunday.

As a result of the agreement, companies accounting for over half of all Android devices have now entered into patent license agreements with Microsoft, its general counsels, Brad Smith and Horacio Gutierrez said in a blog post.

More than half of the global contract manufacturer industry for Android and Chrome devices is now under license to Microsoft’s patent portfolio, following the agreement with Compal and earlier ones with two other contract manufacturers, Wistron and Quanta Computer, Microsoft said.

The company claims similar success for its licensing program with companies producing devices under their own brand, which it calls original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Microsoft announced last month a cross-license patent agreement with Samsung Electronics that gives Microsoft royalties for Samsung’s mobile phones and tablets running the Android mobile platform.

Following the agreement with Samsung, Microsoft now has license agreements in place with OEMs that account for 53% of all Android smartphones in the U.S., the general counsels said.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Microsoft said the licensing deal with Compal, its tenth around Android so far, would bring it royalties, but did not provide details.

Microsoft has offered a licensing program to makers of Android devices to avoid being sued by the company for allegedly infringing its patents, which was embraced last year by HTC for its mobile phones running Android.

The company’s “license-first” approach hasn’t always worked, and in March it filed legal action against Barnes Noble, and its device makers Foxconn International Holdings and Inventec for alleged patent infringements by Nook devices which run Android.

Microsoft also has ongoing litigation with Motorola Mobility. Google said in August that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Motorola for about $12.5 billion

“Our firm view remains, however, that licensing is the best way forward for the industry, and we will continue to prefer the licensing path to litigation,” Gutierrez said in March.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John’s e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Article source: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9221128/Microsoft_Compal_sign_patent_deal_for_Android_Chrome

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