Apple and Android vulnerable to Freak Attack!

4 March 2015

apple-android Another day, another attack on people using gadgets to get on the internet. This time, something called Freak Attack (which sounds like an ace '80s horror b-movie) is causing a headache for users of Android and Apple devices.

The good news is that there are no reports of this weakness being exploited (yet) and that the relevant companies are working quickly to shore up the flaw... but where has all this come from? Well, researchers reckon that the problem comes from code that came about from old government policies which required software developers to use weaker security in encryption programmes, thanks to that old chestnut of 'international security concerns'.

The flaw is to do with web encryption technology, which could potentially enable bad people to spy on what you're doing if you use Safari or Google's Android browser.

Around a third of all encrypted sites were vulnerable as of yesterday, as sites continued to accept this weaker software, which affects Apple's browsers, the Android browser, but not Google Chrome browser or the latest versions from Firefox or Microsoft.

Apple and Google have both said that they've fixed the Freak Attack flaw, with Apple rolling theirs out next week and Google saying that they've sent out the goods to device makers and wireless carriers.

Obviously, this highlights the problems with governments interfering with encryption codes, even when dealing with national security. This old policy has come back to bite it on the arse, as it could well do the opposite of what it was intended to do, and actually give a helping hand to criminals.

Until a rollout occurs, you'd be wise to use Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft's browser or, indeed, ride your luck until the new security measures are in place, if you're feeling saucy.

TOPICS:   Technology   Mobile   Scams   Privacy

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