Over 1 billion smartphones using the Android operating system are at risk of being hacked due to the devices no longer being supported according to consumer watchdog Which?
Two in five (42%) Android devices are still using a version 6.0 of Android called Marshmallow, which was released in 2015 and stopped being supported by Google last year.
When tech firms stop supporting their products, the devices no longer receive updates to patch critical security flaws, leaving the devices vulnerable to malware. If a device is successfully attacked by malware it could result in personal data being stolen or the device being spammed by ads.
Which? said it had worked with an anti-virus company to see if 5 popular smartphones models could be infected with malware; Sony Xperia Z2, Google Nexus 5, Motorola Moto X Style, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and the Samsung Galaxy A5 were all successfully infected with malware during the tests.
Google have since responded with a spokesperson saying: ?We?re dedicated to improving security for Android devices every day.? The company has also said that people who own phones which run older versions of Android should contact their manufacturer to see if they can have the devices? security fixed.
Cyber Wise recommends that any who is currently using version 6.0 of Android to try updating to the latest version. We recommend that any devices that cannot upgrade to the latest version of Android should be replaced as soon as possible to ensure they can continue to receive the latest security patches.