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Android Flaw Reveals Locations

A flaw has been discovered in the Android operating system that could reveal information on your current and past locations.

The vulnerability, found in Android Honeycomb 3.1 onwards can be exploited to share the wifi networks you’ve been previously connected to, to any other wifi enabled device within the range of your phone or tablet.

For example, you arrive at work and connect to the office wifi on your smartphone to check your emails, at lunch you log into a local café’s free wifi network to do a bit of lunchtime browsing and on your way home you connect to the network available to passengers on the train. Strangers in the vicinity of your phone could be able to view all of these networks by simply being near enough to your device.

The exploit however does not affect all Android devices. It’s limited to users who enable the ‘Preferred Network Offload’ function, a feature that allows devices to connect to wifi networks even when the screen is off. This feature shares the most recent networks that the device has been connected to.

Android are looking into the issue and are working on issuing a fix ASAP. In the meantime you can temporarily fix the issue by disabling the Preferred Network Offload feature in your advanced wifi settings. Simply select ‘Keep wifi on during sleep’ and select the ‘never’ option.

For more information on how you can protect your mobile devices, network and business visit Mobile Device Management.

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