updated 01:50 pm EDT, Wed May 18, 2011
Google to fix Android authentication on own end
Google in a statement Wednesday said it planned to remotely fix an Android authentication hole in the near future. A remote change to how apps authenticate themselves should deploy worldwide over the course of the "next few days." Google stressed that users wouldn't need to update Android devices for the upgrade to work.
The exploit took advantage of Google sending an authentication token for both its own apps and some third-party titles without any encryption for 14 days. Proof-of-concept demos from the University of Ulm showed that it could get calendar and contact information from Google's own apps as well as any app that used the same method.
Only Android 2.3.4 devices and later have the gap patched locally. The lack of immediate answers had raised fears that most of the platform's user base would be left permanently exposed to the flaw due to rampant fragmentation preventing many from getting even minor security updates.