'High risk' flaws found in Android OS

News 3 Nov, 2010

New research has claimed Google's mobile operating system has almost 360 defects.

The central kernel of the Android mobile operating system has hundreds of defects, according to new research.

The study, undertaken by Coverity, revealed 359 flaws, with 25 per cent of of them being ranked as “high risk.” This ranking meant they were likely to cause a security breach or crash a device running the operating system.

Andy Chou, chief scientist and co-founder of Coverity, said: “The... results for the Android kernel we tested show a better than average defect density, meaning this specific kernel is shipping with fewer defects than the industry average for software of this size."

"However, a significant number of these defects are the high risk types that our customers typically fix before shipping their products to market.”

Chou said the aim of the report was to give the makers of the software a chance to fix things before they became a problem but the Android study was of Froyo, which is already shipping in a number of mobile devices.

The report looked into a variety of open source projects including Linux, Apache and PHP. Across all the kernels studied, half of the flaws found were also ranked as high risk.

"Open source software, like Android, is cemented into the software supply chain of fast-moving OEMs in the mobile device industry,” added Chou.

“This creates heavy demand for visibility into the integrity of open source code shipping in modern mobile devices."