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It seems we've had an article like this at least once a week for a month or so now. They're usually put out by someone selling a security product (surprise!).
It's great that it keeps everyone on their toes. However it almost always boils down to users installing applications and ignoring the warnings the OS displays prior to installing it. In this case also unchecking "Unknown Sources" in the Application settings.
I appreciate some user's are non technical and the warnings aren't always clear. I'm not sure what the answer is though. We can only throw so many warnings at the user. If they're ignoring one they'll eventually ignore two or three.
The only idea I've seen mentioned that made some sense to me would be for Android to add some type of core permissions management for a few basic things:
- Accessing Contacts
- Sending Text
- Making Calls
A permission management where you can have to explicitly allow applications to access those features (not all those specifically just for example).
It could ship locked down. Users would have to click a "I want to manage application permissions" checkbox similar to the "Unknown Sources" option in the Applications menu. They then could be warned about the risks involved, etc.
The bottom line is no solution is going to be perfect.
For me personally I'll just accept that with the freedom comes responsibility. However I realize that as Android gets more and more mainstream that's probably not going to fly as well.
PS. Android Central did a GREAT job following up and covering the Wallpaper scare a week or two ago