Users of the G1 Android phone on Friday have begun receiving a software update that fixes a flaw that security researchers found earlier in the week.
The update included the fix to the browser vulnerability and a couple of other minor changes as well, said Michael Kirkland, a Google spokesman. Every user of the G1 may not have gotten the update yet but should within a short time frame, he said.
Google worked with T-Mobile USA, the only operator selling the device, to push the update out to users. The G1 went on sale last week, and T-Mobile has not disclosed how many have sold so far.
Researchers at Independent Security Evaluators revealed earlier this week that they discovered that Android, Google’s open-source software that is currently only running on HTC’s G1 handset, is based on outdated open-source components that do not include a fix to a previously known vulnerability.
On a Web page for ISE, Charlie Miller, Mark Daniel and Jake Honoroff wrote that they wouldn’t say much about the vulnerability until Google fixes it. However, they said that Android users who visit malicious Web sites may find their sensitive information stolen. That’s because an attacker could access any information the site uses, including saved passwords, information entered into a Web application form and cookies.
The researchers also said, however, that the impact of the attack is limited because of Android’s security architecture. An attacker can’t, for example, control functions of the phone such as the dialer.
On Friday, Miller was not available to talk about whether he had received and tested the update.