Mobile device manufacturer HTC America has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the company failed to take reasonable steps to secure the software it developed for its smartphones and tablet computers, introducing security flaws that placed sensitive information about millions of consumers at risk.
The settlement requires HTC America to develop and release software patches to fix vulnerabilities found in millions of HTC devices. In addition, the settlement requires HTC America to establish a comprehensive security program designed to address security risks during the development of HTC devices and to undergo independent security assessments every other year for the next 20 years.
HTC America, Inc., develops and manufactures mobile devices based on the Android, Windows Mobile, and Windows Phone operating systems. HTC America has customized the software on these devices in order to differentiate itself from competitors and to comply with the requirements of mobile network operators.
The Commission charged that HTC America failed to employ reasonable and appropriate security practices in the design and customization of the software on its mobile devices. Among other things, the complaint alleged that HTC America failed to provide its engineering staff with adequate security training, failed to review or test the software on its mobile devices for potential security vulnerabilities, failed to follow well-known and commonly accepted secure coding practices, and failed to establish a process for receiving and addressing vulnerability reports from third parties.
To illustrate the consequences of these alleged failures, the FTC’s complaint details several vulnerabilities found on HTC’s devices, including the insecure implementation of two logging applications - Carrier IQ and HTC Loggers - as well as programming flaws that would allow third-party applications to bypass Android’s permission-based security model.
Seriously, these companies are joking and playing around consumers with all those left behind devices. They seem to think anything older than six months in the market don't need updated OS anymore.
And that's not HTC only, but it seems to be the way LG, Sony and Huawei work. ASUS and Samsung seem to be a little bit better.