New Android phones are leaking users Location

Android leaks, Android location, Android GPS, Android Security
Security of Android platform is really getting more serious issue, where some time hackers tries to attack Android device via there malicious apps or sometime cyber criminal leveraged the loop hole of the platform. As yesterday we have noted that security firm FireEye have reported a new malware on Android platform that have the capability of stealing Banking details and also gives the remote access to the attacker. This is not the new case, earlier also many times cyber criminals have targeted Android users.

Now once again, The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has discovered an alarming issue with newer Android phones. EFF have found that when the android device Honeycomb (Android 3.1) or later installed is in Preferred Network Offload (PNO) mode, it broadcast the recent Wi-Fi networks it was connected to. Anyone within Wi-Fi range of the device could snoop those broadcast and know exactly where you were based on the real language names of your previous locations.

What is Preferred Network Offload (PNO) mode?
PNO mode helps to extend battery life by giving Wi-Fi priority over cellular data by searching for recently joined Wi-Fi networks while a device’s display is off. A Wi-Fi connection uses less power than a cellular connection.

This means if a users works on the ABC company (as example) and users use the company's WiFi where WiFi name may be named as Company name then it is easy for someone where you have been. If anyone checks the list of last few connection then anyone can tracks your travel, and many of us don't want these.

As the EFF team have reported the issue to Google team and Google thanks EFF to make aware the issue with the following statement-
We take the security of our users’ location data very seriously and we’re always happy to be made aware of potential issues ahead of time. Since changes to this behavior would potentially affect user connectivity to hidden access points, we are still investigating what changes are appropriate for a future release.
How to Prevent this? 
As many of us don't want to share our location publicly as I didn't like. So on this regards, EFF have also guide the users how to stop this issue.
EFF says- Users who want to protect their privacy right now: go into your phone’s “Advanced Wi-Fi” settings and set the “Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep” option to “Never”.

Source:- TNW & EFF

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