Research shows that more than a billion Android devices are vulnerable to cyber attacks because they have not been updated. This is shown by research by Which?, a British market watchdog.

Google data shows that just over 40 percent of Android users worldwide use version 6.0 or lower. This means that these users have not been able to download security updates since 2019, because those versions are no longer supported.

Smartphone test

Which? Tested a number of smartphones, trying to infect them with malware. These are the Motorola X, Samsung Galaxy A, Sony Xperia Z2, LG/Google Nexus 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S6. This succeeded, and some models even managed to smuggle in multiple malware strains. Models released before 2012 are particularly at risk. These are already phones of more than eight years old, so it is not very surprising that Android updates are no longer available.

Some newer devices are also at risk. However, Google has no plans to support users of older smartphones with the vulnerabilities, which is worrying according to the British market watchdog. Of course, it is debatable from what age smartphones should be supported, but it seems clear that there should be transparency about how long there is support, which is not the case now.