Researcher says flaw in Android creates phone risk

WASHINGTON - A security researcher says cell phones equipped with Google's Android operating system are at risk of being disabled or wiped clean of their data, including contacts, music, and photos.

Opening a link to a web site or application embedded with malicious code can trigger an attack capable of destroying the memory card in Android-equipped handsets made by Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Sony Ericsson. That from Ravi Borgaonkar of Germany's Technical University Berlin. He wrote that another code that can erase a user's data appears to target only the top selling Galaxy S III and other Samsung phones.

Borgaonkar says he informed Google of the vulnerability in June. A fix was issued quickly, he says, but it wasn't publicized, leaving many phone owners unaware the problem existed.

Google declined to comment.

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