Security researchers have discovered what is believed to be the first security flaw in Google's open source Android operating system.
The open source process is partly blamed for the flaw by the researchers, as it has caused confusion among software engineers as to which secure component in the OS should be used.
T-Mobile has just launched the first G1 mobile device equipped with Android, and Google is now working with the researchers to rectify the reported problem.
Charlie Miller, Mark Daniel, and Jake Honoroff of Independent Security Evaluators have identified and exploited a security vulnerability in Android.
They said, "The first commercial phones with Android are being shipped with the vulnerability present and may pose a security risk to their users until an update becomes available."
Android is based on more than 80 different open source packages. The researchers said the vulnerability "is due to the fact Google did not use the most up to date versions of all these packages. In other words, this particular security vulnerability that affects the G1 phone was known and fixed in the relevant software package, but Google used an older, still vulnerable version."
They said, "So as not to inform the 'bad guys', we will not release any further information on the particular vulnerability or software package until a fix is available."
They would say only that a user of an Android phone who uses the web browser to surf the internet may be exploited if they visit a malicious page. Upon visiting the malicious site, the attacker can run any code they wish with the privileges of the web browser application.
"We have a very reliable exploit for this issue for demonstration purposes. This exploit will not be released until a fix is available."
The same researchers have recently reported security vulnerabilites in Apple iPhone.