Was Your Android Device Compromised by Meltdown or Specter?

Android 2-in-1 image
Android 2-in-1 image
Android 2-in-1

By now most of the known universe has heard about Meltdown and Specter. I’ve even written about these two having some kind of role to play in the upcoming Bitcoin (crypto currency in general) financial apocalypse. There are, of course, various reports of just how long these two vulnerabilities have existed. Whether it is one year or a decade doesn’t really matter. Given the number of nefarious individuals and organizations out there, it got exploited. We should probably all check the CIA Exploit list to see if they have something which has been using these two entry points.

Google may be mad about my singling out Android, but, no professional ever uses Microsoft products and certainly no company which is still going to be in business 5 years from now, so, who really cares. I mean, that Windows 98 machine you keep in the basement for the few times per year you want to play “Lords of the Realm II” is turned off most of the time and doesn’t have an Internet connection so . . .

What brings Android to mind is the fact I was using one of the 2-in1’s today to take some pictures and I remember all of those articles about just how out of date the Linux kernel is on most Android versions. It is difficult to envision how a very old, most likely customized, Linux kernel could have whatever fix Linux and crew came up with backported onto it. (Backporting is the act of taking a shiny new fix and implementing it in a much older version of the same software.)

In truth, Google is starting to be much like Steve Jobs, a raft of major air cuts before they manage to find the ball. Both Chrome and Android have had limited functional success. Please, don’t confuse the number of phones/tablets/etc. in circulation with either OS achieving “functional success.” Idiot phone/tablet/etc. vendors were unwilling to pay a Microsoft tax for bug ridden code and Apple wouldn’t sell to third party hardware. Microsoft had such a pathetic platform they had to take it into the woods and put 2-behind-the-ear. They will probably bury it a few feet over from Microsoft Zune and Microsoft Bob. Though careful observers will note that Microsoft Bob was a bit like Chucky. Reportedly part of him came back as Microsoft Clippy. I don’t know where the resource destroying/consuming disaster will turn up next, but I bet Microsoft is hoping the code somehow finds its way into the Amazon Echo and Alexa products so it can destroy them too.

Android has been such a technology debacle it also is about to taken into the woods so Google can put 2-behind-the-ear. (okay, Chrome was bigger, but Chrome was stupid before the first line of code was written) Google has been working on their own fork of fuchsia with a new UI for some time now. (Yes, Ubuntu forked the same project and last I saw was also using the fuchsia name, but not the same code base.)

Why go the route of a new OS instead of fixing the two debacle’s you already have? Invariably this is what happens when you try to use AGILE for anything. Trying to walk from Kansas City to LA looking only 6 inches in front of your shoes will land you any place other than LA. Thankfully, since you didn’t do any up front documentation or written system requirements, there is nothing to prove the complete failure you delivered. Just look up, see you’re in Chicago and declare victory.

In a shot glass, that’s why Google is working on Fuchsia, but, once again they are using AGILE so . . . you know the train wreck is coming.

Of course, none of this helps you dear reader. You’re still using an Android device with an old Linux kernel and, most likely, the only reason you haven’t chucked it is you have personal stuff on it you want to save or you happen to have found an App which won’t run on the latest Android version because the twelve year old boy who wrote it has gotten old enough to drive and is now more interested in pursuing whatever gender sparks their powder. Yep, a good case of hormones cause your favorite App to hit end of life.

Here’s a better question, other than becoming a full blown victim of identity theft, how would you know if your Android device was penetrated via this or any other method? Think about it. As long as they didn’t delete anything and nothing they ran slowed you down too much and nothing they transmitted sucked up too much of your data plan, how would you know? Did any of you ask yourself that before you bought the device? Did you think about that before you saved your banking password on the thing?

Oh, of course. You find out because those nude selfies you took start showing up all over the Internet.

Look on the bright side. Now you fully understand what Moving Pictures was singing about with their hit “What About Me.”

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