AS HEARD ON: WGIR – Google Acquires HTC Why – The Security of Android: AS HEARD ON – The NH Today [09-25-17]

On This Episode…

With Jack Heath this morning discussing the recent acquisition of HTC by Google. Also, find out how this will impact the security or the lack thereof.

Stay safe everyone!


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Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.


Airing date: 09/25/2017

Google Acquires HTC Why – The Security of Android


Craig Peterson: If you have an android device you might want to listen on. I spoke this morning with Jack Heath, not just about the Google acquisition of HTC but the security involved with android devices. In fact, bottom line, kind of the lack of security. And I explained it in words that even Jack could understand.


Jack Heath: Alright, joining us now on the Auto Fair listener lines, regular contributor on our Tech Talk side of things, and his show airs Saturday mornings on the iHeart News talk stations at ,I believe, 11:00. Good morning, Craig Peterson. How are you?


Craig: Hey good morning. Yeah, 11 o’clock every Saturday.


Jack: How are you? What’s the topic of interest today or this week?


Craig: I’m doing a lot better. Well I got from food poisoning the other week and it really knocked on my can. But we got a couple big things. First of all, HTC, this is the company that makes phones. Android-based phones. And a very popular company.  I used them. I bought some of their phones. And I ended up returning them because I had some problems with them. But Google has completed the acquisition now of HTC. It was a $1.1 billion acquisition in September this year. And it’s interesting because this is part of the trend of aqui-hires that so many of these big businesses have. In other words, they’re buying the company to acquire your employees. Acquire employees who have skills that Google or Apple or any of these other guys really want. And many times they’ll end up shooting the hardware portion in the head. So with HTC, the part of this deal was they will continue to make the physical devices. They’ll continue to do manufacturing. Google has its own phone, its own piece of hardware. They may have HTC start making it for them as well. But it’s a big deal. It’s a lot of money. Maybe it’s kind of a compulsive acquisition because Google has so much cash in their pocket, it’s amazing.


Then another big thing happening right now is there is new ransomware out there that is hitting 2 million users per hour. 2 million per hour. It’s absolutely crazy. If you have a Barracuda firewall, Barracuda protection software, that’s who it’s hitting the most. That’s who’s hitting very, very hard. And that’s a new type of ransomware again. We’re going to see more of this. It morphs. It’s kind of like a virus. Your body develops resistance to a certain virus strain and then it changes in your body, it doesn’t have resistance anymore. That’s what these guys are doing right now. So if you have Barracuda pay particular attention. Ransomware, of course, really bad news. It typically knocks the business down for at least a week.


Jack: Wow.


Craig: And they can run businesses right out of business, Jack. It’s just incredible.


Jack: Now Craig, on a lot of phones because I think people today are spending as much time on, let’s face it, phones are our computers.


Craig: Yeah.


Jack: You know you’re so acutely aware in an office setting, like if you’re on a, what I call desktop, on you know worrying about ransomware or malware, whatever you call it. Like if you open an email you don’t recognize, don’t open the attachment. I mean that’s how a lot of these things get. But what about on the phone when you’re doing like casual searches. You know you’re using your maps, your apps. A lot of phones, and it was someone was going to come on and offer some analysis, but I said we have our Tech Talk guy, Craig Peterson. I’ll ask him this. A lot of phones, the carriers are acutely aware of security and privacy. I’m on an Apple guy. I think you know, an iPhone person. But you mentioned androids and the company Google’s going to buy…  So you see their security and privacy and you know you can run scans. And I was talking to someone the other day at the Verizon store because I had an issue with an email but I just had an update of the apps. I don’t keep up with all this, that’s what I’m trying to say. But they have security and privacy and he said, you know, on your phone it’s a lot harder for the bad guys to get in versus like an office system or your home computer. So the security privacy stuff is good and run it often and it will keep your phone fairly clear from someone trying to basically latch on and get into the private stuff. Is that true?


Craig: Yeah that is pretty much true except if you have an android phone. Android is known to have problems and here’s why Jack. With the iPhone, there is about a dozen different models, a dozen different versions that Apple has to worry about and keep safe. Because you know the hardware varies. When you’re talking about android there is more than one thousand different versions. Now that’s incredible when you think about it. And it isn’t just one company Google that’s making the software for the phones. It’s every manufacturer gets her fingers into it. And then on top of it, you know, you mentioned you go into one of these stores, Verizon or Sprint or wherever you’re buying it from, they get their fingers into it. So we’re talking about tens of thousands of possible entry points for malware into android devices versus literally a handful of potential entry point.


Jack: Just because the manufacturing process, you’re saying.


Craig: Yeah. Exactly.


Jack: Interesting.


Craig: The software manufacturing and also the design of the system. Android just wasn’t designed with the same security in mind as Apple is. Apple is head and shoulders above everybody else when it comes to security. But you’re right. The guy you spoke to was right. If you do not root your phone. If you take your phone you keep it up-to-date with the new releases, which again you cannot do with many android phones, you cannot get updates for them. But if you do that you’re going to be relatively safe and a lot safer than most Windows desktops.


Jack: Alright. Craig Peterson, thank you very much. Enjoy this balmy, balmy Monday. Warmer temps sticking around. Thank you.


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