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Android systems running 4.1.1 softward carry Heartbleed bug

| Saturday, April 12, 2014, 6:42 p.m.

Millions of smartphones and tablets running Google Inc.'s Android operating system have the Heartbleed software bug — a sign of how broadly the flaw extends beyond the Internet and into consumer devices.

Although Google said in a blog post last week that all versions of Android are immune to the flaw, it added that the “limited exception” is one version dubbed 4.1.1, which was released in 2012.

Security researchers said that version of Android is still used in millions of smartphones and tablets, including popular models made by Samsung Electronics Co., HTC Corp. and other manufacturers. Google statistics show that 34 percent of Android devices use variations of the 4.1 software. The company said less than 10 percent of active devices are vulnerable.

The Heartbleed vulnerability, which was made public last week, can expose users to hacking of their passwords and other sensitive information. While a fix was simultaneously made available and quickly implemented by the majority of Internet properties that were vulnerable to the bug, there is no easy solution for Android gadgets that carry the flaw, security experts said.

Even though Google has provided a patch, the company said it is up to handset makers and wireless carriers to update the devices.

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