Skip to main content

About 50 million Android devices are still vulnerable to the Heartbleed Bug

hacking team tools government hack smartphones heartbleed phone smartphone mobile v2
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Android users may be more susceptible to the Heartbleed Bug than previously thought. According to data from The Guardian, around 50 million Android smartphones are vulnerable to the OpenSSL bug. The data was based on a Google announcement published on April 9, which read: “All versions of Android are immune to CVE-2014-0160, with the limited exception of Android 4.1.1…” CVE-2014-0160 refers to the Heartbleed Bug. According to analytics firm Chitika, the number of smartphones worldwide that run on Android Jelly Bean 4.1.1 is estimated at around 50 million, and 4 million of those are in the United States.

Around 50 million Android handsets are vulnerable, and 4 million are in the United States.

“Over that seven-day time period (April 7-13), Android 4.1.1 users generated 19 percent of total North American Android 4.1 Web traffic, with users of version 4.1.2 generating an 81 percent share,” said Chitika. To put the numbers in perspective, an earlier report from Chitika said that Android 4.1 users generated 25.4 percent of Android Web traffic in North America. When referenced with ComScore data that pegged the number of Android users in the U.S. at 85 million, the number of vulnerable handsets in the U.S. comes to 4 million. 

Get your weekly teardown of the tech behind PC gaming
Check your inbox!

While the figure represents a small fraction of Android users, the total number of handsets affected is staggering. There’s also a possibility that more phones are vulnerable. Google has not given concrete numbers as to how many Android phones are affected. But in an email to Digital Trends, Google representatives estimated “use of Android 4.1.1 to be at single digit percentages,” which could mean that anywhere from 20 to 100+ million devices are affected.

Android phones running Jelly Bean can be hacked using a method called “reverse Heartbleed.” This means that a malicious server could use the OpenSSL vulnerability to lift data from the phone’s browser such as past sessions and logins. So far, the risk remains theoretical.  

Android phones seem to be most affected by the Heartbleed Bug. Apple does not use the affected version of OpenSSL on its iPhones, and Microsoft said that Windows Phone has not been affected. 

If your phone is still running on Android 4.1.1, you can check if you’re vulnerable using the Lookout app, which you can download here. We’ve also posted a list of apps that have been affected, which you can check out here for added security.

Editors' Recommendations

Christian Brazil Bautista
Christian Brazil Bautista is an experienced journalist who has been writing about technology and music for the past decade…
These are the best smartphones from MWC 2024
Motorola's concept folding phone.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024 has come and gone, leaving us with a flood of smartphone announcements. From new devices launching soon to wild concepts that may never see the light of day, it's the place to be if you're a phone geek.

We got a look at some of the hottest new phones during the show, and these are our picks for the very best ones.
Tecno Pova 6 Pro

Read more
Your Google Pixel phone may soon get a lifesaving feature
A person holding the Google Pixel 8 Pro.

Google Pixel 8 Pro Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

If you have a Google Pixel phone or plan on buying one in the future, you could be getting an important safety feature in the very near future. As spotted in an update for Google's Adaptive Connectivity Services app, Google is planning on adding a "Satellite SOS" feature to its Pixel devices.

Read more
How to get a D-pad on your Apple TV Remote app
Directional buttons on the Apple TV Remote app on an iPhone.

There are myriad reasons why we consider Apple TV 4K to be the best streaming device you can buy. And one of those reasons is that the excellent integration with iPhones and iPads. With just a couple taps, you can use your mobile device as a remote control, for those times in which you simply can't be bothered to look for the little Siri Remote.

Read more