Is Smartphone Rooting a Security Risk?

Is Smartphone Rooting a Security Risk?

Is Smartphone Rooting a Security Risk?

Smartphone Rooting: Rooting phones of any Operating System means finding a bug of sort that bypasses internal protection and takes complete control over the OS – to become the “root” user, who has all access. Rooting is also called “jailbreaking”.

In Android environment, the platform is based on Linux permission and ownership of file system, rooting means getting super user access. Rooting is using Android SDK tools to unlock boot-loader and flash a custom image to the device. Many third party apps offer to root your device, but user should be careful of security loopholes or malware issues. It is important to remember that rooting is different from unlocking a device.

Why User Root their Smart-phones?
Users root their phones for different reasons. They may wish to install a particular apps, change some system setting etc. In beginning phase of Android phones, rooting was very popular among users because it allowed users to customize Android platform and then they were able to remove preloaded apps.

How can Users Check whether their Phone is Rooted or not?
Users who are in doubt whether their phone is rooted or not, can check it by several ways. The presence of Superuser app or Kinguser app on device is sign of rooted smart-phones. These apps are installed during rooting process to give access to super-user controls. 

User can also download any root checker applications to check whether their phone is rooted or not.

Is Smartphone Rooting a Security Risk?
Rooting disables few pre defined security features of the operating system (OS), which are responsible to keep Operating System safe and also secure data from exposure. At present, use of smart-phone is full of threats from cybercriminals, malware, Trojans, or malcious apps. Rooting reduces the internal control in Android OS and represents a higher security risk.

Measuring the level of risk is difficult because it depends upon how phone was rooted and what will be used in the phone later. If users root their phone and use as normal, it becomes hard to say that it is a major security concern. Rooted phones stop software updates and latest patches, and then phone may turn slow with time due to old software and apps.

If user roots their phone and uses it in unsafe manner like installing clone or pirated apps from unknown sources, browsing malicious link etc., then in that scenario, the security risk is very high.

Rooted phones that does not get updated creates a security issue that gets worse over time. That’s why mostly IT experts strongly dispirit rooted phones.

Also Read: What is Trojan? How to Prevent from Trojan?

Drawbacks of Rooted Phones:

If rooting goes wrong then your phone may become useless:
Every Android device has different rooting procedure. If you are don’t know how to your device, then leave it otherwise it may becomes dead.

After rooting, phone warranty will be void:
Gaining root access will void device warranty. If something happens to your device (hardware or software issue) user won’t get service from the manufacturer.

Phone becomes vulnerable to virus:
Some malicious apps contain viruses and take away confidential data like password, payment details, personal info etc.

User may lose access to some security applications:
Some security applications check whether user device has been compromised or not before giving you permission to use. e.g. Android Pay.

Rooted Phone can be used for Work?
Rooted phone changes basic security features of the device and this makes phones unsuitable for work, exposing confidential data and apps to latest threats.

Many policies specifically state that rooted phones are not allowed to access business / corporate networks, apps and data. In corporate networks, IT admins also use jailbreak or rooting detection equipments to stop any compromised phones.