According to the reports published online by the tech security firm Include Security, the Microsoft Outlook app for the Android OS has some security vulnerabilities that hackers can take advantage of. Tech security firms are always working on the popular software applications out there, trying to find chinks in the application’s armour, so that they can develop better security solutions for customers.
About the security issues in the Microsoft Outlook app for Android
According to these reports, the Outlook setting in these apps for storing user data does not encrypt them automatically. In other words, the Android OS Pin Number security feature alone protects Outlook files stored in your mobile phone. If someone manages to bypass this and access these Outlook files, they can easily read them using any of the standard email applications that support the data format Outlook uses.
Lack of an Outlook setting for automatic encryption of the mail client also means that your Outlook data stored on external storage devices like micro SD cards can also be accessed in the same manner. Once you remove the micro SD card from your smartphone, the Pin Number security feature present in your Android OS no longer protects it.
This means anyone can read these email messages stored in your micro SD card, simply by removing the card and inserting it into some other computer device. Include Security has since brought this problem to Microsoft’s attention. Microsoft has issued a clarification stating that the encryption option was never a default option in the Outlook app.
But, for obvious security reasons, Microsoft should make the encryption of Outlook messages and data, a default function in the Outlook app. It is worth mentioning here that the Outlook app for Android was not developed directly by Microsoft. They assigned this task to the tech firm Seven Networks. Whoever designed it should have included an encryption option that encrypts and stores the Outlook data by default.
According to the Include Security report, the Android using the Outlook app should therefore use an encryption software application to protect the email account configured in their smartphone, especially if it is stored in the micro SD card. The full report is still available online, which you can read if you want to know more about these security issues in the Outlook app.