If you ever needed another reason to avoid the cheap $40 tablet from a drug store, here's one that should put your desire to own shoddy hardware to bed. Researchers at Bluebox Labs picked up twelve different budget tablets on Black Friday and have discovered that most of them shipped with exploits, vulnerabilities and security bugs.
The devices purchased were:
$49.99 DigiLand from Best Buy
$39.99 RCA Mercury from Target
$39.99 Mach Speed Xtreme from Kmart
$49.99 Polaroid from Walgreens
$49.99 Zeki from Kohl's
$39.99 Mach Speed JLab Pro from Staples
$49.99 Craig 7 from Fred's Super Dollar
$49.99 Pioneer 7 from Walmart
$49.00 Nextbook from Walmart
$49.99 Ematic from Walmart
$69.99 RCA from Walmart
$47.32 Worryfree Zeepad from Walmart
Bluebox Labs posted its findings on the company blog,
Bluebox Labs purchased over a dozen of these Black Friday 'bargain' Android tablets from big name retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Kmart, Kohl's and Staples, and reviewed each of them for security. What we found was shocking: most of the devices ship with vulnerabilities and security misconfigurations; a few even include security backdoors. What seemed like great bargains turned out to be big security concerns. Unfortunately, unsuspecting consumers who purchase and use these devices will be putting their mobile data and passwords at risk. We recommend that you avoid conducting online banking, making purchases or storing sensitive data on these devices - if you do, you will be putting your data at risk.
Essentially, these things should be used for two purposes: Bing searching and as a paperweight. So what's the details in the security leaks? Well, according to the results, some of the tablets contained little flaws, like sending information that's supposed to be encrypted as unencrypted. Others, however, still shipped with the Heartbleed vulnerability. Bluebox says that there is a free guide you can use to help fix some of the issues in these cheap tablets, but it won't solve devices that are completely insecure, like the Polaroid tablet at Walgreens.
In the end, so goes the old addage, "you get what you pay for." Did you buy any of these tablets on Black Friday or in the past? Are you planning on still giving them out as gifts or are you heading back to the store for a return? Let us know in the comments section.