According to a recent report, Qualcomm-powered Android phones and tablets are at risk of being affected by a major vulnerability known as the ‘Quaddrooter’ which could allow hackers take over your smartphone.
About 900 million Android users could be affected by the major security risk, which Google promised to fix early next month.
The security flaw was first detected by researchers at the cyber-security company Check Point. The senior researcher who led the team into spotting the flaw, Adam Donenfeld, detailed the findings at a security conference on Sunday.
The security expert explained that a cybercriminal cannot take hold of an Android device unless the user installs a malicious app first. Currently, most Android devices reject the installation of new apps outside their Google Play store, but hackers have their ways in convincing users to do it.
If a hacker gains full control of a device through the Quaddrooter vulnerability he or she will have unrestricted access to the device’s data, apps, and hardware including the camera and microphone.
Cybersecurity analysts menitioned Google’s Nexus 5x and 6P, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge and HTC’s One M9 among the handsets which currently face the security risk. The BlackBerry DTEK50, which is designed to be the safest Android phone on the market, is also at risk, Check Point experts said.
Qualcomm said in a recent statement that it has already issued a series of patches to fix all security flaws between April and the end of last month. The patches are issued by phone and tablet makers each month at the same time with the chip producer or a few days later.
Google announced that three security flaws were covered by recent patches, but one major security risk remains. The company explained that the security threat is still at large because a final patch has yet to be issued.
The fourth flaw will be solved by Google next month, but other device makers may be issuing security updates sooner. Nevertheless, fixing Quadrooter is not easy. Check Point experts said that a phone maker needs to take the necessary code to fix the flaw from Qualcomm, not from Google, which has created the Android mobile operating system. This is why the final patching process will face several delays.
In the meantime, Check Point experts caution that no Android user is currently “fully secure.” Experts recommend having the Verify Apps installed and letting it scan any new app to prompt you whether a new piece of software would compromise the device’s security.
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