If you’re running Android on your phone, you might want to read up – and update your OS.
That’s because there’s an exploit running wild that lets hackers take control of your phone’s camera. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
Moreover, Google says that this issue could possibly impact “hundreds of millions” of phones so it isn’t some small issue, either.
In fact, it might be one of the bigger privacy infringements ever on the Android platform which makes it a code red update for many of us that value the integrity of your smartphone’s security features.
Forbes reports that the web security research firm Checkmarx discovered the exploit back in July, PetaPixel reports. What took them so long to announce it?
Apparently the firm was working with Google and Samsung on a patch for the flaw and waited to go public with their findings until that could be done.
That makes some sense, especially given how many phones are impacted, but that also means that there was quite a bit of time between then and now for hackers to gain control of your Android phone’s camera.
Checkmarx’s Erez Yalon said, “A malicious app running on an Android smartphone that can read the SD card not only has access to past photos and videos, but with this new attack methodology, can be directed to take new photos and videos at will.”
To make sure it all worked as described, Checkmarx created a fake weather app and installed it on a phone and then demonstrated how the app used the exploit to take control of the camera – even when it was not in use – as well as record calls, take pictures and video, access archived files, and even get the GPS tags from photos that were taken.
That’s quite concerning and a huge breach of user privacy but there is a silver lining to all of this.
Google says that, if you have maintained your update schedule on your phone, it should be fine and the patch is already applied to your phone.
If you’re like this author and you hold off on updates, you might want to go on ahead and explore that option as soon as possible.
Do you own an Android phone? Have you been lax in your updates? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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