Update your Android phone now! Millions of people are at risk for serious defects

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Android Warning – Why You Should Update Your Phone Now (Image: GETTY)

Android users are being warned of a new attack on these popular smartphones that allow hackers to view private text messages and even eavesdrop on personal phone calls. Many of the most recent Android attacks come from fake or malicious apps that, once downloaded, take over devices. However, this new warning is much more concerning as it involves actual components tucked away inside the device itself.

Security researchers at Check Point say they have discovered a flaw in a modem made by US tech giant Qualcomm. A slew of devices, including Samsung’s flagship phones, OnePlus and Google, use Qualcomm technology, with this flaw likely affecting about 40 percent of the world’s Android handsets.

The vulnerability resides on Qualcomm’s Mobile Station Modems (MSM), a series of systems on chips embedded in mobile devices that allow them to communicate with the Internet.

During the investigation, Check Point’s security team discovered a vulnerability in a modem data service that could be used to monitor it.

The flaw allows attackers to inject malicious code directly into the modem itself, gaining access to the device user’s call history and text messages. More worryingly, cyber criminals can even exploit the problem to listen to the user’s phone calls.

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Check Point said it disclosed the information found in this investigation to Qualcomm, confirming the problem and defining it as a highly rated vulnerability.

All manufacturers have now been notified of the malfunction. That should mean the problem is now fixed, but it’s worth making sure your Android device is fully updated with the latest security downloads.

“We commend Check Point security researchers for using coordinated disclosure practices in the industry,” a Qualcomm spokesperson told BleepingComputer. “Qualcomm Technologies has already made fixes available to OEMs in December 2020 and we encourage end users to update their devices as patches become available.”

In addition to this report, Check Point has also released some information to help users stay safe with advice, including:

• Mobile devices should always be updated to the latest operating system version to prevent exploitation of vulnerabilities.

• Installing only apps downloaded from official app stores will reduce the chances of downloading and installing mobile malware.

• Enable the remote wipe feature on all mobile devices. Remote wipe should be enabled on all devices to minimize the chance of losing sensitive data.

• Install a security solution on your device.

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I work as the Content Writer for Gaming Ideology. I play Quake like professionally. I love to write about games and have been writing about them for two years.

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