Qualcomm has a hacker back-door in 900 Million Android Phones…But Why?

Android bug fear in 900 million phones

 
Image caption The flaws affect devices containing Qualcomm chips

Serious security flaws that could give attackers complete access to a phone’s data have been found in software used on tens of millions of Android devices.

The bugs were uncovered by Checkpoint researchers looking at software running on chipsets made by US firm Qualcomm.

Qualcomm processors are found in about 900 million Android phones, the company said.

However, there is no evidence of the vulnerabilities currently being used in attacks by cyberthieves.

“I’m pretty sure you will see these vulnerabilities being used in the next three to four months,” said Michael Shaulov, head of mobility product management at Checkpoint.

“It’s always a race as to who finds the bug first, whether it’s the good guys or the bad.”

Affected devices included:

  • BlackBerry Priv
  • Blackphone 1 and Blackphone 2
  • Google Nexus 5X, Nexus 6 and Nexus 6P
  • HTC One, HTC M9 and HTC 10
  • LG G4, LG G5, and LG V10
  • New Moto X by Motorola
  • OnePlus One, OnePlus 2 and OnePlus 3
  • US versions of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung S7 Edge
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra

Mr Shaulov said six months of work to reverse engineer Qualcomm’s code revealed the problems.

The flaws were found in software that handles graphics and in code that controls communication between different processes running inside a phone.

Exploiting the bugs would allow an attacker to gradually be able to take more control over a device and gain access to its data from anywhere on Earth

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