Don’t get me wrong, I love Android, but I never had to worry about all these vulnerabilities in my smartphone’s operating system back when I had an iPhone. Security issues are definitely one of Android’s biggest weaknesses, such as a recently discovered vulnerability that allows hackers to take control of your device using nothing but MMS message. The worst part is that the vulnerability still effects around 950 million Android users out there.
A huge security vulnerability in Android has been uncovered by a researcher, who revealed that devices can be hijacked using nothing more than a simple MMS message. The exploit is believed to affect almost all Android devices currently in use today, including those running all versions of the OS from Android 2.2 FroYo onwards. Joshua Drake, VP of platform research and exploitation at mobile security specialists Zimperium, discovered several vulnerabilities in a core component of the OS called ‘Stagefright’, which is used to play, create and edit multimedia files. He describes this latest Android security flaw as “the worst Android vulnerabilities discovered to date”, adding that “if ‘Heartbleed’ from the PC era sends [a] chill down your spine, this is much worse. He found that some of these vulnerabilities could be exploited to remotely run code on the device, simply by receiving an MMS message, or by watching a specially constructed video file in a web browser, or even viewing a seemingly innocent web page with embedded media content.