New vulnerabilities have reportedly been uncovered that may affect up to 10 million smartphones and tablets in Australia. The vulnerabilities are believed to potentially allow attackers to take control of devices running the popular Android mobile operating system.
According to news reports, because the ‘Quadrooter’ vulnerabilities reportedly exist in software drivers for chipsets commonly used in Android devices, users need to rely on updates being provided by distributors or telecommunications companies. These businesses need first to receive the updates from Qualcomm, the vendor whose chipsets are reportedly affected by the vulnerability.
Security researchers claim that attackers could use a malicious application to infiltrate an unprotected Android device and gain access to sensitive information without a user knowing.
According to the researchers, the list of affected manufacturers includes the most popular smartphones in Australia, including devices from:
Google, Samsung, Sony, LG.
The reports reinforce the importance of applying software updates as they become available, and avoiding downloading and installing suspicious apps.
You are advised to ensure that your Android device is set to automatically receive security updates, and to ensure the latest updates have been applied. In the case of Quadrooter, you may check with your telecommunications provider as to the availability of a security update for your smartphone, tablet or similar device. Stay Smart Online also advises that you only install trusted apps from official app stores, especially on devices that carry any personal information.
Smartphones and tablets are portable computers, and should be treated as such. This includes installing antivirus software and being careful when running apps or opening files from untrusted sources.