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Android bug can lead hackers to grab total control of your phone

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Android bug can lead hackers to grab total control of your phone
Clicking on a link in an email that appears to be from a trusted source could lead hackers to take control of your Android handset. A flaw in a component of the open source OS is at fault according to cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike.  Once the link is pressed, the virus takes over the phone allowing the hacker to listen in on phone calls and monitor the location of the phone. It is at this point that the hacker has complete control of the phone.

Dmitri Alperovitch, chief technology officer and co-founder of CrowdStrike, said he researched the problem to point out how mobile devices can be vulnerable to these attacks by hackers. It is the same MO used by hackers on desktop computers. First, find an unknown vulnerability in software, and then take advantage of it by sending malware that is activated via an emailed link or attachment. Alerovitch said, "With modifications and perhaps use of different exploits, this attack will work on every smartphone device and represents the biggest security threat on those devices." 

The software used by CrowdStrike to simulate the flaw will attack those phones running Android 2.2, which is 28% of the Android market currently. Next week, the firm says it will have a version of the software that can attack another 59% of Android models, those running Android 2.3. The flaw in the software can be traced to the WebKit browser on the phone.

Back in 2009, a pair of researchers, sent malicious code via text messages on the Apple iPhone. Apple quickly repaired the problem after it was publicized. Hopefully for Android users, Google will be able to do the same.

source: Reuters

34 Comments
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posted on 24 Feb 2012, 18:12 1

1. theBankRobber (Posts: 645; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


1st time hear about this

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 18:30 2

2. G2Noobin (Posts: 81; Member since: 17 Dec 2011)


They'll fix it as the author said...

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 18:31 8

3. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2927; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


Awaiting Miz and Gait to troll.....

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 23:56

33. W.P._Android_in_that_Order (Posts: 206; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)


Yeah. Thats what i was thinking...

We havent heard from the Miz in a while. I wonder what happened to him.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 19:01 4

4. theBankRobber (Posts: 645; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


Yea I notice everyone has a thumbs down lol damn fan boys

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 19:07 5

5. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


en masse they all just massivly thumbs down everyone that doesnt drink the fruit koolaid. its kind of funny... and sad.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 19:56 2

6. theBankRobber (Posts: 645; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


Haha yea with out their faith full leaders taco and miz, they hide behind the thumbs down button

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 22:01 1

7. Whateverman (Posts: 3187; Member since: 17 May 2009)


"Back in 2009, a pair of researchers, sent malicious code via text messages on the Apple iPhone. Apple quickly repaired the problem after it was publicized.ar Hopefully for Android users, Google will be able to do the same."

Can I just read ONE Android article that doesn't mention Apple, iPhone, iPad or any other iDevice? Just ONE!!!

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 23:00 3

8. cybervlad81 (Posts: 83; Member since: 04 Apr 2011)


Whatever, man.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 23:21 6

9. itzmando (Posts: 114; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


^^I see what you did there... lol

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 07:31

15. darkkjedii (Posts: 10059; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


They're jus warning people,and letting android users know the issue can be fixed. Damn calm down man gee wizzz

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 11:18

27. Whateverman (Posts: 3187; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Oh what ever should I do? All the iOS fans are thumbing me down because I said something against their God...

How about you guys calm down. I know you like the attention you get from owning the status symbol, but we don't have to hear about your sub-par smartphone whenever there is a problem with Android. I took no issue with them "warning people" of a threat to Android, I just don't see the need to bring up the iPhone. Its okay for us to have different views on the same phone or OS. But if my little comment hurt your little feelings that bad, you are the ones with issues.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 23:21

10. trumpet116 (Posts: 27; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)


how does one find out if they're being watched?

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 01:15

12. ilia1986 (unregistered)


One does not simply hack an Android phone

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 00:47 3

11. cobra_83 (Posts: 3; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


honestly i like android and i have an android, but here lately its always something...people must not have anything else better to do but hack and cause viruses...getting kinda tired of it...makes me want to go back to a feature flip phone

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 01:56 5

13. Slammer (Posts: 924; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


This article sounds suspiciously influenced by Apple marketing. Expose the competition's vulnerability during the preparation of another product release.

I don't see the point in this article other than that. Viruses have been the enemies on PCs for years. The reason is availability. Now that Apple has similar marketshare, their vulnerability is just as much a target for hackers.

John B.

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 07:34

17. darkkjedii (Posts: 10059; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


That's a stupid response to the article. How about u keep thinking that way,while ignoring the issue,and when u get hacked call apple.

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 14:07 1

31. Slammer (Posts: 924; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


I don't find it stupid at all. In fact, I find it spotlights the truth in that Apple is not invincible. Hackers concentrate their efforts to create viruses in a system that dominates marketshare. Hence Windows issues. They don't waste time on small segments. Now that Apple has garnered considerable marketshare, they are targeted just as much as Android. Apple is better at hiding it.

The proof of less seriousness, is how many more times Apple is jailbroken over Android's rooting. Jailbreaking is a hack and shows Apples vulnerabily.

Please think before responding.

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 07:51

23. Hallucinator (Posts: 339; Member since: 24 May 2010)


One of the most idiotic post I've ever seen. Way to go Slammer

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 13:47 1

28. Slammer (Posts: 924; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


How is this an idiot post? I had been a mac user for years. Probably before you were born. It has been proven numerous times that the OS can be hacked. I've witnesses it and experienced it. This article further points out that it happened again in 2009. Jailbreaking is considered a hack and the iPhone is the most hacked device in the industry.

I will bet dollars to donuts that I know what I'm talking about. I don't shoot from the hip and I don't allow myself to be blinded by love for a device. It is what it is. Accept it and move on. Google will fix any issues just as Apple does.

John B.

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 06:26

14. 1701nino (Posts: 227; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)


Exactly my point,android is not secure!!!Google is making a s**ty job at security.
Only Apple devices are free from this plague.
Makes me wanna kiss my iphone 3GS twice;)

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 07:32 1

16. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


Did you read the article? It said back in 2009 sometning similar was possible om the iphone. If my math is correct i think the phone at the time wouldve been the.... Oh, iphone 3GS.

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 07:39 1

19. darkkjedii (Posts: 10059; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


And apple promptly fixed the issue. Let's see if the goog does the same thing. I'm an iOS guy,but i hope google handles this quickly. Regardless of the platform u use no one wants,or deserves this crap from these idiot hackers.

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 07:36 3

18. darkkjedii (Posts: 10059; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


And I'll kiss my 4S 3 times lol. Android users get pissed whenever u mention apple. The article is simply issuing a warning nothing more.

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 07:47 1

22. 1701nino (Posts: 227; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)


So true,they talk s**t on every news on Apple but god forbid if you say anything bad about android cause its a perfect platform.Well quess what it ain't!:p

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 14:12

32. Slammer (Posts: 924; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


----" Only Apple devices are free from this plague."----

False. Apple has been known in the past to acquire corrupted files through viruses. With the increased marketshare of Apple, they are now even more a target. Apple's secretive MO helps keep things like this less exposed. However, make no mistake, you will see I am correct.

John B.

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 07:43

20. 1701nino (Posts: 227; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)


For games,movies and such i have an ipad 2.There isn't any reason to upgrade my phone,for browsing and emailing 3GS is as good as any other smartphone;p

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 07:47 2

21. A.aoudi (Posts: 125; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)


That is not going to stop me from buying another android. Next time try to criticize the little red fruit

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 09:43 2

24. nanozander (Posts: 61; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


You know your system's good when the number of attacks increases ;)

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 10:22

26. nanozander (Posts: 61; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


And no , i'm not saying this sarcastically

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 14:00

30. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5522; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


More of a back-handed compliment? But even back-handed compliments have an element of sarcasm.... :-)

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 09:58 1

25. networkdood (Posts: 6244; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


'Clicking on a link in an email that appears to be from a trusted source could lead hackers to take control of......'?

Answer is: Any device

This article is kind of pathetic as Windows users experience this everyday across the world.....easy fix is.....?? DO NOT CLICK the LINK!!

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 13:59 1

29. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5522; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


If the link appears to be from a trusted source, it is almost reflexive to click the link. I mean think about it - you get an e-mail that appears to be from your gf, spouse, or so and it says something like: check this out, I want it for my b-day. Are you not going to click the link?

I just hope Google releases a fix ASAP. Although if the vulnerability is related to the webkit browser, a short-term fix might be to not use the standard webkit browser? (Dunno) Chrome and Dolphin are far superior to the stock webkit browser anyways.

posted on 26 Feb 2012, 09:17

34. networkdood (Posts: 6244; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


If you know what you are doing, click on a bad link will not be a problem.

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