The vulnerability of mobile devices running Android are found with surprising regularity. However, until now a security breach did not affect the number of such devices: the experts say about 900 million gadgets. What happened, and what that means?
The vulnerability identified information security specialist Check Point company, applies to devices operating on the chipset Qualcomm. To understand how serious it is enough to say that Qualcomm is the leading company to develop and produce chipsets for mobile Android ecosystem. Its market share is over 65%.
The fact that the device on the basis of the popular chipsets are subject to attacks, said Adam Donenfeld, lead researcher Check Point mobile security, in his presentation at Def Con 24. in fact, four vulnerabilities. They were called QuadRooter. According to him, with their help, the attacker can gain full access to the device under attack, they allow you to capture typing with the keyboard, track location, record audio and video.
The main danger here is that exploited a vulnerability in the chipset drivers supplied by the manufacturer. Thus, an attacker does not need any authorization from the administrator device to produce an attack.
Android has always been not the most secure mobile operating system. The main factor here is the high prevalence: the proportion of the OS at the moment – more than 80%. It exists for Android is most malware. It is on this operating system aimed the attention of most hackers.
The prevalence has led to another problem, which is almost impossible to solve, – the absence of support for legacy devices from the manufacturer. If the “closed ecosystem” as from Apple, the release of critical updates across the range does not take a lot of time in the case of c hundreds or even thousands of different Android-devices the situation can be described as “everything is very bad.”
In fact, many manufacturers rather quickly lose interest in the release of updates for their gadgets. And if the support for flagship smartphones can turn out quite a long time, the update for mid-market gadgets may fail delivered a year later.
The result is the situation when in the hands of users is a huge number of devices with unpatched software. For example, according to Google statistics, currently the largest number of devices running Android 4.4 KitKat operating system (29%), released in late 2014. The share of the most recent version – Android 6.0 Marshmallow accounts for only 15.2% of devices.
The long road
About Qualcomm discovered vulnerability was notified in April. According to the company’s press release, “Qualcomm’s experts examined the errors assigned to each of them the status of” high risk “and released patches for original equipment manufacturers (OEM)». However, given all of the above, the chance to receive timely updates are, in fact, only the owners of the flagship devices.
Such vulnerability as QuadRooter, again demonstrate the need to address the problem of security devices on Android and data contained on them. The supply chain is very complex, so each patch, which must be installed and tested on Android, will be created individually for each device model, exposed vulnerability. This process can take several months, during which smartphones are vulnerable. However, users do not always know that their data is at risk. The process of updating Android security system is broken and needs to be corrected.
Michael Shaulov, head of department of management of mobile products of Check Point Software Technologies
How to Be
To experience that now hacked and all, not worth it. Just to the numerous risks the use of “smart” phones added another. Practice shows that attackers are unlikely to beat “on the areas”, preferring “targeted” attack. To find out if you really are at risk, use a small utility designed to identify vulnerabilities QuadRooter. If your device is vulnerable to the release of the update, use standard precautions:
– do not delay the installation of the system updates;
– Do not install apps not from the official Google store;
– even when you install from the official Play Market pay attention to the permissions list;
– Do not use public wireless networks and unknown;
– use even free versions of antivirus software.
Paul Shoshina, Banki.ru