Android smartphone and tablet owners should know that many of their devices are in danger, as a new security vulnerability was detected on devices carrying Qualcomm chipsets.
The panic-worthy security issues run under the name of "QuadRooter" and are able to let hackers hijack a user's device. The number of affected gadgets reaches the impressive number of 900 million and counts top shelf products from manufacturers such as Google, HTC and Samsung.
From the 900 million devices that are potentially vulnerable to hacking, some are noteworthy flagship phones, such as the HTC One, the BlackBerry Priv, Google's Nexus 5X and 6P, the OnePlus 3 and a few variants of Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.
Security firm Check Point discovered the flaws and notified the chipset manufacturer about the impending danger.
The experts' report shows that the vulnerability has to do with the graphics-handling software, alongside the programming that helps various parts of the phone communicate with each other. The cybersecurity issue that was unveiled by Check Point can help hackers infiltrate the phone and take control over its various features.
As a reminder, Qualcomm provides 80 percent of the chipsets found in Android and Windows flagship phones. It also ships some components to Apple, which make their way into iPhones, but on a much smaller scale.
In the wake of Check Point's report, Qualcomm reportedly patched the vulnerability and submitted the guarded version to phone makers. However, it is unclear how many of the OEMs included Qualcomm's patch in their own updates.
Luckily for those who get anxious as soon as they hear about a cyber breach, Check Point devised a free scanner app called QuadRooter Scanner, and you can get it in the Google Play Store. It allows Android device owners to diagnose their devices and download patches to fix the specific issues.
The fact that Android is the most used platform by global mobile devices made it the target of several serious cyber threats.
In 2015, the Stagefright attack tore through about a billion Android devices worldwide, letting malicious users hijack phones by simply using one text message. To counter such unfortunate and unpleasant experiences, Google promises that the latest Android version will pack significant security and out of the box defenses against ransomware.
As after all major cyber security scares, the lessons are commonsensical and simple: keep your operating system up to date, only download stuff from official and trustworthy sources such as the Google Play Store and make sure to never open attachments from dubious sources.