If you receive a picture by text, it could be a virus according to new research.
It turns out, smartphones are not that smart when it comes to detecting a virus via a text message photo. This shocking discovery has harsh implications for 950 million phones worldwide.
When you receive incoming texts, an android phone automatically processes it, whether video, audio or a photo. So that means that a virus could easily come through automatically. Zimperium, a cyber security company, uncovered this flaw, which is similar to the text hack with Apple, but that involved using specific characters to shut down the phone, where as this hack would allow the hacker to take total control over the phone and even wipe it clean if they wanted.
Google says they acknowledge the flaw, but have measures put in place to limit a hackers ability. But those measures have been worked around in the past by hackers. This flaw will affect any phone using android software from the last five years.
The company, Zimperium, let Google know about the flaw 109 days ago. They acknowledged it and promised a fix within 90 days which is the standard window a company has for providing fixes. But that time has passed, so now Zimperium has gone public with the problem, forcing Google to provide a remedy as quickly as possible now that everyone knows that their smartphone is highly susceptible to hackers.
Google has said that they provided a fix to their phone carrier partners, but it is unclear if the partners have actually provided the necessary updates to resolve the issue.
The big issue is Google’s current inability to update it’s devices remotely, like Apple is able to do. If they can find a way to update remotely, then the fix could go through the millions of phones out there that are hacker prey. But if they cannot do this, then many believe this is actually going to be a huge disaster.