Opening this image file grants hackers access to your Android phone

10 February, 2019, 19:17 | Author: Sammy Rose
  • Opening this image file grants hackers access to your Android phone

This is how Google describes it, saying in its February Android 2019 security patch notes, "The most severe of these issues is a critical security vulnerability in Framework that could allow a remote attacker using a specially crafted PNG file to execute arbitrary code within the context of a privileged process".

Hackers could sneak their way inside any Android phone or tablet by sending a malicious image file, according to the latest Android security bulletin released by Google. Well, the good part of Android security bulletin is that Google has not received any reports of anyone exploiting the vulnerability as of now and has patched the issues with an upgrade to Android in the form of a security patch. However, given the ease in which the bug can be exploited, users should accept incoming updates to their Android builds as soon as possible. The severity assessment is based on the effect that exploiting the vulnerability would possibly have on an affected device, assuming the platform and service mitigations are turned off for development purposes or if successfully bypassed.

A major flaw in Android's framework allows an attacker to execute computer code remotely by using a maliciously crafted PNG image file to smuggle the code.

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Besides the three flaws, Google also included fixes for 42 vulnerabilities in the Android OS in total in its 2019 February update, of which 11 are considered as critical, 30 high impact and one medium-gravity.

Unfortunately, it is unknown when third-party handset manufacturers will roll out the security updates on their phones, as many of them take weeks, if not months, to do roll them out.

Google says it offers the monthly security patch to its OEM partners at least a month in advance but we have not heard from smartphone makers as to when then plan to release security patch for their devices. So you won't be protected until your Android handset receives the 2019 February update. Several old devices will also not receive the update at all.

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