As it turns out, there are nearly one billion Android smartphones and tablets powered by Qualcomm?s Snapdragon chipsets that are affected by a slew of critical flaws. There apparently are a total of four flaws discovered at this point, and they are called the ?Quadrooter vulnerability.?
The Quadrooter vulnerability was unearthed by the security firm Check Point. Citing this discovery,?ZDNet says Google?s Nexus 5X, Nexus 6 and Nexus 6P are also vulnerable. Apart from the stock-Android handsets, HTC?s One M9 and HTC 10 are also affected. Speaking of Samsung, the latest flagship?Galaxy S7 and the curved-edge-display clad Galaxy S7 Edge can apparently be attacked.
However, readers should note that only those Android handsets powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset are affected. If you own an Exynos-powered Galaxy S7 handset, you are safe.
For the Quadrooter vulnerability to take effect, the hacker has to trick the Android smartphone user to install a malicious app. Once the user is convinced to install the app, no other permission is required. Once done, the hacker can take complete control of the Android phone.
As the name of the vulnerability implies, the hacker will have to manipulate one of the four identified flaws and get ?root access? to the device. This root access will give blanket clearance to access the camera, microphone, stored personal details and more.
According to Qualcomm, the company fixed all the vulnerabilities and rolled out a patch to its customers across the globe. The August security patch should have ideally fixed this issue. However, one of the patches was not part of the security update. Therefore, your Android handset and tablet are still indefensible against the Quadrooter vulnerability.
This security update will be sent out in September to all the Android handsets. However, since Qualcomm went one step ahead and sent out the patches to OEMs directly, there is a good chance that HTC and Samsung, among others, might roll out the fix before?Google sends out the monthly security update.