September 6, 2016
Own an Android smartphone? Beware, as just an innocuous-looking image on social media or messaging app could compromise your smartphone.
Along with the dangerous Quadrooter vulnerabilities that affected 900 Million devices and other previously disclosed issues, Google has patched a previously-unknown critical bug that could let attackers deliver their hack hidden inside an innocent looking image via social media or chat apps.
In fact, there is no need for a victim to click on the malicious photo because as soon as the image’s data was parsed by the phone, it would quietly allow a remote attacker to take control over the device or simply crash it.
The vulnerability is similar to last year’s Stagefright bug (exploit code) that allowed hackers to hijack Android devices with just a simple text message without the owners being aware of it.
The Stagefright flaw affected more than 950 Million Android devices and resided in the core Android component Stagefright — a multimedia playback library used by Android to process, record and play multimedia files.
However, the recent vulnerability (CVE-2016-3862) resided in the way images used by certain Android applications parsed the Exif data in an image, SentinelOne’s Tim Strazzere, the researcher who uncovered the vulnerability, told Forbes.