CERT-In warns Android users in India about spy malwares

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The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has warned android users in India about spy malwares. According to an advisory issued by the team, android users are at a risk and the warning has been rated as “severe” because user personal data can be hacked.

The advisory stated that all those who have android devices that are not updated to the latest version of Android operating system (Android 10) can be spied on. CERT-In said that the attackers are looking for a vulnerability that can be used to spy on phone users. It can be either via phone mic, or camera. The hackers can also access the location details via GPS if the device is compromised. Once hacked, the device can help the attackers get hold of personal information including messages, conversations as well as login credentials.

CERT-In in a statement has said, “an Elevation of Privilege vulnerability named ‘StrandHogg 2.0’ has been reported in the Google Android due to confused deputy flaw in the ‘startActivities()’ of ‘ActivityStartController.java.” This, according to CERT-In can help the attacker to hijack any application on an infected device. The vulnerability can be exploited by installation of a malicious software (app) on a device which the user will not be able to locate as it will be hidden behind legitimate apps.

It is to note that this vulnerability is present only in those Android phones which are not updated to Android 10 and are running on an older OS. However, this problem can be avoided. The advisory has asked all the users to install all the updates and patches that have been issued. For this, the user can check for updates in the phone’s settings. Since most devices in the market support Android 10, a user has to simply update the phone to the latest OS version. Also, users are strongly advised to not download anything from any untrusted source or random links that are sent from an unknown source.


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