Security experts at Zimperium discovered a major flaw in the world's most popular mobile OS.
Is your phone a ticking time bomb? Yes.
Good news, Apple fans! Your sense of superiority is justified for once. It turns out that a major security flaw in Google's Android OS could leave everyone who uses it (80% of the world's smartphone market) vulnerable to hacking. Plus the games aren't as good.
NPR reports that the security experts at Zimperium discovered the flaw in laboratory testing. The key is in text messages: by exploiting the flaw, hackers could send you a text containing a video or some other attachment, which itself contains hidden malware. As soon as you open the attachment, the hackers have total access to your phone. They could add or delete files, or even take over the camera and microphone in order to spy on you. Now that's creepy.
It would be helpful if the hack made this happen, but it doesn't. (Thinkstock)
Of course, there's a defense against this – just don't open attachments from numbers you don't know. But that requires you to use Android's stock messaging app. If you use Google Hangouts, the enhanced messaging app that they're always pushing on you, then there's no defense. That's because Hangouts automatically opens any text attachments as soon as the phone receives them, so you don't have to wait for them to download when you want to take a look. It's slightly more convenient for you, and much more convenient for hackers.