The recent disclosure of a set of vulnerabilities in the Android operating system that could potentially put over 900 million devices at risk may have been patched, but its threat remains.
The Quadrooter flaw, discovered by Check Point, could potentially give cyber attackers complete control over an Android device. The vulnerability was discovered in Qualcomm chips, which are used in smartphones and tablets made by Blackberry, LG, Google and more. This put up to 900 million devices at risk. The flaw was dubbed QuadRooter because there are four interconnected flaws which can be used to gain access to the “root” of the phone, the Guardian said.
Patches to fix the flaw were made available quickly, and Check Point released an app called QuadRooter Scanner on the Google Play Store which checked whether a device was at risk.
However, new research has revealed that QuadRooter’s threat is still alive. Researchers at RiskIQ have found a number of malicious apps available for download on various App Stores that claim to offer a fix for the flaw, but of course do nothing of the sort.
One of these, called Fix Patch QuadRooter by KiwiApps Ltd was found in the official Google Play store. Although it was removed from there it popped up in a number of unofficial app stores, along with a number of others. In total, 27 malicious apps related to QuadRooter have so far been found.
These have been found available for download in the official Google Play store, as well as others such as BingAPK, SameAPK, AppBrain, and AppChina. All these unofficial sources carry big risks to users and their devices.
These unofficial, third-party app stores are a dangerous place; a lack of quality control means many applications are malicious, containing malware that can steal personal data. While these app stores may seem convenient for users, especially in countries where official apps may not be available, users should stick with the official Google Play Store wherever possible.
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