Android phone hack puts 950 million users at risk

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Attention Android users, your phones can be hacked by a single text.

Cybersecurity company Zimperium discovered a hack in Android phones where the device can be compromised just by receiving a simple text message. The hack, known as Stagefright, stems from the way Android phones process incoming messages, where devices automatically process the media attached to a text message like photos or videos, according to CNN. That means a file corrupted with malware can infect and compromise your entire Android device before you even open a message.

The smartphone hack is estimated to be the largest in history, affecting 950 million Android users, or about 95 percent of Android phones in use today.

According to CNN, Zimperium had notified Google about the bug on April 9. But after 109 days, the bug still hasn't been fixed, prompting the cyber security company to go public with the news. While Apple was able to fix a similar bug by issuing an update to iPhone users, Google has many more impediments in its way: phone carriers and cellphone manufacturers would need to work together in order to deliver software updates.

"This vulnerability was identified in a laboratory setting on older Android devices, and as far as we know, no one has been affected. As soon as we were made aware of the vulnerability we took immediate action and sent a fix to our partners to protect users," a Google spokesperson told ABC via email.