What is QuadRooter And How Does It Affect Your Android Phone
QuadRooter is a set of 4 vulnerabilities that only affect Qualcomm based chipsets running Android 4.2 or later versions. Due to a myriad of device models and fragmented distribution of the Android OS, handling these vulnerabilities is challenging. Have a look below at the Android mobile OS fragmentation compared to iOS.
Qualcomm chipsets lead the Android market and are currently in the top spot powering 90% of the world’s Android devices. Additionally, Qualcomm also commands a 65% market share in LTE enabled chipsets. The vulnerabilities can be exploited using the embedded software drivers which comes along with the Qualcomm Chipsets. Just like Windows, these drivers control chipset communications with other components in the phone hardware, like sensors, mic, camera, etc. The drivers are baked into any mobile device that a vendor chooses to use. Have a look at the current market-share for Qualcomm chipsets:
If any of the four vulnerabilities are exploited, a hacker can quickly have elevated root level access to your phone. That means a hacker can anonymously record calls, install a keylogger to track your passwords, take pictures with your camera, or even access your photographs. Anything that a user can do can be done remotely using these vulnerabilities.
How to Fix devices that are Affected by Quadrooter
Currently, you cannot fix it until your phone vendor releases a fix. Qualcomm already released the necessary repairs. Now it is up to your service provider or your phone vendor to deliver the same. In the meantime, you can download and install this App from the Play store. This App helps you to detect whether you are affected by Quadrooter or not. The vulnerabilities were initially reported by a security company CheckPoint and alerted Qualcomm back in April 2016. Qualcomm already made a public disclosure and released the necessary patches to its OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturer). It now depends on individual vendors as to when they would release the patch(s) to its end users.
For now, you can take the following precautions:
- Download the latest security patch as soon as it is available for your device
- Avoid Rooting your device because of these risks
- Do not install custom.APK files from unknown sources. Install apps only from the play store.
- Review your App list and uninstall any apps that you think are suspicious.
Read more about QuadRooter here.