A flaw allows hackers to spy on millions of Android mobile phones

The research was started out of curiosity, to see if it was possible to use the DSP as an attack vector. And they found this serious “bug”

Although Qualcomm is the benchmark in chips for Android mobile phones, Mediatek is responsible for 43% of the global distribution. The key to its success is in the lower ranges, since its chips are cheaper and offer the functionalities that include technologies such as the fifth generation of mobile wireless communications (5G).

Now, most of those devices are in jeopardy. Researchers at Check Point Software Technologies have revealed a vulnerability in Mediatek chips that would allow an attacker to gain access to the smartphone’s audio, including the microphone; They estimate that it affects 37% of all smartphones in the world.

The bug allows an application to access parts of the processor that are normally out of reach, such as the APU, the processing unit of artificial intelligence. It also enables access to the audio processor, known in the jargon as DSP.

In fact, the research was started out of curiosity, to see if it was possible to use the DSP as an attack vector. By reverse engineering, the researchers came across this serious “bug.” With access to the DSP, an application could perform audio processing functions such as activating the microphone and recording everything we say without any control. To do this, you have to send “fake messages“to the audio driver that allows it to run malicious code in the audio processor firmware.

Mediatek claims that it has no evidence that such attacks take place. In order for the attacker to have access to our microphone, it is necessary first that we install a malicious application. Mediatek It has already created a patch that covers this security hole, and has given it to the manufacturers. It is up to these manufacturers to release the updates for their devices. That has always been the great problem of the platform, due to its great fragmentation.

There are also problems with Apple

A glitch in the system “Sign in with Apple“In third-party applications and services that did not have an additional security system in place, it was able to allow hackers to gain control of a user account.

The security flaw was discovered in April by researcher Bhavuk Jain, who informed the tech company of a ‘zero-day’ vulnerability that has now been fixed. For this discovery, Apple, through its rewards program, has paid him $ 100,000.

Specifically, it is a fault located in the “Sign in with Apple” system, which allows users to access third-party applications and websites with their ID de Apple. This system allows the user to hide his e-mail, if he does not want to put his own, which causes a random and exclusive “e-mail” to be generated that redirects to personal mail.

Jain found that on those third-party sites that had not implemented additional security measures, a “hacker” could create a “token” linked to any email ID, which would be valid with the Apple public key. In this way, he could gain control of an account, making this failure critical.

The researcher noted in his post that Apple investigated the situation and determined that it had not identified a misuse of this bug or accounts that had been compromised.

The disclosed flaw affected iPhone users.

Another Apple security flaw

The cybersecurity company ZecOps published this year in a report an unpublished security breach related to the default email application of phones and tablets manufactured by Apple that have an operating system IOS 6 or higher, including the latest version of the operating system.

The company reported that this is not merely a theoretical discovery and claims that it would be before a form of attack that has already been used.

Although ZecOps does not provide names, it targets managers of large companies in the United States and a manager of a Japanese telecommunications company, from whom he would have obtained evidence of the malicious code.

This attack works by sending specially modified emails to the victim’s inbox. In the event that the victim was using the default email application in iOS 12 o 13, the vulnerability would be allowed to run and therefore attackers would be allowed to steal, edit or delete emails.

From Apple they recommend keeping the iOS operating system updated.

From Apple they recommend keeping the iOS operating system updated.

The company assures “with high confidence” that these vulnerabilities are “widely exploited in attacks directed by advanced threat operator (s)According to the researchers, all iPhones and iPads running iOS 6 or higher are affected, including the latest version 13.4.1.

The vulnerability is especially serious in iOS 13, since no user interaction is needed to compromise the deviceAs long as the Mail application is running in the background. In iOS 12, the victim is required to click on the malicious email, activating the attack before the content of the message is displayed.

Another of the most worrying aspects is that this type of attack has no symptoms, with the exception that iOS 13 experiences a temporary slowdown of the phone (or tablet). In the case of iOS 12 a symptom would be that the mail application stops abruptly.

To be Apple With this bug reported before it was made public, the patch that addresses these serious vulnerabilities is already included in the iOS 13.4.5 beta 2 version that was released on April 15.

However, being a preliminary version, very few devices have it installed and it is expected that in the next few days an update will be released for all supported devices, they recommended from the cybersecurity company Eset.

In the meantime, users who are waiting for the update can temporarily choose to switch their email application to one that is not vulnerable, such as Gmail u Outlook.

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