That number of Android phones means almost all Android phones. Unless you are using a very old versions of Android, that is from Ice Cream Sandwich downwards.
And if you are like most Nigerians, then you are most likely using an MTK powered device; in that case you are safe from the Quadrooter exploits security problem as only Android devices powered by Qualcomm’s chipsets are vulnerable.
It is easy to fall into the mass hysteria of the Quadrooter Android problem if you fail to read between the lines. It was a compelling headline, but at the end, I was mostly a click bait.
Let’s take it step by step in case it is getting a bit confusing.
What is Quadrooter Exploit?
Quadrooter is the name Check Point gave to four new security vulnerabilities it discovered in the Android operating system. Last Sunday, the CEO of Check Point made the frightening disclosure at the Def Con hacking convention in Las Vegas.
According to the press release from Check Point, Quadrooter is:
…a set of four vulnerabilities affecting Android devices built using Qualcomm chipsets. Qualcomm is the world’s leading designer of LTE chipsets with a 65% share of the LTE modem baseband market. If any one of the four vulnerabilities is exploited, an attacker can trigger privilege escalations for the purpose of gaining root access to a device.”
And an attacker can exploit Android devices:
…using a malicious app. Such an app would require no special permissions to take advantage of these vulnerabilities, alleviating any suspicion users may have when installing.“
1 billion Android Devices not at risk
Reading through the blog, you get to understand this: Check Point did not tell people the whole story. Or maybe they did, but they did no emphasize the other important point about the so called Quadrooter security vulnerabilities.
If you read the entire blog, which I am sure not many people would do, you understand that as long as you don’t install malicious apps on your phone, nothing would happen to your phone.
This is where it gets more interesting: Check Point is telling the world that if perchance you downloaded the malicious app, having ‘an advanced mobile threat detection and motivation solution’ on your Android phone would still help to secure the phone from hackers taking over the device.
And what do you know? It so happens that Check Point has made and is selling such software to protect your phone against Quadrooter flaws.
The summary is this: a company makes a lot of noise about how hackers are about to take over the world’s Android devices; the company identifies the problem and even gives it a fancy name; and conveniently for the company, it so happens they have the solution to save the world. Neat.
Google’s Verify Apps and You
This is what the reports over Quadrooter tried to keep away from users of Android devices.
Since Android 4.2, Google already had a security feature pre-installed on these phones known as ‘Verify Apps.’ The job of the security feature is simple: identify and expose malicious apps before they are installed in the phone.
The point is, if you use an Android 4.2 or later, you really have nothing to worry about as far as Quadrooter is concerned. Google has got you covered. And besides, current security patches being send to devices quite recently have done a good job of improving Verify Apps.
So just relax and forget about rushing over to Check Point to buy their solution to the Quadrooter non-problem. The Quadrooter issue was just a lot of hot air from a tech firm preying on the fears of people to make a quick buck.
image credit: androidcentral.com; androidcommunity.com; computerworld.com; itnews.com