Android to roll out massive update to deal with 'hijack bug'

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 06, 2015 14:19 IST

Did you hear about that scary Android bug that was discovered last week that lets hackers take over your phone with a single text? Well, Google's fixing it -- and is also calling it the biggest software update in history.

Google's Adrian Ludwig provided details about the fix at the Black Hat security conference that's currently on at Las Vegas. Even as you read this, updates are being pushed out -- fast -- to Google's Nexus line of phones, which means that if you have a Nexus 4, 5 or 6, you should be hitting that 'Check for Updates' button like crazy right now. According to Ludwig, non-Nexus devices will get the update some time this week.

Here's how hackers exploit the bug, according to NPR :

"The bad guy creates a short video, hides the malware inside it and texts it to your number. As soon as it’s received by the phone, it does its initial processing, which triggers the vulnerability."

Google's fix will stop the phone from preloading the video in the message.

"We’re in the midst of what I think might be the largest software update the world has ever seen,” Ludwig told the crowd of hackers in Las Vegas, adding that this will be a teaching moment. “We don’t know what happens in a software ecosystem where everything is different. This hasn’t happened before.”

Meanwhile, you should ditch Google's official Hangouts app for messaging and use something else.

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