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Warning: 950 million smartphones can be hacked with a text

Warning: 950 million smartphones can be hacked with a text
OlegDoroshin / Shutterstock.com

A very serious bug in Android nicknamed "Stagefright" could let a hacker take over your phone by sending you a text message. In some cases, you don't even have to open or look at the message to be hacked.

A cybercriminal can create a short video encrypted with the malware and then send it to your phone. The bug would start to attack your Android's hardware as soon as the message is received on your gadget, and there's not much you can do to prevent it.

"This happens even before the sound that you've received a message has even occurred," Joshua Drake, security researcher with Zimperium and co-author of Android Hacker's Handbook, told NPR.

And once the hackers gain access, Drake says that they can do just about anything they could imagine. From hacking onto your mobile banking app to using your Android's microphone to record your private conversation, the way this flaw could be exploited is virtually limitless.

Next page: Who does this affect and how do we fix it?
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