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Top Story: Worst Android security bug in history is back - 275 million gadgets at risk

Top Story: Worst Android security bug in history is back - 275 million gadgets at risk
photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

Right now, 275 million mobile devices are in danger of being attacked by the worst Android security bug in history. It's a variation on Stagefright, which you might remember was a huge embarrassment to Google last year.

The Stagefright bug affected almost 1 billion Android gadgets. It could sneak in malicious code onto your Android devices through the built-in Stagefright media playback library. That bug is what prompted Google and its manufacturing partners to begin issuing monthly security updates.

Stagefright, fortunately, was a theory that no hackers actually exploited. Unfortunately, there's now proof that the Stagefright vulnerability can be attacked, according to cybersecurity experts. They've dubbed the proof of concept "Metaphor."

The Metaphor attack takes as little as 20 seconds to affect your smartphone. The attack works by tricking you into tapping on a link to a site with a malicious multimedia file in it. Once you do that, the attackers can take over your smartphone and steal your personal information, like your credit card numbers. Worse, the hackers can activate your camera and microphone.

Metaphor proves that Stagefright affects a wide range of Android smartphones, according to cybersecurity experts. Those include un-patched versions of Google's Nexus 5, HTC One, LG G3 and Samsung's S5.

Next page: How to see if your gadget is vulnerable and how to stay safe
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