Inside today’s smartphones are components that have been traditionally associated with desktop computers. For starters, there are chips, drivers, graphics processing units, RAM and more.
This is why security threats are becoming more prevalent with smartphones. The hackers and scammers are employing similar techniques that they have fine-tuned over the years.
Your average smartphone is a miniature and very powerful computer. (Be sure to read to the very end of this story for a Fun Fact!)
What else does your computer have that your smartphone has? Let’s start with drivers. I bet you never considered that your phone has programs to make other things work with it.
Another thing that they have in common is chipsets. These handle the flow of data.
This major security alert affects Android phones that use chipsets from component maker Qualcomm. The drivers that come pre-installed to run the Qualcomm chipset are vulnerable.
In total, 900 million Android devices are at risk. The vulnerable Android devices include the following:
- BlackBerry Priv
- Blackphone 1 and Blackphone 2
- Google Nexus 5X, Nexus 6 and Nexus 6P
- HTC One, HTC M9 and HTC 10
- LG G4, LG G5, and LG V10
- New Moto X by Motorola
- OnePlus One, OnePlus 2 and OnePlus 3
- Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung S7 Edge
- Sony Xperia Z Ultra
What should you do if you own one of these phones?
Check all your installed apps for updates. Make sure that you have all the latest updates to your Android devices, too. Qualcomm recently pushed out some patches to fix the problems. Google has reported that they will be issuing a patch too.
You can also scan your Android devices for vulnerabilities using the Quadrooter program in the Google Play store.
Fun Fact: I recently ran across this fun fact that I thought you would find interesting. The iPhone 6's internal clock is 32,600 times faster than the best Apollo era computers and performs instructions 120,000,000 times faster. Now, don't you feel smarter?