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Security & privacy

Flaw in Google’s app puts billions of smartphones at risk

Big tech developers constantly push updates to fix security issues, add new features, patch problems, squash bugs and more. You should always keep your operating systems and antivirus software up to date.

Sometimes a flaw is missed and discovered after the fact. In this case, developers will put out an update to fix it. Tap or click here to read about a critical security flaw that puts Android users at risk of being hacked before being patched.

A flaw in the Google app for Android devices was recently uncovered. Though it has apparently been addressed, you should be aware of it and take the proper steps to avoid it if you haven’t already.

Here’s the backstory

Researchers from security firm Oversecured found a vulnerability in the Google app for Android that could allow hackers to access and steal your data. The company said in a blog post that the app loads codes that are built into the device rather than relying on its own. Hackers could exploit this by having the Google app access their own app, giving them access to its data.

This data can include a user’s Google account, which comprises search history, voice data and Gmail messages. Text messages, contacts, call history, calendar, microphone, camera, location, Bluetooth and NFC are also vulnerable.

Even if the offending app is removed, its infection can still be found in the app. All this can happen without the user even being aware of it.

Oversecured says this type of “dynamic code loading” is used by most Android apps, not just the Google app. The company urges developers to stop this unsafe practice. In fact, the same problem was recently revealed with the TikTok app.

Google says it’s taken care of

Though your smartphone has built-in protection against malicious apps, some will always slip through the cracks. Google fixed this particular problem in May, so you should check that your software is up to date. Tap or click here to read about the new features in the latest Android update.

  • Open the Google Play Store app and tap the profile icon.
  • Tap Manage apps & device.
  • Tap Update on your Google app if there is an Update available.
  • Set your apps to update automatically by going to Settings > Network Preferences > Auto-update apps.

Keep reading

Update your phone now! Hackers are pouncing on bugs found in Android

Fake Android update is hiding malware that will take over your system

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