Android Phones Vulnerable to Wi-Fi Attacks: Report
Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered a new kind of attack that allows hackers to read Wi-Fi traffic between devices and wireless access points and inject malware into websites, according to a report by the Verge. Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOG) Android devices are particularly exposed to the cyberthreat, with 41% vulnerable to an “exceptionally devastating” variant of the Wi-Fi attack that involves manipulating traffic. (See also: Apple Leak Reveals Major New iPhone Feature: KGI.)
Android and Linux-based devices face the largest threat with multiple vulnerabilities highlighted in a recent report from the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team. The experts also claim that some of the attack works against all modern Wi-Fi networks using WPA or WPA 2 encryption. Since the vulnerability is in the Wi-Fi standard itself, the researchers indicate that it affects MacOS, Windows, iOS, Android and Linux devices.
Patches on the Way
With this new type of attack, hackers can easily intercept information such as credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, photos, email and other online communication without needing to crack a Wi-Fi password. The vulnerable devices need only to be in wireless range of an attacker to be targeted.
As for Android 6.0 and above, the cybersecurity specialists say a specific vulnerability “makes it trivial to intercept and manipulate traffic sent by these Linux and Android devices.” In order to prevent hackers from injecting ransomware or malware into websites, the researchers say Android devices will require new security patches. A Google spokesperson has said that the tech giant is “aware of the issue, and we will be patching any affecting devices in the coming weeks.”
While the security specialists note that it won’t do much to change your Wi-Fi password to prevent attacks, they suggest updating router firmware and all client devices to the latest security fixes. (See also: Apple Trumps Android in OS Upgrades: Edison.)
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