It is common that when you are looking for buying a new smartphone, our focus is more on the price, design, and features first. But most of us miss the silicon chip that powers it. Recently, researchers have found a serious security flaw in Qualcomm chip. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips are one of the most widely used chips in Android phones. Over 40% of smartphones across various price categories use these chips. Researchers have found that these have hundreds of bits of vulnerable code and millions of Android users’ data is at risk.
Risks Due to Flaws in Qualcomm Chip
Big smartphone brands like Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, Google, and many more use Qualcomm’s chips in their smartphones. When CheckPoint tested the DSP chip, they discovered over 400 vulnerable pieces of code that can be exploited. These vulnerabilities can give hackers the ability to turn any smartphone into a spying tool without the user’s interaction. Exploiters can also get access to the users’ data including files, call recordings, and even real-time microphone data, GPS, and location data. It is estimated that over 3 billion users are at risk globally.
One other threat to the users is that the hackers are capable of pushing a denial-of-service attack that could freeze the phone. Also, they can inject malware and malicious code that would not just hide their activities but even make it unremovable.
What Is The Solution
CheckPoint has said that it has already disclosed its findings to Qualcomm, government officials, and also to the affected vendors. However, it has also said that it will not publish the details of the Achilles flaw publicly. The chip manufacturer is said to have fixed the issue by now. However, it doesn’t mean that your smartphone is safe, as it entirely depends on the phone makers if they push relevant security patches to their users. The phone maker companies may take some time to push the relevant security updates to their customer base. Once you have the security patch available, update your phone and it’ll get fixed.