When the Heartlbeed virus wrecked havoc across computer systems back last year, it sent shockwaves through the security sector as experts rushed to fix the problem. When we all thought we were safe from that kind of attack, a new virus has sprung up, this time affecting phones with the Android operating system. The Heartbleed virus created a vulnerability found in web pages, allowing hackers to bypass the usually well encrypted aspect of a website, thus leaving users open to attack remotely. After that bug was squashed, another has appeared, the Heartbleed bug is back… For mobile phones.
This time, the problem can affect any mobile phone that uses the Android operating system. A simple text message is all thats needed, and the attacker can obtain complete control of the user’s phone, and unfortunately there is no fix readily available. The glitch actually occurs within the operating system, a part call Stagefright, which allows phones and tablets to display media content. A malicious video can then be played by Stagefright, allowing an attacker intimate access to the user’s phone, allowing them to access anything from text messages to emails, photos and even being able to physically spy on the user through the microphone and camera.
But the problem goes deeper than that, as the malicious video is sent via text or media messaging, the user doesn’t even have to open and play the video in order to become infected. As soon as the message is received by the user, even before the message tone, the phone has been infected and the phone under new control. What makes this bug particularly bad is the fact that users no longer have to even play the malicious file, as in other email viruses, but instead as soon as its opened. The latest vulnerability has been called the ‘Heartbleed’ for phones as the original bug caused widespread damage in a similarly disastrous way.
If you are concerned for your security, Google has announced they are working on a fix, in the meantime, users are advised to take extra care when receiving suspicious texts. If you want to further your security whenever you are online, by signing up to Le VPN you will be able to ensure every time you connect to the internet, you will be doing so through an encrypted and secure channel. Le VPN also allows you to unlock the true freedom of the internet with anonymity, IP address switching and censorship bypassing.