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Government issues high-risk warning for Android users: What you need to do

Government issues high-risk warning for Android users: What you need to do

The Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In) has identified a high-risk vulnerability in Android versions prior to 12, v12L, v13, and v14. For this reason, the agency has issued a high-severity risk alert, alerting users about the vulnerability. CERT-In says that if exploited, the vulnerability could allow hackers to “gain elevated privileges and obtain sensitive information on the targeted system.” This means that the affected users’ devices could be compromised by a hacker, who could then access and steal sensitive information from a victim’s device.

The cybersecurity agency says that these vulnerabilities are found in Android due to “flaws in Framework, System, Google Play system updates, Kernel, Arm components, MediaTek components, Imagination Technologies, Qualcomm components, and Qualcomm close-source components.” This essentially means that if you are a user and your device is running on Android versions prior to Android 12, Android 12L, Android 13, and Android 14, then a combination of reasons including issues in Framework, System, Google Play updates, Kernel have resulted in this vulnerability. Also, according to CERT-In, there was a delay in the Arm, MediaTek, Imagination Technologies, and Qualcomm components, resulting in the security risk.

To protect against such high-risk vulnerabilities, users can take some precautionary steps:

Update your device: The first and most important step is to make sure your device is running the latest version of Android. Check for system updates regularly and install them promptly. These updates often include security patches that fix known vulnerabilities.

Enable automatic updates: Enable automatic updates for both your operating system and applications. This ensures that you receive the latest security patches and updates as soon as they become available, reducing the risk of exposure to security vulnerabilities.

Use reliable sources: Only download apps from trusted sources like Google Play Store. Avoid installing apps from unknown or third-party sources as they may contain malware designed to exploit security vulnerabilities.

Review app permissions: Regularly review the permissions granted to your apps. Be wary of apps that request access to sensitive information or unnecessary permissions. Revoke permissions that appear excessive or irrelevant to the app’s functionality.

Install security software: Consider installing reputable security software on your device. These apps can provide an additional layer of protection by detecting and blocking malicious activity.

Avoid clicking on unknown links: Be wary of unsolicited messages, emails, or links, especially those asking for personal information or identifying information. Phishing attacks are common methods hackers use to exploit security vulnerabilities.

Regular backups: Back up your data regularly to an external source or cloud service. If your device is compromised, having a backup ensures that you can restore your information without significant loss.

Monitor device activity: Monitor your device activity for unusual behavior, such as sudden slowdowns, unexpected pop-ups, or unknown apps. These could be signs of a security breach.

Factory settings: If you suspect your device has been compromised, consider performing a factory reset. This will wipe all data from your device, including any malware, but make sure to back up any important data first.

Posted by:

Nandini Yadav

It was published:

Jul 11, 2024