Prior to the blast from the past issue on Apple’s iPhones, you wouldn’t think that “history” could directly affect our handheld devices – at least not in the literal sense. In light of the 1970s hitting Cupertino’s darling in timely fashion, it looks like Android hackers have been busy too.
This time, it does a lot more damage than its Unix-based brethren. Like wiping all data on your smartphone and spreading the exploit further through random calls and texts.
The malware known as “Mazar” was first discovered by Heimdal, a security firm based out of Denmark.
Mazar begins its infiltration by sending a multimedia-based link in the form of a text message to unwitting users. Upon clicking the link, users will notice that their devices will begin downloading “Tor”, which then will allow Mazar to hide within the source code.
You won’t have to worry if you’ve been sent the message and didn’t bother clicking on it, nothing will happen. Heimdal has only tested devices running on Android KitKat (4.4) but notes that the flaw could probably be on past versions.
At the same time, it’ll be hard to know if newer versions also have this security hole as no testing was conducted on Lollipop and Marshmallow devices.
Firstly, there’s one single line of defence by default on Android smartphones. That’s the ominous “Unknown sources” toggle in your security settings; an option that allows you to allow installations for apps of unknown origins. Believe us, the first thing we did was uncheck that bugger.
Russians or Russian-speaking folks will also have another added wall since it apparently doesn’t affect devices with Russian as the default language. Lucky Russian speaking people.