Millions of android phones have been facing an old vulnerability that was thought to be solved.
Israeli-based NorthBit has come up with a paper in which it has explained a fresh way of exploiting a weakness spotted in Stagefright. Stagefright is Android’s media server and multimedia library.
In case a user visits a malicious website, the weakness may let hackers get access to data and functions on different Android versions.
NorthBit said, “The key is back-and-forth procedure that gauges device’s defenses before diving in. Visit malicious website, and attack will crash Android’s media server, send hardware data back to attacker, send another video file, collect additional security data and deliver one video file that actually infects device”.
NorthBit said that hackers may successfully attack devices that have Android versions 2.2 through 4.0, 5.0 and 5.1. The new exploit has been dubbed as ‘Metaphor’ by the company.
The company mentioned that the new attack is most successful on Google’s Nexus 5 that has stock ROM. It is also functional with a few modifications, on HTC’s One, LG’s G3 and Samsung’s S5.
Previously, Google has already patched the vulnerability two times, following the detection of the original Stagefright flaws by security company Zimperium in early last year. Northbit has found two weaknesses in the exploit.
Firstly, it needs to use a distinct code for each kind of phone to hijack it, so hackers would have made various versions of ‘Metaphor’ to use it on a wide scale. Secondly, the company found that the most update version Android, 6.0 Marshmallow, hinders ‘Metaphor’. The more recent October patch of Google can obstruct it on a number of older installs also.