Android phones with Qualcomm DSP chips can become “spying tools”: Report

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Qualcomm Snapdragon processors are part of more than 40-percent of Android phones from various manufactures. If you own one such high-end device, be informed that a specific Qualcomm digital signal processor (DSP) chip has 400 vulnerabilities that make your phone a spying tool, cybersecurity company Check Point reports. The report confirms that Qualcomm DSP chips are found on smartphones from Google, Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus, LG and a few more.

In its research dubbed “Achilles”, the security company found that these vulnerabilities can allow hackers to turn a target phone “into a perfect spying tool, without any user information required,”- gaining access to photos, videos, audio and more. The blog further reveals that attackers can take advantage and render the phone constantly unresponsive and can run malware on target phones to “hide their activities and become un-removable.”

According to the report, Check Point has disclosed the findings to Qualcomm, who have notified the vendors and have worked out fixes for the issue. “Although Qualcomm has fixed the issue, it’s sadly not the end of the story. Hundreds of millions of phones are exposed to this security risk. You can be spied on. You can lose all your data,” Yaniv Balmas, head of cyber research at Check Point told Market Watch.

Check Point has refrained from giving out the technical details of the vulnerabilities it identified. The firm wants vendors to work on mitigating the issues these can have on user data and security. There is no evidence of these being exploited, Qualcomm spokesperson confirmed to Market Watch also encouraging users to update their devices as patches become available on Google Play Store.

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