Recently, a very significant problem with a number of Samsung’s Android smartphones came to light. It was a vulnerability which could allow someone to remotely run a control code on a Samsung smartphone and swipe it clean of all user data. It has now been found out that the issue is far more widespread and affects all Android vendors.
The reason why this vulnerability isn’t limited to Samsung handsets is that the real problem lies with Android dialer. Nearly all smartphones and tablets which run Android Ice Cream Sandwich or earlier version of the platform are affected by this vulnerability.
The issue at hand is that the Android dialer in these earlier versions of Android runs any control code that is passed to it. This control code may be provided by the user himself or would’ve been given by some shady website that the user mistakenly visited.
Such a shady website, or some other hack, could then be used to pass sensitive control codes to the dialer. For instance, there are control codes which can reveal detailed information about a device. There are also such codes which can factory reset the device, swiping it clean of all the user data. This essentially puts the user data on these devices in imminent danger.
And the issue affects smartphones and tablets from all Android vendors. To make use of such a vulnerability is really easy for even the rather inexperienced hackers. And although Google has patched this vulnerability in Android Jelly Bean and Samsung has also rolled out an update to secure its Android devices, other vendors need to get serious about this.