You might not be Ambani or an intelligence agent, but the fear of getting your phone hacked bothers you as much as it bothers anyone else. Doesn’t it? And we have a bad news for those of you who are currently using an Android phone running on a Qualcomm processor. Latest news reports suggest that your humble device which contains a lot of your personal and professional information right from intimate images to messages to your banking transaction passwords-is vulnerable and can easily be hacked.
Gal Beniamini, the security researcher who writes extensively on trivial hacking issues and more on his blog Bits Please, has found certain loopholes in Qualcomm processors exploiting which he could easily break the Android’s Full Disk Encryption (FDE). For those of you who don’t know what is Full disk encryption (FDE), here is a simple definition. It is one of the ways for encrypting data on your device, which cannot be decrypted (read) without a unique key.
In his recent blog post, Gal Beniamini explained the flaws in the Android’s FDE and demonstrated how these flaws compromise the devices encryption and thereby, your private data. Before you panic, you must note that one not only needs the brains of Gal but also brute force and additional hacking methods to snoop into your device. Moreover, these vulnerabilities perhaps no longer exist if we Google and Qualcomm are to be believed. Both the companies, who reportedly agreed to the vulnerabilities, were quoted saying that they have already rolled out patches for addressing these security issues.
(Richa Sharma is associated with TMI as a contributory author)