Hackers are at it once again. This month has proven exceptionally successful for hacker attacks, with the entire FBI, and separately a hospital, all falling into the clutches of resourceful internet trolls. But the most recent victims of international internet pirates are Android users, as hackers take control of Android devices via SMS.
Thank you, Iran!
Originally detected by the Norwegian security firm Heimdal, the new hacking attack is quite devastating, as hackers get full control over Android based smart phones. Practically anything can happen to a phone corrupted like this, with the hackers able to call, text, and even delete all the data on the device.
This works if the user opens a specific SMS or MMS from an unknown number, containing a link to an app. The text itself reads “You have received a multimedia message from +[country code] [number] Follow the link http: www.mmsforyou.net/mms.apk to view the message.”
As soon as you click on the link, the Tor app is installed on the device, which proceeds to send an automated text message to Iran which reads only two words – “Thank you.” After that, the hackers have free range over your phone.
So far, over 100,000 people were affected in Denmark alone, and nobody seems to be safe from the attack, with one exception – if your phone is set in Russian, the app will not install. Weird, huh?
How it works
Because some smart phones use two factor verifiers in order to make sure that nobody else is using the phone, the hackers could get very easy access to the user’s personal information making victims potential victims of identity fraud.
Basically, a back door is opened in the Android’s code, allowing the party behind the invasive hack to monitor and control every single aspect of what’s going on with the phone. Even e-commerce websites and banking apps can be controlled by the hackers.
In order to stay safe from the attack, Heimdal doesn’t recommend changing your phone’s language to Russian unless you can actually speak it. Instead, you simply need to do the rational and logical thing, and not open any links from unknown parties.
Android devices are notoriously easy to hack, so they have become a favored target of hackers. However, with what Apple has been putting its own users through (making many devices move so slow they become virtually unusable when installing iOS 9, and even bricking a few hundred thousand devices), Android users are still better off.
Image source: Flickr