Android users could be exposed to Apple’s audio codec security flaw on their smartphones, recent cybersecurity research warned.
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Android logo is seen displayed on a phone screen in this illustration photo taken in Tehatta, West Bengal, India on April 27, 2021. Google has announced the latest iteration of Android, Android 12. Two preview versions of Android 12 have already been released with a third one likely to be launched soon. Android 12 update will also increase the efficiency in video and image compression which helps in saving data.
Android Security Flaw on Apple’s Audio Codec
As per a recent report by PC Mag, security researchers have discovered a flaw in the audio coding format on Android smartphones, which could help out threat actors remotely hack mobile devices.
The cybersecurity research firm Check Point reported that the security flaw that could expose Android smartphone owners to hacking lies in the Apple Lossless Audio Codec or ALAC.
It is worth noting that the audio codec of Apple is open-source. Thus, it is not only exclusively available on iPhones, but it also works on other devices like Android phones.
Although the Cupertino-based tech giant has constantly been updating the proprietary version of its audio codec, the same could not be said for its open-source counterpart.
On the other hand, PC Mag noted that the open-source version of ALAC has been untouched for a decade now.
To be more precise, Apple has yet to release any update for its open-source audio coding format since way back in 2011.
As with most software, the lack of security updates could lead to vulnerabilities that cyberattacks could potentially exploit in the wild.
Android Smartphones and Apple Audio Codec Vulnerability
However, despite that, Check Point Research disclosed in its blog post that the open-source audio codec of Apple made it to millions of Android devices, exposing them to potential cyberattacks.
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An employee works on smartphones reconditioning, mainly Iphones, at the Largo company headquarters which is a Back Market refurbishing company subcontractor, in Sainte-Luce-sur-Loire, outside Nantes, on January 26, 2021.
The cybersecurity firm said in its blog post that giant chipset manufacturers, namely MediaTek and Qualcomm, have ported Apple’s audio codec to their audio decoders.
According to a recent report by ZDNet, the two chipset makers, Qualcomm and MediaTek, have already confirmed the vulnerable ALAC.
That said, the two tech giants have already patched the security flaw, saving millions of smartphones from hacking, at least as long as they update their Android devices to the latest version.
The security flaw made it Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 and Snapdragon 865 chipsets, which power numerous Android devices.
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Android’s ALAC Security Flaw
The vulnerable audio codec of Apple essentially allows hackers to take over millions of Android devices.
Check Point precisely explained that the security flaw lets cyberattackers remotely control an Android device after sending a malicious audio file, which should trigger the vulnerability on the Apple codec.
Once the audio codec security flaw has been compromised, the criminal minds could start accessing the camera and media folder of Android users.
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Written by Teejay Boris
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