What is StrandHogg that affects Android OS?

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has sent an alert to all States warning them about the vulnerability of Android operating system to a bug called ‘StrandHogg’, which allows real-time malware applications to pose as genuine applications and are able to access user data of all kind. The information was shared by Threat Analytical Unit, Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (ICCCC) so as to take steps to create awareness among public on vulnerability of Android to ‘StrandHogg’.

About StrandHog

While all versions of Android (including Android 10) are vulnerable to this bug, but it may not be apparent to affected users that malware applications are already on board their device.

How does it affect? This malware can then potentially listen to users conversations, make calls, record conversations, access photo album, read or send messages, as well as get login credentials to various accounts. Such malware can also access private images, files, contact details, call logs, and location information.

Warning signs? Pop-up notifications in phone, asking for permission to send notifications, messages etc., are one of the main entry points for ‘StrandHogg’ to launch the attack. An app in which user is already logged in asking him/her to login again is another anomaly pointing to possibilities of a cyberattack. Once such requests are approved by users, the malware would instantly access mobile phone/ tablet for specific purposes. It can then activate microphone, allowing a hacker in a remote location to listen to live conversations and even camera could be switched on to capture visuals.

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