The Android operating system is used in many popular smartphones including the Google Nexus, HTC, Samsung Galaxy, Motorola Moto and LG Electronics phones. Recently, researchers at the University of California Riverside have discovered a dangerous vulnerability in the Android operating system that permits most Android apps to be easily hacked. This is done when an app infected with malware is unwittingly installed that uses the shared memory of the apps to hijack information from other apps such as those used for online banking while avoiding the Android system’s permission and security system. Some of the apps that the researchers found they were able to access by exploiting this Android vulnerability included apps of Chase Bank and Gmail. The Chase Bank app is particularly problematic because it would allow a hacker to see pictures of checks taken using the Android smartphone as well as bank account information thereby making identity theft and stealing from the victim’s bank account a simple task.
Until the Android developers manage to fix this vulnerability in their operating system, the most prudent thing that Android users can do is to make sure that they are careful in downloading apps to avoid the tainted apps required to exploit this vulnerability. Stick to apps sold or provided at legitimate app stores and make sure that your anti-virus and anti-malware software is up to date.