Phones With MediaTek Processors Have A Nasty Backdoor

Phones With MediaTek Processors Have A Nasty Backdoor

If you own a smartphone with a MediaTek processor, we have some bad news for you. Your device is vulnerable as there’s a backdoor through which a potential attacker might gain access remotely to your device. According to Gadgets 360, MediaTek has confirmed the existence of this bug and if exploited, an attacker may gain access to a user’s private data.

You’re in luck if you’re running Android Lollipop or newer versions on your device because the bug is reported to affect only devices running Android 4.4 Kitkat. In an email statement sent by MediaTek to Gadgets360, this backdoor is due to a debug feature developed solely for the purpose of telecommunication inter-operability testing especially for devices to be sold in China.

The bug allows a potential hacker to remotely gain root access to your device, leaving your private data at the risk of being compromised. This bug was first detected by Justin Case (@jcase), a specialist in mobile security esearch and developemnt.

MediaTek has reacted to this and the company should be working on a fix at the moment.

A MediaTek spokesperson also told Gadgets 360 that the company is working on the issue:

We are aware of this issue and it has been reviewed by MediaTek’s security team. It was mainly found in devices running Android 4.4 KitKat, due to a de-bug feature created for telecommunication inter-operability testing in China. After testing, phone manufacturers should disable the de-bug feature before shipping smartphones. However, after investigation, we found that a few phone manufacturers didn’t disable the feature, resulting in this potential security issue.

If you’re using a MediaTek device running Android 4.4 Kitkat, perhaps now is the time to update the software. In case your smartphone vendor isn’t providing updates any longer for your device, it only makes sense to be on the lookout and be careful. Attackers may start exploiting this bug.
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