Android users have been urged to update their mobile phones due to what Google calls a ‘critical’ security vulnerability.
The security flaw affecting Android 12 users allows hackers the ability to bypass vital security measures and access confidential information.
What’s concerning is that the security flaw can happen with users being none wiser.
Android users are vulnerable to this ‘remote escalation of privilege’, but Google has released a security update.
Google fixed the critical security flaw and other vulnerabilities in the February 2022 Android security update which affects multiple versions of Android, (ie Android 10, 11 and 12).
If your mobile phone runs any version of Android below 10, then your device won’t be eligible for these security fixes, so you really need to upgrade your device to keep it as safe as possible.
Speaking about the security vulnerability, Google said: “The most severe of these issues is a critical security vulnerability in the System component that could lead to remote escalation of privilege with no additional execution privileges needed.
“User interaction is not needed for exploitation. The severity assessment is based on the effect that exploiting the vulnerability would possibly have on an affected device, assuming the platform and service mitigations are turned off for development purposes or if successfully bypassed.”
How to get the Android update
Thankfully with this specific threat, Google has seen no signs of it being actively exploited by hackers in the wild.
But you won’t want to delay in case this situation changes in the future, so make sure you update your device as soon as possible.
If you’ve got one of Google’s own brand smartphones then you will be first in line for the latest Android update.
The February 2022 Android security update has begun rolling out to Pixel devices from the 3a to the 6 Pro.
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In the past, those that didn’t own a first-party Google device could be left facing an uncertain, lengthy wait to download the latest Android update.
But in recent years the time it takes other manufacturers to roll out an Android security update after it first debuts has sped up, with these days the latest smartphones from Samsung, OnePlus and Motorola getting Android security updates not too long after the patch hits Pixel phones first.
In terms of other fixes the latest patch brings, the new download also addresses six high to critical severity vulnerabilities that affect Qualcomm components.
And given how widely used Qualcomm parts are, you won’t want to delay downloading this latest security patch to your device.