Hackers have found a way to take over people’s smartphones and tablets without them even noticing. All they have to do is send a text with a video, audio, or photo to get into the users’ phones. The user does not have to open the message. As soon as the message is sent to the mobile device, it immediately infiltrates the phone. Why? Apparently, Google’s Hangout messaging app will instantly play videos and thus it makes the virus run.
What You Can Do About It
If you are one of the 950 million people who own an Android smartphone or tablet, you are vulnerable to this attack. The best thing to do is to delete the Google Hangout app and DO NOT open any messages that you receive from someone you don’t know. Immediately delete any text messages from unknown senders, especially if there is media attached. As soon as you play it or open it, your phone or tablet will be taken over.
You may not even know that hackers have taken over your phone or tablet. That’s what so scary about it. They can remove data from your device or just copy it over to their computer. They can also start listening in on phone conversations or watch your videos. Someone will have an inside look into your life through your device. Yes, they may even be able to see what you are doing around your device.
The best thing you can do is to avoid all messages from unknown senders, delete Hangout, AND be sure to remove all important data from your device. As much as you want to use your smartphone or tablet as a way to store information you need, it’s just not a good idea when it’s possible for thieves to get it.
There will be an update in the coming weeks that will correct this problem. Until then, just be cautious.
If you suspect you have been hacked already, contact the retailer you bought your smartphone from because they may be able to remove the software that has made it possible for the hackers to steal your information and take over your phone. If that’s not an option, you can always restore your device to factory settings. This means you’ll lose everything you ever put on your smartphone or tablet, but it’s worth it when you think that your privacy is being invaded.
Let us know if you have any questions about repairing your smartphone or tablet. We have a lot of experience with mobile devices, so there’s not much we can’t fix.