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Microsoft has identified 4 billion Android users’ downloaded apps, so they need to take precautions to be safe.​

Microsoft has identified 4 billion Android users' downloaded apps, so they need to take precautions to be safe.

Microsoft has identified 4 billion Android users' downloaded apps, so they need to take precautions to be safe.

Microsoft has discovered several well-known apps that over 4 billion Android users have downloaded and that may endanger users.

The company disclosed in a blog post that it found a pattern of vulnerability in several Android apps that may allow a hacker complete control over an app’s behaviour. Furthermore, it may potentially grant malicious actors access to a victim’s account and private information.

Microsoft discovered a flaw in the way app isolation is implemented, which can lead to rogue apps tricking other apps into overwriting crucial files.

After discovering the vulnerability, Microsoft contacted application developers and collaborated with them to address it. Xiami’s File Manager, which has been installed over a billion times, and WPS Office, which has been downloaded over 500 million times, are two of the programmes that are highlighted in the research. It is advisable to make sure your device and apps are up to date if you have these apps on your phone, as the issues they contained were fixed in February.

The effect may go beyond the victim’s mobile device if the allegedly malicious app offers the ability to connect to remote file shares via the FTP and SMB protocols, as is the case with Xiaomi’s File Manager. For this reason, it is recommended that users of Xiaomi’s File Manager reset their login information and monitor any unusual activity.

Microsoft expects that its discoveries would inspire publishers to review their apps for similar concerns and prevent introducing similar flaws into new apps or versions. Microsoft fears that the vulnerability may also be present in the apps it did not examine.

Microsoft advises Android users who are concerned about vulnerabilities such as these to make sure their phones are always running the most recent version of their apps and to only download them from reputable sources.

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