Android is a fairly secure operating system with a wide range of protective mechanisms. Of course, not everyone uses them correctly, but this does not make them less effective. However, not everything depends on the operating system, the hardware of the smartphone is of great importance. Not only does the processor have its own firmware, in which serious bugs are found from time to time, but it can also contain hardware vulnerabilities that cannot be fixed. This is rare for most chips, but there are some where flaws are more common than others.
Processors MediaTek can be hacked even remotely
Processors MediaTek built on a 64-bit architecture – and this is almost the entire line – contain critical vulnerabilities that allow using special software to gain root access. That is, in fact, if a user downloads a malicious application with the appropriate functionality, a hacker will be able to hack the device and gain full access to the information stored in its memory, not to mention the ability to remotely control it. The result is a zombie smartphone that obeys not its owner, but the attacker.
Can Android be hacked remotely
Processors MediaTek are insecure
Processors MediaTek are budget processors that are used in devices in the entry price segment. These are mainly smartphones from Chinese manufacturers for less than $ 150 from brands such as Honor, Xiaomi, Lenovo, Meizu, Digma and others. Despite the fact that among them there are quite common models from responsible manufacturers like Redmi Note 8 or Note 8 Pro, the vast majority of devices based on chips MediaTek do not have software support, which means fixing the gap does not shine for them.
The vulnerability in question proved to be easily removable. Anyway, the fix for it is contained in the March security update that Google released earlier this week. However, ironically, only invulnerable devices got this update, and the vulnerable will never get it. After all, the update itself is not enough – it is necessary that the manufacturers of smartphones with chips MediaTek start adapting it, which, as follows from many years of practice, will most likely never happen.
Processor problems MediaTek
This is actually not the only problem with processors MediaTek. In addition to critical vulnerabilities that are found in them from time to time, they are also completely illogical. This inconsistency manifests itself when flashing. The fact is that chips MediaTek require a special utility called MediaTek SPFlashTool, which is not available to ordinary users, but is distributed mainly among developers. Therefore, if you try to reflash a smartphone based on such a processor, in case of any malfunctions and the device turns into a brick, it will not be possible to restore it without contacting a service center.
Smartphones based on what processors, in this case, can you really buy? In fact, any, if it is not MediaTek, especially since the choice here is quite small. At the moment, there are three popular processor brands on the Android smartphone market: Kirin from Huawei, Exynos from Samsung, and Snapdragon from Qualcomm. I can't say that they are absolutely safe, but, in any case, their manufacturers have never been convicted of refusing support, and they regularly released processor firmware updates with fixes for critical vulnerabilities.