These days, it seems as though there’s a new hack or vulnerability discovered for Android each and every week. While that might be a little dramatic, it has been a year full of troublesome events for Google’s platform, so much so that they’ve committed to monthly security patches for their own Nexus hardware. If Stagefright weren’t enough, it appears as though there’s a new influx of adware doing the rounds that roots people’s Android devices and serves up ads with no end in sight. Vulnerabilities like Stagefright however, that do not need root access to be a serious issues are more worrying, and one Android app can help educate users and help them see if they’re at risk.
A new app that has hit the Google Play Store not too long ago, dubbed VTS for Android or Vulnerability Test Suite, will scan your device and see if it’s vulnerable to any of the known issues. This includes the likes of Stagefright, as well as smaller security bugs and holes that might not have gained a scary name just yet. Running the test on my OnePlus Two was less than pleasant, and it did once again highlight a serious problem with smaller companies like these; I haven’t been patched for Stagefright (this is OxygenOS 2.0.2 for those wondering). Thankfully, the VTS doesn’t upload any information anywhere, and everything is stored on your device, which should mean that even if your device is vulnerable, only you will know it.
The point of such an app is to let users know whether or not they’re at risk from a particular type of attack. If we take Stagefright as an example, I would be at risk from a simple MMS message with malicious code included. With a little research, I can see that Textra – a free SMS app – has protection for the exploit itself, so using that on my device should at least give me a little protection. The next step of course, is to let the device manufacture that they’ve let you down, and as we all know the more voices, the louder the appeal. Those interested can install the VTS for free from the source link below.