A File Sharing App With 1 Billion Downloads Has a Major Security Flaw

A File Sharing App With 1 Billion Downloads Has a Major Security Flaw

Getting data from one place to another is easy when you’ve got reliable internet connectivity, but that’s not the case everywhere. That’s why an Android app called SHAREit has more than a billion downloads. Unfortunately, Trend Micro says the app is also a security nightmare that could allow intruders to sneak a peek at your data or even install malware. Perhaps most troublingly, the developers have not responded to Trend Micro’s warnings.

SHAREit is a product of Singapore-based developer Smart Media4U, which positions the app as a way to host and share content even if you don’t have internet access. The app has become popular because it lets users share files directly via Wi-Fi Direct data transfers, and there’s a built-in media player to play streams from other devices. However, Trend Micro says the way the app shares information makes it easy for a third-party to hijack the connection and load up all manner of malicious things.

Trend Micro says it confirmed the vulnerability is more than theoretical. Its researchers were able to confirm that SHAREit is giving away far too much data when beaming files, and this vulnerability makes it easy to exploit. Trend Micro says further that it told Smart Media4U about the issues three months ago, and there has been no reply. Trend Micro decided to disclose the flaws now because users deserve to know their app might be leaking personal details.

The developer’s silence is particularly concerning because the app is far from abandoned. A staffer replies to reviews on the Play Store constantly, even going so far as to post his mobile number for people to share screenshots. They’ll go to all that trouble but won’t reply to Trend Micro after three months? That feels pretty shady to me.

If you’re using SHAREit, I would recommend you look at an alternative way of sharing files. It is unknown if there are any in-the-wild SHAREit attacks, but it’s probably only a matter of time now, Most of the app’s users appear to be in countries throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. It’s not as popular in the US and Europe because it’s unusual for populations in those regions to have such spotty connectivity that they need to resort to direct sharing apps like SHAREit.

Continue reading

Microsoft: Pluton Chip Will Bring Xbox-Like Security to Windows PCs
Microsoft: Pluton Chip Will Bring Xbox-Like Security to Windows PCs

Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm are working to make Pluton part of their upcoming designs, which should make PCs more difficult to hack, but it also bakes Microsoft technology into your hardware.

Recent iPhone Security Hole Becomes Universal Jailbreak
Recent iPhone Security Hole Becomes Universal Jailbreak

Apple urged iPhone owners to install the latest update to iOS last month, but that in and of itself wasn't unusual. What was unusual was the reason for the update. Apple rolled out iOS 14.4 to plug a security hole that online criminals were actively exploiting. Now, that vulnerability has popped up again as a universal jailbreak for iDevices.

The Best Smart Home Security Systems
The Best Smart Home Security Systems

Once a niche business with a few traditional players and some startups, home security systems are now a major battleground for not just security companies, but several internet giants. We round up highlights of the most popular options for 2020.

Microsoft Backtracks: Older PCs Won’t Receive Windows 11 Security Updates
Microsoft Backtracks: Older PCs Won’t Receive Windows 11 Security Updates

Restricting feature updates and driver installations is fine. Security updates are a bridge too far.