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SHAREit Vulnerability Could Have Left a Billion Android Users Exposed to Online Attacks

SHAREit logo

SHAREit logo

SHAREit has not responded to the publication even after three months of the vulnerbilities being spotted.

Popular file-sharing app SHAREit has been found to have security flaws that are making users vulnerable to online attacks. According to a recent report, the vulnerability in SHAREit allowed attackers to leak a user's sensitive information, execute an arbitrary code remotely, read or overwrite the app's local files, and even allow for third-party APKs to be installed. SHAREit has more than 1 billion downloads on the Google Play Store and was also named as one of the most downloaded app of 2019. This comes at a time when SHAREit is facing a ban in the US over security concerns of US citizens.

According to a report in a website named Trend Micro, Google has been informed about the vulnerabilities. Folks at Trend Micro also delved into the code of SHAREit's Android app to find the vulnerabilities. They said that these flaws can allow any third party entity to gain temporary read/write access to the data of the content provider. Further, it said that files in a specific folder can be freely accessed by anyone as the developer has specified a wide storage area root path. Hackers can also install third-party apps secretly on a phone due to these flaws in ShareIt. This can also be used to install a malicious app on an infected smartphone.

SHAREit is also susceptible to a man-in-the-disk (MITD) attack, the report said. This is because when a user downloads the app in the download center, it goes to an external directory, which means any app can access it with SDcard write permission.

Researchers at Trend Micro even mimicked a hack, after which the publication informed SHAREit about the vulnerability. SHAREit has not responded to the publication even after three months of the vulnerabilities being spotted. "We decided to disclose our research three months after reporting this since many users might be affected by this attack because the attacker can steal sensitive data and do anything with the apps’ permission. It is also not easily detectable," Trend Micro said.

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