By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A newly uncovered security flaw in Android devices could put nearly a billion phones and tablets at risk.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 and Edge; Moto X; LG G4 and 5; Google Nexus 5X and 6; HTC One, M9, and 10 — these are just a handful of the Androids that have Qualcomm components under the hood, and that’s where the problem lies.

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“An attacker could use these vulnerabilities to give themselves root access on an Android device,” said Jeff Zucuto, a researcher at Check Point, the software security firm that found the threats in software drivers pre-installed on the devices. “Everything on the device — the data, sensors — it really gives them carte blanche to do whatever they like.”

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The flaws could allow a bad guy to trigger your camera microphone and also record everything you type.

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Zucuto advises installing Android updates as soon as they’re available; downloading apps only from the Google Play store; using only trusted WiFi networks; and running an anti-virus/anti-malware app.

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Check Point says Qualcomm has patched three of the four flaws — though this requires users to install the updates — with the final fix expected in September.

For more information, see Check Point’s blog on QuadRooter, and download the tool to your Android to see if it’s at risk.

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