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Android app with 1 billion downloads can hijack your smartphone — Delete it now

Photo of Google Play app icon on Pixel 4 XL
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Several vulnerabilities have been discovered on the transfer and sharing app SHAREit, which could lead to important user information leaks and attackers taking over the device.

What's worse, SHAREit's main purpose is to transfer video, files and apps from one device to another across Android, iOS devices and PC, and it's been downloaded more than one billion times. The chances the app is on one of your devices is fairly high, so we strongly recommend you get rid of it or update it immediately. 

SHAREit Android App

(Image credit: Google Play Store)

Discovered by IT security company Trend Micro (opens in new tab), the vulnerabilities were said to be unintended flaws by SHAREit. Trend Mirco has reached out to SHAREit, which has yet to respond.

As for the app's vulnerabilities, attackers could potentially execute arbitrary code (meaning an attacker can run any command on the system) with SHAREit permissions by using a malicious code or app. What's worse, it also gives these bad actors access to use Remote Code Execution (RCE) to take over a user's device altogether.

The security company also noted that this isn't the first time the app had been associated with security problems, as it was used by attackers to download and steal files from different users. With a billion downloads, that can lead to a lot of stolen or leaked data.  

Currently, the vulnerabilities can only be found through the Android app and not on iOS devices. An update of the SHAREit app is available with potential fixes of the vulnerabilities, although has yet to be stated. Trend Micro explains each of the vulnerabilities in detail right here (opens in new tab).

It's always a good idea to keep your information private, especially from prying eyes. That's when some of these best VPN services come in, which can protect your data on specific apps. 

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.