Two security experts have released a tool for attacking Android-based smartphones.
The tool can be used by hackers to exploit a vulnerability in Google's Android mobile operating system, allowing them to steal sensitive user information including text messages from the smartphones.
Security expert Nicholas Percoco, head of Spider Labs at online payment security company Trustwave told delegates at the Defcon hackers conference in Las Vegas that the tool had been released in an attempt to force manufacturers to patch the vulnerability before it is exploited in the wild.
Percoco explained that the tool, which has been released in the form of a rootkit, allows hackers to gain total control of Android-based devices.
He said the tool enables them to steal entire contact lists, browsing information and text messages.
Speaking to news agency Reuters, Percoco said: “There are people who are much more motivated to do these things than we are. We could be doing what we want to do and there is no clue that we are there.”