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Virus allows hackers to access smartphones and take control of devices

Posted at 2:31 PM, Apr 18, 2018

Imagine a virus that can infect your phone just because you have it turned on. It can allow hackers to take control of your phone, take pictures and view or share photos, videos, contacts and messages — and the hackers can do it all without you ever knowing.

It's called a "BlueBorne" attack, and the virus uses Bluetooth to access your phone. Any device on which you use Bluetooth, including voice-activated speakers, could be vulnerable.

Because it runs on Bluetooth, the attack has to be launched within about 30 feet of the device.

Phones with older operating systems are most vulnerable — according to Ken Colburn with Data Doctors, Apple has already fixed the issue on IPhones with iOS 10 or higher. If your iPhone is operating on an older system, you'll need to update your phone in "settings."

For android phones, there is a free app by the company that discovered the virus, Armis labs. It will tell you if your device is vulnerable.

Most companies have created a patch, or a fix to prevent the problems, and you may have that fix if your phone gets updates.