Dirty Stream Attack | Android Mobile Devices Under Threat: Microsoft Warning 2024

A new attack named “Dirty Stream” is using malicious mobile applications to overwrite files on Android devices. Microsoft has warned that four billion recent app installations from the Google Play Store may be vulnerable to an attack. It is believed that these installations are unintentionally permitting the apps’ hidden “intents” to access, exploit, or replace other data on the device.

How Dirty Stream Attacks Your Android Mobile Devices:

Each Android application has its own dedicated memory and data space on the Android system. Android provides a “content provider” to enable secure data transfer between apps. During this process, content providers can use operational triggers called intents to initiate data queries.

Also Read: Ransomware Attack on US Health Care Systems: Disruptions and Concerns

Mircosoft Warning Explains The Attack Process:

Microsoft has explained that the Dirty Stream attack uses custom intents to manipulate the content provider, forcing it to perform an action that it wouldn’t do otherwise. After installing a malicious app, it creates an intent to target another app on the device through the file-sharing component. The attack involves a malicious file or path that tricks the target app into executing or storing it. Microsoft warns that this pattern can lead to serious consequences, including critical files being overwritten, arbitrary code execution, and token theft, which can give cybercriminals access to a victim’s accounts and sensitive data.

Learn how the Dirty Stream attacks threaten Android mobile devices. Microsoft alerts about the risks in Google Play Store apps. Stay safe with expert advice

Dirty Stream Malicious Apps On Google Play Store:

The vulnerability of a target app in this particular attack is in how it reads its server settings. Two highly downloaded apps on Google Play Store, Xiaomi’s File Manager and WPS Office, have been identified as vulnerable. Microsoft has reportedly disclosed a vulnerability to affected app developers, with Xiaomi and WPS releasing software updates to address the issue.

Learn how the Dirty Stream attacks threaten Android mobile devices. Microsoft alerts about the risks in Google Play Store apps. Stay safe with expert advice

Microsoft – Google Collaboration Against Dirty Stream Attack:

The company has announced that it is collaborating with Google to strengthen the security measures of developers’ Dirty Stream. Microsoft collaborated with Google’s Android application security research team to create guidelines for developers to prevent the attack. It is recommended to only download mobile apps from trusted sources. If downloading an app from an uncommon source, use apps like Microsoft Defender to scan for malicious code.


As per experts, the collaboration of Microsoft with Google is likely to bring in the required relief, till then the minimum we can do is to take the preventive steps as advised by them and follow the necessary guidelines to stay safe and keep our Android phones safe from Dirty Stream Attacks from malicious apps, for good and relaxed sleep.

Your FAQs Answered Here:

What are the attacks on mobile phones?

Mobile devices are increasingly becoming a target for various types of cyber threats. Here’s a concise, SEO-optimized, and engaging overview of the most common attacks:

App-Based Threats:

These occur when users unknowingly download malicious apps that steal data.

Web-Based Threats:

These are hidden threats that automatically download harmful content when users visit certain websites.

Network-Based Threats:

These involve cybercriminals intercepting unencrypted data on public WiFi networks.

Physical Device Threats:

These refer to the risks associated with the loss or theft of a device, giving hackers direct access to stored data.

Social Engineering:

This involves tricking users into revealing private information or downloading malware through fake emails or text messages.

Malicious Apps and Websites:

These pose a significant threat to mobile security, similar to desktop computers.

Mobile Ransomware:

This type of malware restricts device access, demanding a ransom for its removal.

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks:

These involve intercepting and potentially altering communication between two parties.

Jailbreaking and Rooting:

These techniques provide unrestricted device access, leading to potential security threats.

Device and OS Exploits:

These attacks exploit security holes in the device’s operating system.
To protect your mobile devices, consider using mobile application management tools, updating your device’s operating system regularly, and being cautious about the apps you download and the networks you connect to.

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