Attackers Exploit SDK Bug to Spy on Users Across Dating and Healthcare Apps

Saturday, February 20th, 2021 | , ,

Attackers Exploit SDK Bug to Spy on Users Across Dating and Healthcare Apps

Apps like eHarmony and MeetMe are affected by a flaw in the Agora toolkit that went unpatched for eight months, researchers discovered. The flaw, CVE-2020-25605, was discovered in a video-calling SDK from a Santa Clara, California-based company called Agora while doing a security audit last year.

Agora provides developer tools and building blocks for providing real-time engagement in apps, and documentation and code repositories for its SDKs are available online. Healthcare apps such as Talkspace, Practo and Dr. First’s Backline, among various others, also use the SDK for their call technology.

Due to its shared use in several popular apps, the flaw has the potential to affect “millions–potentially billions–of users,” reported Douglas McKee, principal engineer, and senior security researcher at McAfee Advanced Threat Research (ATR), on Wednesday. McKee also says that there is no evidence thus far that the bug is being exploited in the wild.

The flaw makes it easy for third parties to access details about setting up video calls from within the SDK across various apps due to their unencrypted, cleartext transmission. This paves the way for remote attackers to “obtain access to audio and video of any ongoing Agora video call through observation of cleartext network traffic,” according to the vulnerability’s CVE description.

Researchers reported this research to on April 20, 2020. The flaw remained unpatched for about eight months until Dec. 17, 2020 when the company released a new SDK, version 3.2.1, “which mitigated the vulnerability and eliminated the corresponding threat to users,” McKee said.

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