NewsAugust 10, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

August Android Security Bulletin Patches Critical Vulnerabilities

The August Android Security Bulletin has been published, and it enumerates over 40 security risks that Google recently fixed in the Android operating system (OS). The media framework alone contains 10 critical flaws. Google will deliver the updates over the air to devices.

Google noted that its partners had been notified of the issues contained in the current bulletin over a month ago. The company also assured users, saying, “We have had no reports of active customer exploitation or abuse of these newly reported issues.”

About the Android Security Bulletin

Google advised that critical security vulnerabilities existing in unpatched media frameworks might let a remote attacker using a specially crafted file to execute arbitrary code within the context of a privileged process. The applicable list of vulnerabilities is tracked as CVE-2017-0714 extending through CVE-2017-0739.

SecurityWeek reported that the bulletin named 26 media framework vulnerabilities that were fixed by its patches. Of those, 10 are critical remote code execution bugs, 14 are high risk denial-of-service (DoS) and elevation of privilege issues, and two are moderate information disclosure vulnerabilities.

One patch string in particular focused on the media framework along with libraries and framework vulnerabilities, for a total of 28 patches. This included an elevation of privilege flaw in the framework and one remote code execution flaw in libraries.

When It Rains, It Pours

There was another patch string that dealt with 14 vulnerabilities found in the Broadcom, MediaTek, Qualcomm and kernel components of Android. One of the vulnerabilities was a moderate remote code execution flaw related to Broadcom. There were also five elevation of privilege bugs in the kernel — one of high severity and four rated as moderately severe.

Google credited Trend Micro researchers with finding three of these flaws. The vulnerabilities in question may cause memory corruption on affected devices, which could lead to code execution in the kernel. This exploit is triggered when the Flash-friendly file system is used to mount a malicious disk.

Meanwhile, MediaTek components had two elevation of privilege issues. One of them was high, the other was moderate. Finally, there were five medium elevation of privileges and one information disclosure vulnerability that affected the Qualcomm component.

All Android users are strongly recommended to update their systems to the most recent and secure iterations to avoid these vulnerabilities.

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Larry Loeb

Principal, PBC Enterprises

Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek. He wrote for IBM's DeveloperWorks site for seven years and has written a book on the Secure Electronic Transaction Internet protocol. His latest book has the commercially obligatory title of Hack Proofing XML. He's been online since uucp "bang" addressing (where the world existed relative to !decvax), serving as editor of the Macintosh Exchange on BIX and the VARBusiness Exchange.