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Android’s June 2023 Security Update Patches Exploited Arm GPU Vulnerability

Google’s June 2023 security update for Android patches more than 50 vulnerabilities, including an Arm Mali GPU flaw exploited by spyware vendors.

Security updates announced this week by Google for the Android operating system resolve over 50 vulnerabilities, including an Arm Mali GPU flaw exploited by spyware vendors.

Tracked as CVE-2022-22706, the exploited bug is a kernel driver issue that Arm fixed in January 2022, but which had been targeted in attacks before that, Google reported in March 2023.

Despite known exploitation, however, Google and other Android vendors took more than a year to incorporate the patches for CVE-2022-22706 in their software updates.

Last month, Google resolved another Android bug exploited by spyware vendors as a zero-day. Tracked as CVE-2023-0266, the issue is described as a moderate-severity kernel flaw leading to privilege escalation.

As usual, the June 2023 Android update is split into two. The first part, which arrives on devices as the 2023-06-01 security patch level, resolves 10 vulnerabilities in the Framework component and 13 bugs in the System component.

Three of these issues are critical-severity remote code execution (RCE) flaws. They are tracked as CVE-2023-21127, CVE-2023-21108, and CVE-2023-21130.

“The most severe of these issues is a critical security vulnerability in the System component that could lead to remote code execution over Bluetooth, if HFP support is enabled, with no additional execution privileges needed. User interaction is not needed for exploitation,” Google notes in its advisory.

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Rated ‘high severity’, the remaining 20 vulnerabilities lead to escalation of privilege, information disclosure, or denial-of-service (DoS).

Arriving on devices as the 2023-06-05 security patch level, the second part of Android’s June 2023 update resolves 33 flaws in Arm (3 vulnerabilities), Imagination Technologies (2), Unisoc (4), Widevine DRM (2), and Qualcomm components (22).

Google has yet to publish an advisory detailing the vulnerabilities resolved with the June 2023 Pixel security update. No Android Automotive OS security patches were released this month.

Related: Google Announces New Rating System for Android and Device Vulnerability Reports

Related: Google Improves Android Security With New APIs

Related: Google Wants Android Users to Have More Control Over Their Data

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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