Security Experts:

Critical Code Execution Flaws Patched in Android

Google this month addressed several critical severity remote code execution (RCE) vulnerabilities in the Android operating system.

Split in two parts, the Android Security Bulletin for February 2018 resolves only 26 vulnerabilities in the mobile operating system, most of which are rated high severity. The vast majority of the security issues are elevation of privilege (EoP) bugs.

A total of 7 issues were addressed with the 2018-02-01 security patch level, including 6 flaws in Media Framework and one vulnerability in the System component.

This month, Google addressed two critical RCE bugs in Media Framework: CVE-2017-13228, which impacts Android 6.0 and newer, and CVE-2017-13230, which impacts Android 5.1.1 and later (it is considered a high risk denial-of-service (DoS) flaw on Android 7.0 and newer).

Other issues addressed in Media Framework included an information disclosure vulnerability, an elevation of privilege bug, and several denial-of-service flaws.

By successfully exploiting the most severe of these vulnerabilities, an attacker could achieve remote code execution in the context of a privileged process. The issues could be abused via email, web browsing, and MMS when processing media files.

The vulnerability addressed in System (CVE-2017-13236) was an EoP bug that could allow a local malicious application to execute commands normally limited to privileged processes, Google explained in an advisory.

The 2018-02-05 security patch level includes fixes for 19 vulnerabilities in HTC, Kernel, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Qualcomm closed-source components.

The most severe of these issues are two remote code execution vulnerabilities in Qualcomm components (CVE-2017-15817 and CVE-2017-17760).

Except for an information disclosure in HTC components (bootloader) and an undisclosed bug type on Qualcomm closed-source components, the remaining issues were elevation of privilege vulnerabilities impacting components such as Media Framework, WLan, Graphics, Kernel, and Bootloader.

Google also released a separate set of patches to address 29 vulnerabilities as part of the Pixel / Nexus Security Bulletin for February 2018.

While most of these bugs were rated moderate severity, one critical remote code execution bug and one high risk denial-of-service issue (both only on Android 5.1.1, 6.0, and 6.0.1 releases and medium severity on Android 7.0 and up) slipped among them.

Impacted components included Media Framework, System, Kernel and Qualcomm. Most of the bugs were elevation of privilege and information disclosure vulnerabilities.

In addition to these security patches, Google included a series of functional improvements in the software updates for the Pixel devices.

Related: Google Patches 22 Critical Android Vulnerabilities

Related: Android's December 2017 Patches Resolve Critical Flaws

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