Google on Monday announced the availability of the November 2021 security updates for Android and warned that one of the patched vulnerabilities has been exploited in attacks.
The zero-day vulnerability is tracked as CVE-2021-1048 and Google says there is evidence that the flaw has been exploited in limited, targeted attacks. The internet giant described it as a use-after-free bug in the kernel that can be exploited for local privilege escalation.
No other information has been provided about the attacks exploiting CVE-2021-1048, but the targeted nature of the attacks suggests that they have been carried out by a state-sponsored threat group, likely for espionage purposes.
Based on data provided by Google, this is the sixth Android vulnerability exploited in malicious attacks in 2021.
The November 2021 Android updates patch a total of nearly 40 vulnerabilities, and Google says the most severe of them affects the System component and can allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of a privileged process.
Critical severity ratings have been assigned to vulnerabilities affecting the System, Android TV, and Qualcomm components. High-severity issues — roughly 30 bugs have this severity rating — have been addressed in the Framework, Media Framework, System, Kernel, Android TV, MediaTek and Qualcomm components.
Google has published a separate advisory to describe the 10 vulnerabilities patched in its Pixel devices this month.