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Google Patches Critical Bugs in Android

Google on Monday released its November 2017 set of security patches for Android to address 31 vulnerabilities, 9 of which are remote code execution issues rated Critical severity. A total of 9 vulnerabilities are related to the recently revealed KRACK attack.

Google on Monday released its November 2017 set of security patches for Android to address 31 vulnerabilities, 9 of which are remote code execution issues rated Critical severity. A total of 9 vulnerabilities are related to the recently revealed KRACK attack.

The newly released Android Security Bulletin—November 2017 is split into three security patch levels. The 2017-11-01 and 2017-11-05 patch levels contain fixes for both Critical and High severity issues, while the 2017-11-06 patch level resolves only High risk KRACK vulnerabilities.

The 11 issues addressed in Android with the 2017-11-01 security patch level include 6 Critical remote code execution flaws, 3 High severity elevation of privilege bugs, and 2 High severity information disclosure vulnerabilities.

The Media framework was impacted the most, with 7 issues addressed in it, including 5 Critical. Impacted Android versions include 5.0.2, 5.1.1, 6.0, 6.0.1, 7.0, 7.1.1, 7.1.2, and 8.0.

The 11 vulnerabilities addressed with the 2017-11-05 security patch level include 3 Critical remote code execution flaws, 7 High risk elevation of privilege bugs, and one High severity information disclosure. Qualcomm components were impacted the most, with 7 issues addressed.

In an extensive blog post, Linux developer Scott Bauer explains that the remote code execution vulnerabilities are located in the qcacld Qualcomm/Atheros Wi-Fi driver that ships in the Pixel and Nexus 5X devices.

The researcher says he reported 8 such bugs to Google several months ago, and that the company is slowly patching them (some issues were addressed in previous monthly updates). Due to the severity of the bugs, the researcher found he was eligible for around $22,000 in bug bounty rewards.

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He explains that one of the bugs (CVE-2017-11013) can be used to target different types of memory. “This bug would be an excellent target for a true proximal kernel remote code execution, because you have controlled data, and you have a variety of locations you can overflow into,” the researcher notes.

The researcher provides technical details on two other issues addressed this month, namely CVE-2017-11014 and CVE-2017-11015, both heap overflow vulnerabilities, as well as on three other flaws. Two of the reported bugs haven’t been resolved yet.

All 9 vulnerabilities addressed in 2017-11-06 security patch level are related to the KRACK attack revealed last month. Short for Key Reinstallation Attack, KRACK is an attack method leveraging bugs in the WPA2 protocol that secures modern Wi-Fi networks. The technique allows an attacker to access information believed to be encrypted and even inject or manipulate data.

With industrial products also vulnerable to KRACK attacks, vendors began announcing patches for these bugs immediately after the attack went public. Apple addressed the flaws in multiple products with the release of security updates last week.

Starting in October 2017, Google began releasing a separate security bulletin for Nexus and Pixel devices, to address only vulnerabilities specific to these devices.

The Pixel / Nexus Security Bulletin—November 2017 contains patches for over 50 bugs affecting components such as Framework, Media framework, Runtime, System, and Kernel, MediaTek, NVIDIA, and Qualcomm components. Most of the vulnerabilities are Moderate severity, but some of them are High risk.

This month, Google addressed mostly elevation of privilege issues, but also resolved many information disclosure bugs, remote code execution vulnerabilities, and denial of service flaws.

In addition to the security patches, the update also includes fixes for a series of functionality issues for categories such as Audio, Bluetooth, Camera, Mobile data, and Application stability.

Related: Google Patches Critical Android Flaws With October 2017 Updates

Related: Apple Patches Dangerous KRACK Wi-Fi Vulnerabilities

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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