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QuadRooter Android Security Bugs Affect More than 900 Million Devices


Four new vulnerabilities, discovered most recently, were found in the Android phones as well as tablets which get shipped with the Qualcomm chip. Researchers of Check Point, who are behind the discovery of flaws, say that the set of vulnerabilities namely "Quadrooter" affects more than 900 Million tablets and phones. The vulnerabilities were found in software drivers that Qualcomm ships with chipsets. By using any malicious app, these vulnerabilities can be exploited by the attacker.

Theoretically, an attacker just needs to use any malicious app without requiring special permissions for exploiting the security holes. The vulnerabilities of QuadRooter are capable of providing the attackers full control over the devices, as well as unobstructed access to the sensitive enterprise and personal information on them. Moreover, this can also provide the attacker capabilities like recording of audio and video, GPS tracking, and keylogging.

Qualcomm is leading worldwide designer of the LTE chipsets, having 65% share of LTE modem baseband market. Itwire.com posted on August 8th, 2016, stating that if 1 of the 4 vulnerabilities gets exploited, an attacker could trigger the privilege escalations for getting root access of a device.

Google's most recent monthly set of security updates fixed three flaws, however one vulnerability still has not been fixed, mainly because of non-issuance of final patch on time. Google has confirmed that next update in September will fix the fourth flaw.

Google's own brands namely Nexus 6, Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X devices are affected, just like some other models like Galaxy S7 as well as S7 Edge of Samsung. "The most secure Android smartphone" as per BlackBerry, i.e. BlackBerryDTEK50 is vulnerable as well to 1 of those flaws.

Patching all the devices will need quite a good amount of time because firmware patches of Qualcomm chipset required to get integrated by OEM vendors of Android into custom versions of Android OS. This will then reach the mobile carriers, who finally decide about the right time of delivering them to the end-users.

A spokesperson of Google confirmed that the patch, by which one of those flaws gets fixed, will not be broadly released before September.

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