Google patches critical vulnerability for Androids with Qualcomm chips

In April’s update for the Android operating system (OS), Google has patched 28 vulnerabilities, one of which is rated critical for Android devices equipped with Qualcomm chips.

You can find your device’s Android version number, security update level, and Google Play system level in your Settings app. You’ll get notifications when updates are available for you, but you can also check for updates.

If your Android phone is at patch level 2024-04-05 or later then the issues discussed below have been fixed. The updates have been made available for Android 12, 12L and 13. Android partners are notified of all issues at least a month before publication, however, this doesn’t always mean that the patches are available for devices from all vendors.

For most phones it works like this: Under About phone or About device you can tap on Software updates to check if there are new updates available for your device, although there may be slight differences based on the brand, type, and Android version of your device.

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database lists publicly disclosed computer security flaws. The Qualcomm CVE is listed as CVE-2023-28582. It has a CVSS score of 9.8 out of 20 and is described as a memory corruption in Data Modem while verifying hello-verify message during the Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) handshake.

The cause of the memory corruption lies in a buffer copy without checking the size of the input. Practically, this means that a remote attacker can cause a buffer overflow during the verification of a DTLS handshake, allowing them to execute code on the affected device.

Another vulnerability highlighted by Google is CVE-2024-23704, an elevation of privilege (EoP) vulnerability in the System component that affects Android 13 and Android 14.

This vulnerability could lead to local escalation of privilege with no additional execution privileges needed. Local privilege escalation happens when one user acquires the system rights of another user. This could allow an attacker to access information they shouldn’t have access to, or perform actions at a higher level of permissions.

Pixel users

Google warns Pixel users that there are indications that two high severity vulnerabilities may be under limited, targeted exploitation. These vulnerabilities are:

  • CVE-2024-29745: An information disclosure vulnerability in the bootloader component. Bootloaders are one of the first programs to load and ensure that all relevant operating system data is loaded into the main memory when a device is started.
  • CVE-2024-29748: An elevation of privilege (EoP) vulnerability in the Pixel firmware. Firmware is device-specific software that provides basic machine instructions that allow the hardware to function and communicate with other software running on the device.

On Pixel devices, a security patch level of 2024-04-05 resolves all these security vulnerabilities.

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