Google fixes critical Wi-Fi and media-processing flaws in Android

Attackers could compromise devices with Broadcom Wi-Fi chips over the wireless network

Google has patched thirteen new vulnerabilities in Android, two of which could allow attackers to take control of Android devices located on the same Wi-Fi network, if they have Broadcom chips.

The two critical vulnerabilities are located in the Broadcom Wi-Fi driver and can be exploited by sending specially crafted wireless control packets to the affected devices. These messages could corrupt the kernel's memory and allow for the execution of arbitrary code in the kernel -- the highest privileged area of the operating system.

These flaws are critical because the attack doesn't require any user interaction, can be exploited remotely and can lead to a complete device compromise.

The driver for Wi-Fi chips from Qualcomm also had a critical vulnerability that could result in arbitrary code execution with kernel privileges. However, it could only be exploited by a locally installed application.

Finally, a third vulnerability was located in the Wi-Fi component and could be exploited by a local application to execute code with system privileges. This vulnerability was rated as high.

Google's new patches also fix two critical remote code execution vulnerabilities in mediaserver, a component that handles audio and video file parsing, one critical flaw in Qualcomm's performance event manager component for ARM processors and one in the Debugger daemon component.

The vulnerabilities in the Qualcomm performance module and Debuggerd could be exploited by local applications and the flaw in mediaserver could be exploited through specially crafted media files loaded from websites or embedded into multimedia messages.

The company also fixed high-impact vulnerabilities in libraries including mediaserver and libmediaplayerservice, and two moderate flaws in setup wizard. These flaws could lead to denial of service, information disclosure, privilege escalation and security bypasses.

Google shared information about these flaws with its OEM partners on Jan. 4 and released firmware updates for its Nexus devices Monday. Android firmware that incorporates these fixes should have a security patch level string of February 1, 2016 or later.

The company will also publish these patches to the Android Open Source Project so that other Android-based operating systems such as CyanogenMod can integrate them.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?