Google Pixel 4, wallpaper, recorder applications and themes leak before its unveiling

Attackers exploit 0day vulnerability that gives full control of Android phones

While Google's Project Zero team first discovered the vulnerability, the company's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) confirmed that it had been used in real-world attacks.

This zero-day is a kernel local privilege escalation (LPE) bug using a use-after-free vulnerability in the Android binder driver that can be exploited by potential attackers to get full-control of unpatched devices. It is being said that this flaw is in Android's Linux Kernel code. Of course, the device needs to be running on Android 9.0 or higher while the Android Auto app needs to be version 4.7 or newer.

The vulnerability can be exploited in Google Chrome's renderer processes and requires "little or no per-device customization", which means it can access a lot of devices. According to Google, to explore this security flaw a malware need to be installed with the user's permission. Project Zero, the Google security team behind the report, usually waits 90 days before publicizing a software vulnerability to give the software's developers time to fix it.

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Details regarding who is behind the Android zero-day are now limited but Google's TAG believes that the Israel-based company NSO Group, that is known for selling exploits and surveillance tools, may be responsible.

However, NSO denied that they are behind the exploit. One is, as you'd expect, though the installation of untrusted apps. The tech giant has also said that it has notified Android partners.

Google said that the zero-day is not as risky as others in the past, as it "requires installation of a malicious application for potential exploitation", said an Android representative. "Any other vectors, such as via web browser, require chaining with an additional exploit", says an AOSP statement. "Pixel 3 and 3a gadgets are not susceptible, while Pixel 1 and 2 gadgets will be receiving updates for this problem as part of the October update", the group added. Ltd.'s Galaxy S9. The Alphabet Inc. subsidiary warned that even more devices could potentially be vulnerable.

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