Ask anybody that spends time in the security circles and they'll tell you that every large software project is bound to have a few long-standing vulnerabilities in the code. Fortunately, there are usually a few people who are paid to close up those holes so you, the customer, don't find yourself the victim of nefarious evildoers someday. Like so many before it, the latest update to Android came with a boatload of changes, at least one of which fixes a potentially dangerous vulnerability that can be used for numerous attacks, including a way to acquire root.
If you're a root user, listen up. Chainfire updated SuperSU to v1.69 as of last night, which fixes two exploits that could allow an attacker to leverage root privileges without first prompting the user. Probably nothing to get overly anxious about, but it's definitely a good idea to make sure you're running the latest. Details of these exploits will be released next Monday, so you'll want to grab the update before then.
The second annual Mobile Pwn2Own competition, run by HP TippingPoint's Zero Day Initiative, is fast approaching. This year's event will take place at the PacSec Applied Security Conference in Tokyo from November 13-14, and over $300,000 in cash and prizes is up for grabs. The Pwn2Own contest challenges security researchers to find and exploit vulnerabilities on mobile devices and rewards them by giving them the device they were able to compromise.
Since Dan Rosenberg declared his intentions to stop publishing exploits for Motorola devices, fans of the OEM have been wondering if there will be much of a future within the modding community. While the distant future is still very foggy, Justin Case has come to the rescue with his own rooting method for Motorola's latest salvo of devices. His simple-to-use app roots the Moto X, Ultra, Mini, and Maxx.
I'm sure most of you are here to get your phone rooted, so let's go straight to the instructions.
When it comes right down to it, few things are much scarier than finding out somebody can track your movements, read your call log and text messages, and even record audio and take pictures of whatever the phone can get, all without your knowledge. Here's the thing - as careful, security-conscious people, many of us already install software like that for our own purposes, usually to recover a phone in the event it should fall into the hands of thieves.
It was only yesterday that Cyanogen definitively confirmed AT&T's treacherous move to lock down the Galaxy S4's bootloader, but there is light at the end of that tunnel. No thanks to AT&T but to security researcher extraordinaire and a person I admire Dan Rosenberg, a.k.a. the magician, a.k.a. the root whisperer.
Dan, who is responsible for numerous root and unlock exploits, tweeted this photo of his Galaxy S4 earlier today:
There are no instructions or blog posts explaining the unlock at Dan's blog yet - these should be coming in the future.
When it comes to root and mod action on Motorola devices from the last couple of years, all eyes turn to brilliant Android hacker Dan Rosenberg. Since the Droid 3 was released two years ago, Rosenberg has successfully found root exploits for every Motorola device, including the D3, Bionic, RAZR, Droid 4, Xoom 2, Atrix HD, RAZR HD, and RAZR M. Add to that the fact he just released a tool that unlocks the bootloaders on the most modern Moto phones (RAZR HD, M, and Atrix HD), and it's not hard to see why he's such an important part of the Motorola modding community.
There's some disturbing news today on the Android security front: an vulnerability has been discovered for Samsung's Exynos 4-powered devices. While the related exploit is useful for the mod scene in that it can be harnessed to gain superuser permissions and root pretty much any device running on an Exynos 4 chip, it's also got some rather disturbing implications. According to an XDA member with the handle "alephzain", who developed the exploit, using this security hole can also grant an app access to all physical memory on a given device - basically, anything stored in RAM is fair game.
Update 2: This exploit probably won't work on most Galaxy S III's as long as they have the most recent OTA update, as we demonstrate on video here.
While giving the AT&T HTC One X's firmware a look over, I ran across a a vulnerability that would allow us to gain root access. It turned out not to be all that useful at the time, as another root was released the same day. With the latest 1.85 firmware leak, the previously published root has been fixed, making the one I found earlier useful once again.
Update: AT&T disabled the app installation features of Ready2Go thereby breaking this root process.