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 security of our mobile apps and private data is a very serious matter. This is particularly true for high value targets like web browsers, which often store login credentials that can be used to access many of the websites we use on a regular basis. Unfortunately, browsers are also very complicated applications with an extensive set of features that are difficult to lock down completely. Sebastián Guerrero Selma of viaForensics recently posted a video demonstrating a newly discovered vulnerability in Firefox for Android which would allow hackers to access both the contents of the SD card and the browser's private data.
Second verse, same as the first. Two days ago the CyanogenMod ROM team announced a security update to the CM 10.1 platform, incorporating the "Master Key" security patch that Google had already issued back in February. Yesterday another, more intricate exploit in the same vein was posted by a Chinese blog, and again, Google has rapidly moved to patch the problem in Android... which won't be much comfort to those running an older release.
Hot on the heels of Bluebox's disclosure of the "Master Key" exploit, a Chinese blog has posted details of a similar vulnerability. This attack also sidesteps a bug in the signature verification step and allows seemingly innocent APKs to include a potentially dangerous payload; and like its brethren, Google has already patched the flaw and posted it to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The information comes to us from a China-based group (or possibly individual) calling itself the Android Security Squad.
While most Android users are waiting on updaters that might patch some of the recently reported security holes, CyanogenMod is already getting a bug fix update out the door. CyanogenMod 10.1.1 is now hitting the stable channel for all supported devices.
The Master Key exploit will be presented by Jeff Forristal at Black Hat 2013 as "One Root To Own Them All." It's essentially a bug in signature verification which can be used to insert malicious code into an APK.
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 are a lot of security apps for Android that go a little ways into overkill territory. Whether you're talking about superfluous task managers or "virus scanners" that may provide some minimal protection while generating more fear than is warranted, Android has a persistent problem with companies applying a Windows-era mentality on a completely different OS. Secunia PSI, however, takes the cake for being one of the least effective apps on the Play Store.
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.
We've all read the horror stories: a new virus is crawling through the third-party stores, aiming to steal your personal information, identity, and first born child. More often than not, this type of malicious app is made possible because of one of the various root vulnerabilities that have been discovered throughout the various versions of Android.
X-Ray is a new app that lets you see exactly how vulnerable your device is by scanning it against several of these exploits, including RageAgainstTheCage, Gingerbreak, Mempodroid, Levitator, and a few more.
While not everyone who owns an Android device roots, the Android modding community is at the very heart of everything we love about our little green buddy. Security researcher Dan Rosenberg recently gave a presentation where he elaborates on root and modding methods, as well as expounding on the security implications of modding Android phones.
Rosenberg also had quite a lot to say about how carriers influence the Android landscape.