This Google Pixel bug fix could have spelled trouble for all Android phones

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A vulnerability impacting “seemingly all” Google Pixel phones might reportedly have allowed undesirable entrants entry to a locked Pixel system.

Based on a blog post (opens in new tab) by cybersecurity researcher David Schütz, whose bug report satisfied Google to take motion, the bug was solely patched for the Android phones in query following a November 5 2022 safety replace, round six months after submitting his bug report.

The vulnerability, which is tracked as CVE-2022-20465 (opens in new tab), allowed an attacker with bodily entry to bypass the lock display protections, comparable to fingerprint and PIN, and acquire full entry to the consumer’s system. 

How did the exploit work?

Schütz, who claimed that one other researcher’s earlier bug report flagging the problem was ignored, mentioned that the exploit was easy and simply replicable.

It concerned locking a SIM card by coming into the incorrect pin 3 times, re-inserting the SIM tray, resetting the PIN by coming into the SIM card’s PUK code (which ought to include the unique packaging) after which selecting a brand new PIN.

For the reason that attacker might simply deliver their very own PIN-locked SIM card, nothing apart from bodily entry was required to execute the exploit, in line with Schütz. 

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Would-be attackers might simply swap such a SIM within the sufferer’s system, and carry out the exploit with a SIM card that had a PIN lock and for which the attacker knew the proper PUK code.

To Google’s credit score, regardless of the seriousness of the exploit Schütz claims that after he filed a report detailing the vulnerability, Google attended to the exploit inside 37 minutes.

Although Schultz did not present any proof, he posited that different Android distributors could have been affected. That is definitely attainable, as Android is an open source working system.

This is not the primary time a safety researcher has unveiled critical safety flaws inside Android telephones, both.

In April 2022, Check Point Research (opens in new tab) (CPR) unearthed a flaw which if left unpatched might probably have rendered a lot of Android telephones weak to distant code execution, on account of vulnerabilities that lay within the audio decoders of Qualcomm and MediaTek chips.

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