Security vulnerability puts 900M Android devices at risk, researchers warn

- Security firm Check Point has identified vulnerabilities affecting 900 million smartphones and tablets that use chipsets from component maker Qualcomm.

Check Point disclosed the vulnerabilities Sunday at the DEF CON 24 hacking conference in Las Vegas. The four vulnerabilities, dubbed “QuadRooter” by Check Point, affect Android devices using chipsets from component maker Qualcomm. Chipsets are collections of components or circuits that handle data flow within a device.

If any one of the vulnerabilities is exploited, an attacker could gain access to the device, explained Check Point, in a blog post. “Any Android device using these chipsets is at risk,” it added.

An attack could exploit the vulnerabilities in the chipsets’ software drivers using a malicious app. “Since the vulnerable drivers are pre-installed on devices at the point of manufacture, they can only be fixed by installing a patch from the distributor or carrier,” Check Point said.

Check Point says the situation highlights the inherent security risks in Google's Android operating system. “Critical security updates must pass through the entire supply chain before they can be made available to end users,” it said. “Once available, the end users must then be sure to install these updates to protect their devices and data.

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