AndroidX' Libraries to be Open Source Now

The library is used when using ew features on older versions of OS
25 July 2018   253

Google has opened access for everyone to the redesigned AndroidX library. Library is necessary when using new features on older versions of the operating system. This will help attract third-party developers and update the project more often. This is reported by 9to5 Google.

We are thrilled to announce that AndroidX development is moving to AOSP. This means that we will now be doing the majority of our work in public using the public AOSP Gerrit review tool and landing changes to a public git repository. We hope you love this update as much as we do. A blog post with more details is coming in a few days, but we wanted to share it with you all early. 
 

Google Team

Each package in AndroidX is updated separately. And in the Support Library, updating sometimes affects the entire library, because it contains invalid digital version signatures.

Changes made by Google are not just about libraries. Earlier, in March 2018, the company released an integrated development environment for Android Studio 3.1.

Another Android Vulnerability to be Discovered

New vulnerability is called Man-in-the-Disk; popular apps are vulnerable
14 August 2018   114

Cyber ​​security specialists from Check Point have revealed a new type of attack called Man-in-the-Disk (MitD), which exploits vulnerabilities in managing external memory applications on the Android OS. Vulnerable are mobile versions of translators from Google and Yandex, as well as the popular browser from Xiaomi.

How does Man-in-the-Disk work?
According to researchers, there are several reasons for the of the MitD attack. First, every application on Android can access data from another program contained in external memory. Secondly, most applications ask the user for permission to work with memory, and they usually agree, without thinking about the possible risk.

Check Point employees were able to recreate two versions of Man-in-the-Disk:

  1. The first option interferes with the files of the target application, loading malicious data into external memory. It causes an error in the program and leaves gaps for further malicious actions. In addition, this type of MitD allows you to obtain the permissions that the victim application had without additional actions:

    Man in the DIsk Attack
    Man in the DIsk Attack
     

  2. The second version of the attack replaces the temporary update files that applications store in external memory before they are installed. An attacker can force the program to install its malicious version or third-party malware

    Man in the DIsk Attack
    Man in the DIsk Attack

Which applications are vulnerable to attack?
Among the vulnerable applications there are: Google Translate, Google Voice Typing, Yandex Translate and Yandex Search, as well as Xiaomi Browser. It is noteworthy that the solutions from Google and Xiaomi are pre-installed on a large number of Android-devices.

How to defend yourself?
Check Point experts say that application developers, including Google, do not follow such security practices as the Android security guidelines. They recommend using the following Man-in-the-Disk protection:

  • Verify input validation when processing files in external memory;
  • Do not store executable files or classes in external memory;
  • sign and cryptographically check files in external storage before dynamic loading.

In addition, the Check Point team believes that Android security should be strengthened at the system level, rather than software. Only low-level protection can help in preventing such attacks, the company believes.

After detecting the attack, experts sent letters to Google and Xiaomi with a description of the problem. The first quickly responded and already released security updates for vulnerable applications, while the latter preferred not to respond to the developers' letter.