Another Android Vulnerability to be Discovered

New vulnerability is called Man-in-the-Disk; popular apps are vulnerable
14 August 2018   1809

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.

Android-x86 9.0-r2 to be Rolled Out

This project's goal is a porting of the Andoid to the x86 achitecture, in another words, to launch Android apps on devices with x86 CPUs
23 January 2020   226

The developers of the Android-x86 project, within the framework of which an independent community is developing the Android platform port for the x86 architecture, have published the second test release of the assembly based on the Android 9 platform. The assembly includes corrections and additions that improve the performance of Android on the x86 architecture. Universal Live-builds of Android-x86 9 for x86 32-bit (725 Mb) and x86_64 (920 Mb) architectures suitable for use on standard laptops and tablet PCs are prepared for download. Additionally, rpm packages for installing the Android environment in Linux distributions have been prepared.

Compared with the first test release in Android-x86 9.0-r2, synchronization with the Android 9.0.0_r52 branch, updating the Linux kernel 4.19.95, Mesa 19.3.2 and the Taskbar 5.0.1 panel were noted.z

Get more at the release notes.