Google warns Android users of root access vulnerability

Google warns Android users of root access vulnerability

In an Android security advisory published last Friday, Google officials have warned the Android users about a security vulnerability which can potentially give applications 'root' access to devices.

According to the details shared by Google officials in the security advisory, the reported vulnerability can apparently enable apps to gain nearly unfettered 'root' access which circumvents the entire Android security model. The vulnerability originates from an elevation of privileges flaw in the Linux kernel; and it affects all Android devices which use Linux kernel versions 3.4, 3.10, and 3.14.

In their warning of the root access vulnerability affecting Android devices, Google officials have said that the vulnerability can pose a risk of attack to millions of Android-powered handsets, including the complete line of Nexus smartphones. The attacks exploiting the vulnerability can execute malicious code on Android handsets and take almost permanent control of the device's core functions.

Warning that the mentioned security vulnerability can, at the extreme, result in "local permanent device compromise," Google officials said in the advisory that one Google Play app has recently been found to exploit the vulnerability, though not for malicious purposes but as an inadvertent byproduct.

Highlighting the fact that the vulnerability is rated as "a critical severity," Google officials said in the security advisory that the likelihood of a "local permanent device compromise" would evidently require an affected Android device "to be repaired by re-flashing the operating system."

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