CERT-In Warns of Over 50 Security Flaws Affecting Android Smartphones: All You Need to Know

CERT-In — or Indian Computer Emergency Response Team — has warned of several security vulnerabilities affecting multiple versions of Android. These security flaws, if exploited by a malicious user, could be used to execute dangerous code, collect sensitive data, and launch a denial-of-service (DoS) attack on a victim. The security vulnerabilities affect three major versions of Android, across various parts of Google’s operating system (OS) — from the framework to components from Arm, MediaTek, Qualcomm, Unisoc, and others, according to the cybersecurity agency.

In a vulnerability note issued earlier this week, CERT-In lists out 51 security flaws affecting the Android OS. The nodal agency responsible for dealing with cybersecurity issues and threats has issued a critical severity rating for the vulnerability note. All the entries listed by CERT-In have been assigned a Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) number.

According to CERT-In, these vulnerabilities affect Android 13, Android 12, Android 12L, and Android 11. It is currently unclear whether Android 14 is also affected as the source code for Android 14 was published a few days before the advisory was issued.

The 51 security flaws listed by CERT-In affect various parts of the Android operating system from the Android framework, the Android system, and Google Play system updates. Meanwhile, software for components not directly controlled by Google, including those from Arm, MediaTek, Unisoc, and Qualcomm, are also affected by these vulnerabilities.

Attackers who exploit these flaws could potentially elevate their privileges on a target’s smartphone, execute arbitrary (and malicious) code, extract sensitive information, and even perform a denial-of-service (DoS) attack, according to CERT-In.

Two of these flaws — CVE-2023-4863 and CVE-2023-4211 — could be actively exploited by attackers, and users should apply security patches “urgently”, according to the agency. These flaws relate to the Chromium engine that powers Google’s browser, and GPU memory processing operations on Android, respectively.

Users running on Pixel smartphones can install the latest update that includes the October security patches. Unfortunately, users who own smartphones from other manufacturers will have to wait until a security update is released along with fixes for these security flaws. 

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