Android has Fallen! Yet another set of Android security vulnerabilities has been discovered in Qualcomm chipsets that affect more than 900 Million Android smartphones and tablets worldwide.
What’s even worse: Most of those affected Android devices will probably never be patched.
Dubbed “ Quadrooter,” the set of four vulnerabilities discovered in devices running Android Marshmallow and earlier that ship with Qualcomm chip could allow an attacker to gain root-level access to any Qualcomm device.
The chip, according to the latest statistics, is found in more than 900 Million Android tablets and smartphones.
That’s a very big number.
The vulnerabilities have been disclosed by a team of Check Point researchers at the DEF CON 24 security conference in Las Vegas.
Critical Quadrooter Vulnerabilities:
The four security vulnerabilities are:
CVE-2016-2503 discovered in Qualcomm’s GPU driver and fixed in Google’s Android Security Bulletin for July 2016.CVE-2016-2504 found in Qualcomm GPU driver and fixed in Google’s Android Security Bulletin for August 2016.CVE-2016-2059 found in Qualcomm kernel module and fixed in April, though patch status is unknown.CVE-2016-5340 presented in Qualcomm GPU driver and fixed, but patch status unknown.Qualcomm is the world’s leading designer of LTE ( Long Term Evolution) chipsets with a 65% share of the LTE modem baseband market. If any one of the four flaws is exploited, an attacker can trigger privilege escalations for gaining root access to an affected device.
All an attacker needs is to write a piece of malware and send it to the victim. When installed, the malware offers the attacker privilege escalation on the affected devices.
According to the researchers, the attack can also be conducted through a malicious app. An attacker needs to trick a user into installing a malicious app that, unlike other malware, would execute without requiring any special permission checks.
“Such an app would require no special permissions to take advantage of these vulnerabilities, alleviating any suspicion users may have when installing,” Check Point researchers write in a blog post.
If any of the four vulnerabilities are successfully exploited, an attacker could gain root access to an affected device, giving the attacker full access to the device, including its data, camera and microphone.
List of Affected Devices (Popular)
More than 900 Million Android devices that ship with Qualcomm chip are vulnerable to the flaws.
Here’s the list of some of the popular affected devices, though there are far more devices that are impacted by one or more Quadrooter vulnerabilities.
Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung S7 EdgeSony Xperia Z UltraOnePlus One, OnePlus 2 and OnePlus 3Google Nexus 5X, Nexus 6 and Nexus 6PBlackphone 1 and Blackphone 2HTC One, HTC M9 and HTC 10LG G4, LG G5, and LG V10New Moto X by MotorolaBlackBerry Priv
How to Check if Your Device is Vulnerable?
You can check if your smartphone or tablet is vulnerable to Quadrooter attack using Check Point’s free app.
Since the vulnerable software drivers, which control communication between Qualcomm chipset components, come pre-installed on these devices at the time of manufacturing, they can only be fixed by installing a patch from the devices’ distributors or carriers after receiving fixed driver packs from Qualcomm.
“This situation highlights the inherent risks in the Android security model,” the researchers say. “Critical security updates must pass through the entire supply chain before they can be made available to end users.”
Three of the four vulnerabilities have already been fixed in Google’s latest set of monthly security updates, and a patch for the remaining flaw will be rolled out in the upcoming September update.
Since Qualcomm has already released the code, the phone manufacturers could be able to issue patches to the individual devices as soon as possible.
Android Nexus devices are already patched via the over-the-air updates, but other smartphone models will need to wait until their lazy phone manufacturers integrate the fixes into their own custom Android ROMs.
Mediatek unveils Helio G95 gaming Processor for budget smartphones, could debut on Tecno Camon 16 or Realme 7
Adding to its ever-growing portfolio and stern competition to it’s Qualcomm counterpart, Taiwanese chipmaker, Mediatek has announced a new gaming Chipset for the Helio G90 series. The Helio G95 SoC offers a 5% boost in GPU performance over the G90T though the rest of the feature set is identical to the latter.
With the G95, MediaTek aims at closing the huge gap existing between the mid-range and flagship gaming smartphone segment and the first phone to use this processor could be the Tecno Camon 16 or Realme 7 with both due for official releases on September 3.
The G90T ended up on phones like the Redmi Note 8 and Note 9 Pro and Realme 6 , so the odds are on we likely get to see more phones with the G95 chip launch in the final lap of the third quarter of the year.
Here’s everything the Mediatek Helio G95 has on offer
Mediatek Helio G95 Features
Essentially, it would be best to understand that the Helio G95 SoC is an overclocked G90T processor, in that it comes with an upgraded Mali-G76 GPU running at 900MHz. The G90T, on the other hand, is equipped with a Mali-G57 GPU that’s running at 800MHz.
Features like HyperEngine game technology, multi-camera support of upto 4 sensors and an APU (AI processing unit) are also very much welcome. The chip also supports upto HDR10+ enhancement quality in real-time.
The G95 processor is manufactured using the 12nm fabrication process and has two Cortex-A76 cores running at 2.05GHz while the six power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores can run upto 2.0GHz.
MediaTek’s famed HyperEngine game technology is responsible for optimizing the gaming experience to provide the best connection speed, picture quality and ensures a smooth gameplay experience on budget devices. There are several customisation options that users can fine-tune further.
Furthermore, Helio G95 chipset supports upto 10GB LPDDR4x RAM, UFS 2.1 storage, upto Full HD+ displays with 90Hz refresh rate and dual 4G SIM cards.
Additionally, the chip can be paired with upto 64MP cameras with upto 4K UHD rerecording.
The MediaTek Helio G95 will power many phones set to launch in September. The first of such as confirmed by Naijatechguy could be the Tecno Camon 16 set to launch on September 3 in India.
The smartphone has been teased with stunning bezeles display, a 64MP camera unit with Samsung’s GM1 or Sony’s IMX686 sensor here which could all play into the hands of the new Helio G95 processor.
Samsung Galaxy M51 launched: A notable upgrade from the M31s? – Full specifications, features and price
After weeks of intense leaks and rumours, Samsung has finally albeit quietly lifted the gaze on its latest mid-range offering, the Samsung Galaxy M51 smartphone.
Enough have been said on the success of the Samsung Galaxy A-series lineup and now the company is looking to add some sauce and spice to further make the competition for spaces very much stiff.
As a brand new entry in Samsung’s popular Galaxy M series, the Galaxy M51 exists as a higher-placed alternative to the Galaxy M31s , which was launched earlier in July. However, belaying expectations, the Galaxy M51 has only been launched in Germany for now, with news about the global launch still anyone’s guess.
The Galaxy M51 smartphone brings with it several notable improvements appearing to be very much in line with what the leaks had suggested over the past few days, with the biggest selling point of the device being the 7000mAh battery pack, which also supports up to 25W fast charging. A switch to Snapdragon processor has also been muted.
Here’s a complete laydown on everything new with the Samsung Galaxy M51 smartphone.
Samsung Galaxy M51 Specifications and Features
The Samsung Galaxy M51 is anything to go by any Samsung phone with the device sporting a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display with a centered hole-punch and full HD+ resolution.
Although Samsung’s official listing doesn’t make it clear which processor the phone is using, reports point to the device been powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 SoC, as previously speculations.
The phone offers a single 6GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage variant with support for MicroSD card expansion. The smartphone runs on Samsung’s custom OneUI, based on Android 10 operating system.
In the camera department, the Galaxy M51 features the same setup as the Galaxy M31s, packing a rear camera 64MP primary sensor, coupled with an f/1.8 lens. Sat next to it is a 12MP ultra-wide-angle lens that brings with itself the promise of 123-degree field-of-view, a 5MP depth sensor, and a 5MP macro camera. For selfies, there is a 32MP lens which remains unchanged from the Galaxy M31s.
However, the insane 7,000 mAh battery is what gives the Galaxy M51 its headline. The 6000 mAh battery fitted on previous Galaxy M series phones was the largest in its segment. Also, Samsung has includey a 25W fast charger inside the box, the same one that comes with the Galaxy M31s and some of Samsung’s recently launched flagships.
Other usual connectivity and security features include a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, a USB Type C port, a single bottom-firing speaker, a 3.5mm audio jack, and Bluetooth 5.
Samsung Galaxy M51 Price and Availability
Samsung Galaxy M51 has only been launched in Germany at a starting price of €360 ($429) and can be pre-ordered via Samsung’s German website at the moment. Pre-orders will start shipping out starting September 11.
Samsung hasn’t yet made any announcements regarding when it will bring the device to other markets such, but your guess is as good as ours, we hope to see it launch in the country. The device is available in White and Black colour options.
A major competitor to the recently launched OnePlus Nord smartphone? That’s a different post for another day.
Samsung Galaxy M51 Key Specifications
- Display: 6.7-inch (16.95cm) Super AMOLED & Full HD+
- SoC: Octa-core processor
- RAM & Storage: 6GB RAM + 128GB storage
- Battery & Charging: 7,000 mAh battery
- Fingerprint sensor: Side-mounted
- Rear Camera: 64MP, f/1.8 + 12MP ultra-wide, f/2.2 + 5MP depth sensor + 5MP macro sensor
- Front Camera: 32MP
- OS: Android 10 with One UI 2.1