Google Patches Critical Android Vulnerabilities in July Update

Only 11 of the vulnerabilities in the July update are rated as critical, including one that will likely be discussed in great detail at the upcoming Black Hat security conference.

android security

Google this week released its July 2017 Android Security Bulletin, patching 137 vulnerabilities, including a critical flaw called "Broadpwn" that will be discussed at the Black Hat security conference later this month.

Identified as CVE-2017-9417, Broadpwn is a remote code execution vulnerability in the Broadcom WiFi driver. Two other Broadcom WiFi driver issues (CVE-2017-0705 and CVE-2017-0706) were also given a "critical" rating as they potentially could have enabled privilege escalation attacks.

"The most severe vulnerability in this section could enable a proximate attacker to execute arbitrary code within the context of the kernel," Google warns in its advisory.

This is not the first time Google has patched in Android remote code execution issues in Broadcom WiFi drivers. In April, the mobile operating system was patched for the critical CVE-2017-0561 vulnerability in Broadcom's WiFi driver. Apple also makes use of Broadcom's WiFi technologies and released its iOS 10.3.1 update in April to patch the same issue.

Google credits the discovery of the newly patched CVE-2017-9417 Broadcom issue to security researcher Nitay Artenstein of Exodus Intelligence. Artenstein is scheduled to deliver a talk at the Black Hat security conference on July 27 that will provide more insight into the Broadcom vulnerabilities.

"Meet Broadpwn, a vulnerability in Broadcom's Wi-Fi chipsets which affects millions of Android and iOS devices, and can be triggered remotely, without user interaction," the Black Hat session abstract states. "We'll tell the story of how we found the bug and exploited it to achieve full code execution—and how we went on to leverage our control of the Wi-Fi chip in order to run code in the main application processor."

Media Framework

There were a total of 11 critical flaws in Android that Google patched this month, 10 of which are identified as remote code execution issues in the Android media framework. Google also patched another 17 issues in the Android media framework, fixing privilege escalation, information disclosure and denial-of-service vulnerabilities.

"The most severe vulnerability in this section could enable a remote attacker using a specially crafted file to execute arbitrary code within the context of a privileged process," Google's advisory warns.

Android's mediaserver components including libstagefright have been a primary source of vulnerability disclosure since Google first began issuing Android patch updates in August 2015 in a response to a Black Hat 2015 talk on the Stagefright media framework vulnerability.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.