Google fixes five critical Android bugs in February Nexus update

Google has released new firmware images for its Nexus devices that address a dozen vulnerabilities, including critical flaws affecting its Mediaserver component and a wifi driver from Broadcom.

Google says the most serious issue in its February update for Android are two critical flaws affecting Mediaserver, which “could enable remote code execution on an affected device through multiple methods such as email, web browsing, and MMS when processing media files”.

Mediaserver was one of the main components vulnerable to the Stagefright bugs that Google initially fixed last August. So far, all seven updates since Google launched monthly Android patching have fixed critical flaws in Mediaserver.

A second pair of remote execution bug affects the Broadcom wi-fi driver in Nexus devices and could allow an attacker on the same wi-fi network to gain control of a target’s device by sending specially crafted wireless control message packets to corrupt kernel memory.

The updates for Android Lollipop 5.1 (builds LMY49G or later) and Android Marshmallow introduce Security Patch Level of February 1, 2016. The patched firmware is available from Google’s developer site but it’s also going out as an over-the-air update today to Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 6, Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 9, and Nexus 10 devices.

Notably, one of the Mediaserver bugs also affects Android KitKat 4.4.4, which doesn’t present a risk for Nexus users that have updated to a new version, but likely will mean a host of mid-range devices from Samsung, LG, HTC and Sony that are stuck on the KitKat or earlier.

At the beginning of January 36 percent of the world’s Android handsets were running KitKat and a further 24 percent were running the earlier Jelly Bean.

The February patch should be rolling out to flagship devices from Android handset makers over the coming weeks. Google said it notified Android partners on or before January 4.

Samsung, which has followed Google’s lead on monthly patching, rolled out its January security fixes last week, nearly a month after Google released its fixes, though Samsung addressed a number of bugs that were specific to its Galaxy devices.

In total, the February Android security update addresses 12 vulnerabilities. Google has rated seven of them “critical”, four “high severity” and two “moderate”.

The other critical bugs include issues affecting the performance event manager component for Qualcomm ARM processor, a bug in the Qualcomm wi-fi driver, and a vulnerability in the Debuggerd component. All three however are vulnerable to a local attack as opposed to the Broadcom and Mediaserver issues, which can be exploited remotely.

Google revealed last week that it by the end of 2015 it had paid out $200,0000 to researchers since launching its Android Nexus bug bounty last June.

Participate in CSO and Gigamon's survey on Security Priorities today!

Go into the draw for a chance to win an Apple iWatch Sports or the equivalent of $500 Visa Cashcard.

For full terms and conditions click here.

Start survey NOW!

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Liam TungmediaserverGoogleAndroid Lollipop 5.1Androidjelly beannexusStagefrightCSO AustraliaWi-Fi network

More about AppleARMBroadcomCSOGalaxyGigamonGoogleHTCLGQualcommSamsungSonyVisa

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Liam Tung

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place