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Android’s June 2022 security updates patch five critical remote vulnerabilities

Android’s June 2022 security updates patch five critical remote vulnerabilities
Photo Credit: Pixabay
8 Jun, 2022

While Android’s monthly security updates always come with patches for critical security flaws on Android devices, the June 2022 update appears to be more significant than most. Released in two parts on June 1 and June 5, the cumulative security updates have patched no less than five highly critical security vulnerabilities on Android devices – which could have been exploited by any hacker to remotely control phones around the world.

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The security updates are applicable to devices running Android 10, 11 and 12, and cover a total of 41 vulnerabilities – which include the five critical ones mentioned above. The most critical of the bunch is one bearing identification number CVE-2022-20210, which is a flaw in Android’s system framework. Exploiting this, attackers could potentially gain high level, escalated privilege access to a user’s phone – and use this to install a backdoor for remote code execution (RCE) attacks.

The CVE identification number refers to Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures, and is a nomenclature used to rate and rank known cyber security vulnerabilities. Having a common naming and numbering scheme helps organizations issue patches to prevent cyber attackers from exploiting them.

RCE attacks, on the other hand, refer to cyber attacks where hackers use a wide variety of tricks to trap a user into installing a malware-laden application on devices. Such applications carry malware that can exploit vulnerabilities that are not yet patched by companies, and use the same to allow hackers to gain remote access to devices.

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Once an attacker does gain remote access, they can potentially carry out any exploit that include stealth of sensitive information, cyber espionage, financial frauds and more.

Two more critical vulnerabilities, CVE-2022-20140 and CVE-2022-20145, were also pertaining to privilege escalation on Android devices. Privilege escalation is the technique used by hackers to get access to the core system of devices – hence being able to execute commands without being blocked by any security measure. The reason why this happens is because typically, only trusted applications from verified vendors have such levels of access on a device – and such levels of access are crucial in order to be able to control a device.

Other critical vulnerabilities that have been patched include a flaw in the Android media codec, while the last one was an RCE flaw specifically affecting devices running on Unisoc chipsets. The latter affects devices such as the Moto E30 smartphone, which have already been reported before.

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