Samsung Exynos Kernel Exploit Allows Easy Root, Could Lead to Malware Attack

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Posted 4 years ago

Samsung’s Exynos 4 quad-core processor contains a major flaw that opens to the door to hackers looking to root and take control of the device; this is the message coming out of XDA Developers Forum this weekend.

The XDA Forum is home to some brilliant minds, and one member named Alephzain has discovered a pretty big exploit that is as awesome as it is scary. By digging around in some of Samsung’s Exynos kernels an exploit was found to affect a number of Samsung devices, such as the popular Samsung Galaxy SIII and Note II, and any other devices that use a Exynos 4412 or 4410 processor, could give access to the RAM of a particular device.

There is both good and bad news with this discovery, let’s start with the bad.

This exploit gives easy RAM access to developers to pretty much do as they please. This opens the door to a significant risk of malware, whereby a malicious app can be developed to root your device and have full access to sensitive data. Malware could be used to simply wipe data from your device, brick completely, or use potentially valuable data to its own gain.

On the flip side, the good news is that the often-difficult task of rooting a device can be made simple. Another XDA member and moderator named Chainfire has already created, and released, an APK file that uses the exploit to root devices with one click. If you are someone that likes to play around with Android modifications, then this simple root file will be very useful; however, for the millions of users that are happy with their devices the way they are, something in the way of protection is needed.

XDA has contacted Samsung about the exploit and are awaiting their response. Until then, The Next Web has revealed that Supercurio has created a quick fix solution to protect against the vulnerability, which can be found here.

– Anthony Carter

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