Quadrooter – major security bug in Qualcomm Android drivers

Check point software claims to have found what it calls a serious vulnerability in Qualcomm software running on LTE chip-sets used in many Android ‘phones. Apparently they informed Qualcomm about six months ago, and they’ve now modified their drivers to stop it in future, and issued patches, but I doubt many of the 900,000 of the devices already sold with the LTE chips will end up being patched. LTE is two-thirds owned by Qualcomm.

Check Point has released an App to check whether your phone is vulnerable, but it’s up to the device manufacturers to actually push the patch on to their users. The major ones may, but the majority of handsets are of the cheaper variety, sold in third world countries, and not as well supported.

Normally I’d treat stories like this with a bit of caution, and I’ve yet to fathom exactly how ti works. However, Check Point’s description is scary – and the Israeli company isn’t known for hype. Basically, the flawed Qualcomm chip-set drivers have flaws that allow a downloaded App to gain root access without the need for any unusual permissions. This is bad.

Check Points advice is to only trust Apps installed from Google Play, which is ironic given that as recently as this May they released a report saying you shouldn’t trust Apps from Google Play as too many nasty ones crept in.

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