A critical elevation-of-privilege vulnerability found in Android devices could potentially be exploited, without root access or user permission, to hijack virtually all mobile apps in order to spy on individuals or steal their login credentials.

Google has developed a security patch for Android versions 8, 8.1 and 9 -- alerting its partners of the update in April and releasing it to the general public earlier this month as part of its May Security Bulletin. Android 10 is not affected by the vulnerability.

Still, mobile security experts point out that Android versions prior to 8 remain endangered, and they note that availability of patches may depend on the particular device a user owns and whether the manufacturer has deployed the fix. Additionally, they say this latest discovery will place additional responsibility on Google to ensure that its official app store can detect and keep out malicious dropper apps that attempt to distribute malware designed to exploit the vulnerability.

Please register to continue.

Already registered? Log in.

Once you register, you'll receive:

  • News analysis

    The context and insight you need to stay abreast of the most important developments in cybersecurity. CISO and practitioner perspectives; strategy and tactics; solutions and innovation; policy and regulation.

  • Archives

    Unlimited access to nearly 20 years of SC Media industry analysis and news-you-can-use.

  • Daily Newswire

    SC Media’s essential morning briefing for cybersecurity professionals.

  • Learning Express

    One-click access to our extensive program of virtual events, with convenient calendar reminders and ability to earn CISSP credits.