Microsoft Finds Main Safety Flaw ‘Soiled Stream’ in Android Apps Totalling Billions of Downloads


Microsoft found a significant safety vulnerability in a number of Android apps final week that could possibly be exploited to realize unauthorised entry to apps and delicate knowledge on the machine. Curiously, this safety flaw doesn’t come from the system codes, however an improper utilization of a specific system by builders that may result in loopholes liable to exploitation. Notably, the flaw has been highlighted to Google, and the tech big has taken steps to make the Android app developer group conscious of the difficulty.

In a post on its Safety Weblog, the Microsoft Risk Intelligence workforce said, “Microsoft found a path traversal-affiliated vulnerability sample in a number of fashionable Android purposes that would allow a malicious software to overwrite information within the susceptible software’s residence listing.” The researchers additionally highlighted that the vulnerability was noticed in a number of apps within the Google Play Store that had a mixed complete of greater than 4 billion installations.

This vulnerability emerges when a developer incorrectly makes use of Android’s content material supplier system, which is designed to safe knowledge trade between totally different apps on a tool. This consists of knowledge isolation, URI permissions, path validation and different safety measures to cease unauthorised entry by the apps or anybody else breaking into the app. Nonetheless, improper implementation of the system impacts a element referred to as customized intents. These are the messaging objects that conduct two-way communication between totally different apps. When this vulnerability exists the apps can ignore the safety measures and let different apps (or hackers controlling them) entry delicate knowledge saved in them.

In case of an assault on the machine, hackers can manipulate this vulnerability by accessing only one app, they will enter all such apps that comprise this loophole. This permits the dangerous actors to realize full management over the machine or steal delicate knowledge together with monetary info. Notably, the vulnerability was discovered within the Xiaomi File Supervisor and WPS Workplace apps. Microsoft said in its report that builders behind each the apps have investigated and stuck the difficulty.

Google has additionally taken cognisance of the difficulty and revealed a post on its Android Builders weblog. The corporate has highlighted the widespread errors and methods to repair them. It’s anticipated that builders of affected apps might be fixing the problems within the coming days and launch a repair. Whereas finish customers can’t do a lot to keep away from this vulnerability, it’s endorsed that they continue to be proactive in updating the apps on their gadgets and keep away from downloading apps from third-party sources for some time.


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