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Google Pixel has 10 days to update or discontinue use

Google Pixel has 10 days to update or discontinue use


CISA renewal deadline ends on July 4th

AFP via Getty Images

This month's Google Pixel update had a nasty flaw: Buried among dozens of critical updates and Android's quarterly feature rollout was CVE-2024-32896, and Google warned that this high-severity firmware vulnerability may be exposed to limited, targeted exploits.

While Google has released few details about the zero-day attack, the US government has stepped in, ordering federal employees to update their Pixel devices by July 4th or stop using the products, meaning they only have 10 days to act. While the warning is aimed at government agencies, other businesses should similarly mandate full compliance from their employees. Personal users should also be cautious, especially if they connect their devices to corporate systems.

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The U.S. government warning was issued via the Known Exploitability Vulnerabilities (KEV) Catalog maintained by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). The Android Pixel firmware contains an unspecified vulnerability that could allow privilege escalation, the agency said in a brief advisory.

Google did not provide details about the zero-day vulnerability, but GrapheneOS said it is the second wave of fixes for a vulnerability reported in April that is being actively exploited by forensic firms.

Worryingly, the company also says this isn't just a Pixel issue: It was fixed for the Pixel in the June update (Android 14 QPR3), and other Android devices will eventually get a fix when they update to Android 15. If you don't update to Android 15, you likely won't get the fix as it hasn't been backported.

Given that the exploited vulnerability was listed in CISA's KEV catalog, it is unclear what other owners of Android devices potentially at risk for which there are no immediate mitigations should do. We look forward to hearing more information on this.

GrapheneOS explains that these two vulnerabilities involve memory not being wiped when booting into firmware-based fastboot mode, which can be exploited to retrieve previous OS memory. [and] The AOSP device management APIs warn that wipes prior to Android 14 QPR3 relied on reboot-to-recovery, and both issues remain unfixed outside of the Pixel.

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Google's June update came the same week that a report was released about the dangers of freeware on the Play Store, and just days after Zscaler warned that it had identified and analyzed more than 90 malicious applications that had been uploaded to the Play Store and installed more than 5.5 million times.

And this week, Check Point's cyber team warned about the Android Trojan Rafel, which has been detected in at least 120 malicious campaigns. While it primarily targets older, unsupported devices, users of current Android versions should be concerned as this threat can infect a wide range of Android versions, from the oldest unsupported versions to the latest ones.

Overall, this is an alarming situation for Android users, and all Pixel owners should take CISA's instructions seriously and update before the 4th of July holiday if they haven't already. The download will be automatic and will be fully installed after a reboot. Learn how to check if your Pixel device has the update here.




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