Dirty Cow, a Linux Kernel Vulnerability Threatens All Android Devices
If you own a device with Android operating system, it is better to be careful of the Dirty Cow. It is, in fact, a security vulnerability in the Linux operating system that gives free access to harmful actions by hackers. To protect yourself, it is advisable to carry out an update, but this is not always possible, especially in older devices.
This security flaw has been discovered in the Linux operating system, which underlies the vast majority of smartphones running on Android and 90% of websites worldwide. This threat to the vulnerability was detected just last week, after nearly 10 years of latent existence. However, despite being part of attacks against web servers, it is just one of their many aspects.
Dirty Cow gets its nickname from the Copy-On-Write subsystem. Linux based servers and Android phones are therefore extremely vulnerable to hackers. Cybercriminals can gradually take control of a device running on this OS. So, this is really bad news for many companies that use Linux on their devices.
But the biggest problem of Dirty Cow is actually not his threat, but the duration of its existence. Born in about 2007, this flaw is extended worldwide on millions of devices, and servers/computers.
Dan Rosenberg, security researcher at Azimuth Security has described it as “one of the most serious bugs found to date on Linux. It makes it very easy to take advantage of any resource of the device in which it creeps. It is one of the most significant shortcomings identified in the heart of the Linux system. It seems to be a purely human error that has crept into the software. The good news is that we were able to detect it and, in the meantime, we are looking for a solution”.
Since October 13, the fault was actually corrected in the Linux kernel. This update provides protection. But this does not happen automatically and it is often necessary to make manual adjustments. “Many web servers will therefore remain vulnerable”, warn experts. A Youtube user explains how dangerous Dirty Cow can be –
How to Stay Safe
It will take time before the cyber security experts can find a real solution to this problem. And, unfortunately, it will not be possible before the security updates due next month. These will be, once again, not available on many devices because manufacturers have imposed their own limits to some updates. It will not be possible on older devices. For manufacturers like Samsung and Motorola, this is not a priority. So stay away from websites and dubious apps that can’t be trusted.
Specialists warn that cyber crime is a constant. iPhone users, with last iOS 10.1 update, for example, are not immune. Now, on your Android device, you’re trying to eliminate another threat that allows hackers to take control of the system and open the photos remotely, as well as access to your Facebook account.
For this bug, however, experts declare that there is no solution, and this is a big problem because as long as the window remains open, there remains a greater risk of security breaches.