April 23, 2015

Wi-Fi Software Security Bug Could Leave Android, Windows, Linux Open to Attack

In an e-mail to the Open Source Software Security (oss-security) mailing list, the maintainer of wireless network client code used by Android, the Linux and BSD Unix operating systems, and Windows Wi-Fi device drivers sent an urgent fix to a flaw that could allow attackers to crash devices or even potentially inject malicious software into their memory. The flaw could allow these sorts of attacks via a malicious wireless peer-to-peer network name.

The vulnerability was discovered by the security team at Alibaba and reported to wpa_supplicant maintainer Jouni Malinen by the Google security team. The problem, Malinen wrote, is in how wpa_supplicant "uses SSID information parsed from management frames that create or update P2P peer entries" in the list of available networks. The vulnerability is similar in some ways to the Heartbleed vulnerability in that it doesn't properly check the length of transmitted data. But unlike Heartbleed, which let an attacker read contents out of memory from beyond what OpenSSL was supposed to allow, the wpa_supplicant vulnerability works both ways: it could expose contents of memory to an attacker, or allow the attacker to write new data to memory.

Read more at ArsTechnica.

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