What is the problem and should Android smartphone owners be concerned?

What is the problem and should Android smartphone owners be concerned?

Tech Highlights:

  • Dirty Pipe is the name of the vulnerability and the researcher who found the issue raised serious concerns about it. It has been found in Linux kernel version 5.8 or higher. They observed a serious bug in the operating system that allowed malicious data to be injected into any file, which left it vulnerable to further attacks, and possible intrusion of bad actors. Dirty Pipe makes use of the way the Linux kernel is able to read, write and process data through something called ‘pipes’, which explains the name of the vulnerability. And because Linux caters to different files, this issue could end up causing greater damage to the device. As you might be aware, most of the devices in the market these days, including Android smartphones are built over Linux kernels.

  • A few months ago, there was a lot of buzz about a security flaw known as Dirty Pipe, which had the potential to infect popular Android smartphones as well as any device running the Linux operating system. When we hear such frightening news, our first thought is to wonder if I am affected or if my smartphone is in any danger. And it’s understandable to raise concerns in this manner. So we decided to read through the entire story to figure out what this dirty pipe vulnerability is, how it affects a device, and whether you should be concerned and take action.

The attacker can easily bypass the security and gain root access to modify the system without taking your permission. All of these put your devices at risk of foreign intrusion, which can tweak the system any way they want. As the vulnerability directly attacks the Linux kernel, Android smartphones do carry a certain amount of risk. But the good news the affected list of smartphones is fairly small because the Dirty Pipe vulnerability has been discovered in the Linux kernel version 5.8, which is only available if you use a smartphone with the Android 12 version or later.

The Linux kernel 5.8 came out in 2020, and according to experts, it only made its way to Android with version 12 released last year. So, keeping that in mind, the risk factor of Android smartphones is limited to a small number. But if you have any of the recent phones like the Samsung Galaxy S22 series, the latest Xiaomi 12 Pro, or the Google Pixel 6 lineup, chances are your device is running on the infected Linux 5.8 kernel. Luckily, both these companies have addressed the issue and have released a fix to patch the Dirty Pipe vulnerability for their smartphones. If the kernel version running on your smartphone is below the 5.0 series, then it is not in danger. If the phone’s kernel version is 5 or above, make sure to check for any update that could update the version for your device.

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