December 6, 2023

Qualcomm and Arm have been forced to release security updates to patch several zero-day vulnerabilities exploited in recent targeted attacks against their chips.

The four vulnerabilities are:

  • CVE-2023-33106: A use-after-free vulnerability in the Adreno GPU driver
  • CVE-2023-33107: A use-after-free vulnerability in the Compute DSP driver
  • CVE-2022-22071: A possible use-after-free vulnerability in Snapdragon Auto, Snapdragon Compute, Snapdragon Connectivity, Snapdragon Consumer IOT, Snapdragon Industrial IOT, Snapdragon Mobile, Snapdragon Voice & Music
  • CVE-2023-33063: A buffer copy without checking the size of input vulnerability in the WLAN firmware.

There are indications from Google Threat Analysis Group and Google Project Zero that CVE-2023-33106, CVE-2023-33107, CVE-2022-22071, and CVE-2023-33063 may be under limited, targeted exploitation,” Qualcomm wrote in its security advisory.

Beyond the zero-days, three other critical vulnerabilities have come to the fore:

  1. CVE-2023-24855: With a CVSS score of 9.8, this vulnerability pertains to memory corruption in the Modem while processing security-related configurations. This has wide-ranging implications, as an extensive list of chipsets, including the Snapdragon 888, 865, and 855, among others, are affected.
  2. CVE-2023-28540: With a CVSS score of 9.1, this vulnerability is tied to a cryptographic issue due to improper authentication during a TLS handshake in the Data Modem. The expansive list of affected chipsets includes the likes of Snapdragon 888, 865, 855, and many others.
  3. CVE-2023-33028: With a CVSS score of 9.8, this flaw concerns memory corruption in the WLAN Firmware during specific memory copy processes. A plethora of chipsets, including various Snapdragon platforms, are susceptible to this vulnerability.

The impact of these vulnerabilities is significant. Qualcomm chips are used in a wide variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, routers, and cars. If an attacker can exploit one of these vulnerabilities, they could take control of the affected device, steal sensitive data, or even install malware.

This is especially concerning for smartphones, which contain a wealth of personal and financial information. If an attacker can gain control of a smartphone, they could access the user’s contacts, messages, emails, photos, and financial accounts.

Qualcomm has released patches for the vulnerabilities and urged OEMs to deploy them as soon as possible. However, until the patches are widely deployed, users of affected devices are at risk.

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