Pileup flaw: Android updates can be exploited by malware to gain permissions

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Upgrading an operating system patches the security holes in the previous versions.  However, researchers found a bug in upgrading process of Android itself, which can be exploited by malicious apps.

A team of researchers from Indiana University and Microsoft have published a paper explains a new critical security bugs which are referred as "Pileup flaws".  The vulnerability exists in Package Management Service (PMS) of Android.

When a user upgrades android to the latest version, a malicious app with few or no permission in the old version can exploit this vulnerability to update itself with new set of permissions.

An attacker can exploit this vulnerability to steal sensitive information from the compromised device, change security configurations and also prevent installation of critical system services.

Researchers say they have confirmed the presence of security hole on all official android versions as well as 3,000 customized android versions.

Researchers also have developed a new service called 'SecUp' which is capable of detecting the malicious apps designed to exploit PileUp vulnerabilities.
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