Android: New Bug Discovered, Can Turn Your Device Into A Non-Functioning ‘Brick’

Android: New Bug Discovered, Can Turn Your Device Into A Non-Functioning ‘Brick’
Little android figurines Family O’Abé / Flickr CC BY 2.0

Following the Stagefright Bug, another vulnerability has been reported in devices running on Android – and this one, at least as of now, has no cure.


According to Trend Micro, this flaw in the mediaserver service could potentially affect all versions of Android, from 4.3 up to 5.1. The flaw can turn one’s device into a non-functioning ‘brick.’ The fault can be introduced through either an application or specifically coded website.

While the fault requires some user intervention – in contrast to Stagefright, which could get introduced by an ordinary text message – it still gives us a reason to worry.

“We have discovered a vulnerability in Android that can render a phone apparently dead — silent, unable to make calls, with a lifeless screen. This vulnerability is present from Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) up to the current version, Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop). Combined, these versions account for more than half of Android devices in use today. No patch has been issued in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code by the Android Engineering Team to fix this vulnerability since we reported it in late May,” Trend Micro said.

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(Also read: Android Bug That Can Hack Your Phone With Just A Text Message)

The company adds, “The vulnerability lies in the mediaserver service, which is used by Android to index media files that are located on the Android device. This service cannot correctly process a malformed video file using the Matroska container (usually with the .mkv extension). When the process opens a malformed MKV file, the service may crash (and with it, the rest of the operating system). The vulnerability is caused by an integer overflow when the mediaserver service parses an MKV file. It reads memory out of buffer or writes data to NULL address when parsing audio data.”

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