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A new zero-day vulnerability has been discovered that allows Android or Linux applications to escalate privileges and gain root access, according to a report released this morning by Perception Point.
"This affects all Android phones KitKat and higher," said Yevgeny Pats, co-founder and CEO at security vendor Perception Point.
Any machine with Linux Kernel 3.8 or higher is vulnerable, he said, including tens of millions of Linux PCs and servers, both 32-bit and 64-bit. Although Linux lags in popularity on the desktop, the operating system dominates the Internet, mobile, embedded systems and the Internet of Things, and powers nearly all of the world's supercomputers.
Using this vulnerability, attackers are able to delete files, view private information, and install unwanted programs.
According to Pats, this vulnerability has existed in the Linux kernel since 2012.
Pats said that the Linux team has been notified, and patches should be available and pushed out soon to devices with automatic updates. Perception Point has also created proof of concept code that exploits this vulnerability to gain root access.