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MediaTek Acknowledges Security Bug In Some KitKat Devices

February 1, 2016 - Written By Kristijan Lucic

MediaTek is a Taiwan-based company which you’ve probably heard of by now. This company has started off by manufacturing low-end smartphone processors, and today they’re one of the best known mobile SoC manufacturing companies. MediaTek’s Helio X20 flagship SoC is expected to arrive in the coming weeks, and same can be said for their mid-ranger Helio P20 processor.

That being said, recent rumors reported that MediaTek-powered devices which are running KitKat may be exposed to attacks due to a bug, and MediaTek confirmed this fact. The security researcher, Justin Case, was the one who discovered this bug. Now, according to him, the attacker can actually enable the root access on an affected device, and access information he shouldn’t be able to access. As a result, the attacker could spy on the user’s information and what not, while he’d also be in a position to brick your device, and access secured data. MediaTek, however, said that this bug appears in a debug software which is created for telecommunication inter-operability testing in China, and that smartphone OEMs should have disabled it before they started selling the devices. So, to sum up, this bug arises only on devices which run Android 4.4 KitKat, and are fueled by MediaTek’s processors, but just in case a smartphone manufacturer did not disable the debug feature.

This might concern some of you, but we’re assuming that not many smartphone manufacturers forgot to disable this debug feature, and MediaTek probably made sure to notify everyone just in case. Android 4.4 KitKat is installed on quite a few devices out there, so these are certainly not good news. As far as MediaTek in general goes, this will be an interesting year for them. The company’s Helio X10 SoC was, and still is, quite powerul. Their flagship for last year is still being included in various phones, as manufacturer await for the Helio X20 to roll out to the market. The Helio X20 is actually a 64-bit deca-core processor, and accoridng to benchmark results, it’s going to be quite a powerful one. Either way, stay tuned, well report back if any additional MediaTek security info becomes available.