Checkpoint Software Technologies and its team of researchers have discovered a set of four vulnerabilities that could potentially give attacker access to a phone’s data in tens of millions of Android devices.
The vulnerabilities, known as QuadRooter, were discovered while looking at software which operates on chipsets made by US firm Qualcomm.
Qualcomm is a US telecommunications equipment company and controls 65 per cent of the LTE modem baseband market.
The defect was discovered in software that deals with graphics and in code which communicates information between chipset components. Michael Shaulov, head of mobility product management at Checkpoint, says that the problems were revealed after a six month effort to reverse engineer Qalcomm’s code.
The bugs in the software can easily be triggered using an app, which would go by undetected during installation.
Affected devices include handsets such as Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung S7 Edge, Google Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, LG G4, LG G5, LG V10, OnePlus One, OnePlus 2, OnePlus 3 and many more.
In response to the information provided by Checkpoint, Qaulcomm has created software patches and has also started manufacturing chipsets with the bug-free version. The patches have also been distributed to phone makers and operators. However, there are no clear figures on how many phones have been updated.
Checkpoint has created a free app called QuadRooter Scanner, which checks if your phone is at risk.
While there is no current evidence of these vulnerabilities being used, Shaulov says that its only a matter of time.
“It’s always a race as to who finds the bug first, whether it’s the good guys or the bad.”
QUETTA: At least 53 people were killed in a suicide bombing inside the Civil Hospital on Monday, hospital officials said. Many others were injured in the attack.
There was no claim of responsibility for the blast, which occurred at the gates of the building housing the emergency ward. Bomb Disposal Squad officials confirmed the explosion was a suicide bombing.
“The blast took place after a number of lawyers and some journalists had gathered at the hospital following the death of the president of the Balochistan Bar Association in a separate shooting incident this morning,” said Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Harifal.
What we know so far
Loud explosion inside Quetta’s Civil Hospital
At least 53 people killed, many injured
Attack may have been carried out by suicide bomber
Blast followed killing of senior lawyer in Quetta
CM Balochistan says RAW behind terrorism in Quetta
Condemning the attack, Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri told local TV channel Geo News that Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was behind terror incidents in Quetta.
The CM shared this statement with the media before initial investigations into the blast were completed, and before the nature of the blast was confirmed.
The bomber struck as more than 100 mourners, mostly lawyers and journalists, crowded into the emergency department to accompany the body of Advocate Bilal Anwar Kasi, Faridullah, a journalist who was among the wounded, told Reuters.
Noor Ahmed, the hospital’s deputy chief surgeon for victims of violent crime, said they were treating about 50 wounded in the bombing.
“I can confirm that so far, 53 people have been killed in today’s bombing at our hospital,” said Ahmed.
According to senior police official Zahoor Ahmed Afridi, most of the dead were lawyers. Several lawyers including the former president of Balochistan Bar Association Baz Mohammad Kakar were reported injured.
Journalists present at the premises also came in the line of fire and the cameraman for DawnNews was severely injured in the explosion. Shahzad Khan, a cameraman associated with Aaj TV, was killed in the blast.
An emergency was declared in hospitals across Quetta and several injured were shifted to other hospitals for treatment.
“This was a security lapse,” Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said, adding that he was personally investigating the attack. He said the hospital had not received any threats in the past.
Following the blast in Quetta, Inspector General (IG) police A.D. Khawaja issued a high security alert across Sindh.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the blast in Quetta and expressed his “deep grief and anguish over the loss of precious human lives” in the attack.
“No one will be allowed to disturb the peace in the province that has been restored thanks to the countless sacrifices by the security forces, police and the people of Balochistan,” he said in a statement.
Lawyers have been targeted several times in the last few months in Balochistan.
A lawyer, Jahanzeb Alvi, was shot dead by unknown armed men in the Brewery road area of Quetta last week on Aug 3.
Advocate Bilal Kasi, who himself was shot dead on the morning of Monday’s blast, had strongly condemned the murder of Advocate Alvi and announced two days’ boycott of courts proceedings.
The principal of University of Balochistan’s law college, Barrister Amanullah Achakzai, was also shot dead by unknown assailants on Spini Road here in June.
Balochistan has been experiencing incidents of violence and targeted killings for over a decade. More than 1,400 incidents targeting the minority Shia and Hazara community have taken place in the province during the past 15 years.
The largest province of the country by area, is home to a low-level insurgency by ethnic Baloch separatists. Al Qaeda-linked and sectarian militants also operate in the region. The province shares borders with Afghanistan and Iran.
Facebook safety check
Social networking site Facebook activated its “safety check” feature after the blast in Quetta.
The feature allows people to mark themselves or others ‘safe’ in any incident or catastrophe, and let their loved ones know about their state.
Chris Urmson, who was instrumental in building Google’s self-driving car project, said on Friday he is leaving the team after seven and a half years.
Alphabet Inc’s Google had named Urmson chief technical officer of the project after it hired former Hyundai executive John Krafcik to be chief executive of the project.
Urmson, who joined the project when it was launched and has been a public face of Google’s autonomous vehicle efforts, testified before a US Senate panel on autonomous cars in March.
Krafcik confirmed Urmson’s departure in a tweet on Friday afternoon.
Urmson, in a blog post late Friday, said he was “ready for a fresh challenge.” He said he was not sure what he would do next.
“Going to take some time and get some perspective from outside of Google,” he wrote in a text message to Reuters.
Urmson told Reuters earlier this year that self-driving cars are coming. “I’ve gone from hoping this would happen to thinking it might happen to knowing it will happen,” Urmson said.
Google self-driving car project spokesman Johnny Luu confirmed Urmson’s departure and praised him.
“Seven years ago, the idea that a car could drive itself wasn’t much more than an idea. Chris has been a vital force for the project, helping the team move from a research phase to a point where this life-saving technology will soon become a reality,” Luu said.
Google’s project has had other significant departures, even as it has hired dozens of new employees. Earlier this year, Anthony Levandowski, who was product manager for Google’s self-driving car program, left the project to co-found a startup with two other former Google employees.
Google’s self-driving car project is expected to become a standalone company this year. In July, the project appointed its first general counsel.
Google has logged more than 1.8 million miles of autonomous driving in testing in Texas, California, Arizona and Washington state. It has said it has no timetable for making self-driving vehicles available to the public.
Officials have said Google is preparing to make its self-driving car unit a separate company. The program is now part of its X research laboratory unit.
“The self-driving car project is in the middle of graduating from X and this is sort of a gradual process,” Astro Teller, who heads the X program, told NBC News in April.
In May, Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said they had agreed to work together to build a fleet of nearly 100 self-driving minivans, the first time a Silicon Valley firm had teamed up with a traditional car maker to develop an autonomous vehicle.
In March, Reuters reported Google’s self-driving car team was expanding and hiring more people with automotive industry expertise, underscoring the company’s determination to move the division past the experimental stage.
LAHORE: The Punjab government intends to have the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1898, amended so as to change the procedure of registration of criminal cases and submission of challans in courts for trial.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has reportedly approved the amendments in a meeting held here a few days ago, official sources confirmed here on Sunday.
It is the federal government that has the constitutional right to amend the CrPC. And, official sources said, the required changes in the CrPC could not legally and constitutionally affect cases already registered or being tried by the courts of law.
‘Move to save time and money’
According to some high placed sources, the first suggestion is to amend Section 154 of the CrPC to provide for powers to the SHO to conduct initial inquiry to discard fabricated and false FIRs prior to registration of cases.
At present police are bound to register cases after the lodging of the FIRs. This involves useless investigation and prosecution in courts which officials say is just a waste of time and money.
The second proposed amended is in Section 173 of the CrPC. It aims at allowing prosecutors to assess challans before their submission in courts for indictment of accused to find out whether they contain sufficient evidence for punishment, or not. In case of lack of sufficient evidence, the prosecutor will have the authority not to pursue the case.
Sources said the prosecutor would apply the code of conduct prepared by the prosecution department in January this year to check whether the challan was fit for prosecution or not. This would again prevent prosecuting cases not fit for trial, saving time and money of the courts, police, prosecution department and of the litigants.
They said an appeal against the decision of prosecutor would lay with the prosecutor general, or the affected party could avail the right to file a writ.
They said the law, home, and prosecution departments were considering what would be the legal status of the cases to be declared not fit for prosecution, or who would have the powers to quash them.
The government also intends to have Sections 161 and 162 of the CrPC amended to allow recording of the audio/video statements of the prosecution witnesses, and Section 510 to make DNA reports admissible evidence.