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Google Challenges Number of Android Devices Affected by Linux Flaw

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Google is downplaying the scope of the critical Linux vulnerability patched this week, suggesting that the number of affected Android devices has been exaggerated.

The Android OS is built upon the Linux kernel, but minus many of the libraries that are included in standard Linux builds. Initially, startup Perception Point said that upwards of two-thirds of Android devices would be affected by the vulnerability. The flaw, introduced into the Linux source code in 2012, could be abused by a local attacker to elevate privileges on a Linux server or Android phone via a malicious mobile application.

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On its end, Google has patched the flaw in the Android code and on Wednesday released the fix to open source and its partners. Google’s Adrian Ludwig, lead engineer for Android security, said the patch would be required on all devices with a patch level of March 1, 2016 or greater.

Ludwig,...(continued)

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