In our previous blog post, we have introduced our latest research into full chain baseband exploits. We have showcased new research tools (our nanoMIPS decompiler, debugger, and emulator for Mediatek basebands) and explored the interconnected components across the Cellular Processor and the Application Processor of Samsung and Mediatek radio interface stacks. The most serious of vulnerabilities in these interfaces can lead to over-the-air exploitation of the device: zero-click remote code execution not only in the baseband, but in the Android runtime as well. It’s no secret that baseband full-chains of this kind have existed privately and been used In-The-Wild, as recently documented by the “Predator Files” disclosures, for example.
Additional posts in this series: Part 1 Part 2 In my Basebanheimer talk at Hardwear.io, I explained a method for exploiting the Mediatek Baseband Pivot vulnerability CVE-2022-21765 for arbitrary code execution in the Linux kernel on Mediatek’s older (“Helio”) chipsets, which use 32-bit kernels. I also mentioned that using previous ideas, the vulnerability could theoretically be exploited on Mediatek’s newest chipset family (Dimensity, which uses 64-bit kernels) as well. After the conference, with my college Lorant Szabo we have completed this exercise. The vulnerabilities: CVE-2022-21765 and CVE-2022-21769 To recap, the vulnerabilities provide an OOB read/write in the Linux kernel driver that implements the Application (AP) and Cellular Processor (CP) interface, which Mediatek calls the CCCI driver.
Samsung’s neural processing framework has received a lot of attention from the security community since its introduction. Hardware isolation vulnerabilities have been demonstrated, both on the NPU and DSP cores (1, 2), that could be used to compromise the kernel. The surrounding kernel code was also exploited by multiple researchers to gain local privilege escalation (1, 2). I, too, explored in a previous blog post how a kmalloc overflow within the Samsung NPU kernel driver can be exploited to gain arbitrary kernel read/write access. As a follow up work, I’ve decided to investigate Huawei’s implementation of their neural processing framework. Despite being the second largest vendor on the Android market, recently there have been lot fewer technical papers published about the security of their devices.
Introduction Last summer I have discovered several vulnerabilities in the implementation of Samsung’s NPU device driver. While I was working on completing my proof of concept exploit, Ben Hawkes from Google’s Project Zero reported the same vulnerabilities to Samsung. Later that year Brandon Azad released an article documenting his approach of turning these bugs into an arbitrary kernel code execution exploit. At the same time, the team of aSiagaming, yeonnic, and say2 also found the same bugs and published a writeup, focusing on their method of exploitation and the post exploitation steps required to obtain root. What makes the initial bugs interesting, besides the triple collision, is that they provide two very distinct avenues for exploitation.