Physical RAM attack can root Android and possibly other devices
Researchers have devised a new way to compromise Android devices without exploiting any software vulnerabilities and instead of taking advantage of a physical design weakness in RAM chips. The attack technique could also affect other ARM and x86-based devices and computers.
The attack stems from the push over the past decade to pack more DRAM (dynamic random-access memory) capacity onto increasingly smaller chips, which can lead to memory cells on adjacent rows leaking electric charges to one another under certain conditions.
For example, repeated and rapid accessing of physical memory locations — an action now dubbed “hammering” — can cause the bit values from adjacent locations to flip from 0 to 1 or the other way around.