A recently discovered vulnerability, indexed as CVE-2023-20963, has been identified within the WorkSource component of various Android operating systems. This vulnerability could potentially allow an attacker to escalate their local privileges without requiring additional execution privileges or user interaction. The affected Android versions include Android-11, Android-12, Android-12L, and Android-13. In this long read, we will delve into the details of this security issue, explore code snippets, and provide relevant links to original references.

Android Security Bulletin Reference: A-220302519

Vulnerability Overview

WorkSource is a component within Android operating systems that enables applications to manage and organize work-related tasks. It allows apps to share information about work-related activities within a specified system. In this specific vulnerability, a possible parcel mismatch has been identified, which could lead to local escalation of privilege with no additional execution privileges needed.

A parcel in Android is a container for serialized data, enabling developers to store structured data inside it. Parcel mismatches can occur when a parcel is read incorrectly, causing an error in the data being sent or received within the Android operating system.

Exploit Details

To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would need to craft a malicious app or code that targets the affected WorkSource component. Although user interaction is not required for exploitation, the attacker would require access to the targeted device to install the malicious app or code (usually through various forms of social engineering or malware).

Once the malicious app is installed on the device and executed, it can leverage the parcel mismatch issue in WorkSource to escalate its privileges within the Android operating system. This would potentially allow the attacker to take control of essential functions, access sensitive data, and perform unauthorized actions on the affected device.

Here's a code snippet to provide an example of how an attacker might exploit the vulnerability

// Example of a malicious method that targets the WorkSource parcel mismatch vulnerability (CVE-2023-20963)

public void exploitWorkSourceParcelMismatch() {
    try {
        // Craft malicious WorkSource data
        Parcel maliciousParcel = Parcel.obtain();
        // Add specific data related to the vulnerable WorkSource component to the parcel
        maliciousParcel.writeValue(...); // Replace "..." with code to generate the exploit

        // Obtain the WorkSource service to target
        IWorkSourceService targetService = getWorkSourceService();

        // Execute the exploit against the service

        // Release the parcel resource
    } catch (Exception e) {
        Log.e("Exploit", "Failed to exploit WorkSource parcel mismatch", e);

Note: The provided code snippet is for educational purposes only and should not be used for malicious purposes.


To mitigate this vulnerability, Android has released security patches as part of their monthly security updates. The Android Security Bulletin A-220302519 contains more information about the specific patches.

It is crucial for device manufacturers, carriers, and end-users to apply these security updates to their devices as soon as possible. By installing the patches, the potential for exploitation of this vulnerability is greatly diminished.

Aside from applying security patches, users should also be cautious when downloading apps and granting permissions to installed applications. By following recommended security practices, users can help protect their devices from various kinds of cyber threats.


CVE-2023-20963 is a critical vulnerability within Android's WorkSource component that could potentially allow local escalation of privileges without requiring any user interaction. By understanding how this vulnerability works and taking necessary precautions, users and developers can better secure their devices and applications from the exploitation of this security risk.

Stay vigilant, keep your Android devices updated, and always practice safe browsing and application usage to minimize the risk associated with such security vulnerabilities.


Published on: 03/24/2023 20:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 03/28/2023 13:46:00 UTC