OnePlus Nord 2’s latest update fixes root vulnerability, but kernel sources remain broken for months
It’s fair to say that the OnePlus Nord 2 comes with a number of surprising elements. While one of those surprises is the inclusion of a MediaTek SoC, another recently came into the picture in the form of a security vulnerability. The vulnerability allowed an attacker, just with physical access to your device and a computer at hand, to gain access to a root shell without even needing to have USB debugging left on. Thankfully though, the OEM has been relatively quick to address the issue by issuing a quick update.
A new stable channel update of OxygenOS for the OnePlus Nord 2 is currently rolling out across the globe. According to the official changelog, the latest A.14 build optimizes the stability of the system. It also brings the November 2021 Android security patches to the European and the global variants, as they missed out on those patches in the previous update. Matter of fact, this build also fixes the root shell vulnerability, although OnePlus doesn’t explicitly mention it anywhere in the changelog.
The verification part is actually quite simple. Upon installation, all you need to do is reboot your OnePlus Nord 2 to the stock recovery mode. Next, connect the device to a PC/Mac, and you shouldn’t find any USB debugging interface at all.
Whenever OEMs release a new smartphone, we usually see a number of its first OTA updates focused on optimization and bug fixes. Well, this has happened with the OnePlus Nord 2 and its software is continuing to be worked on nearly five months after it was released. Nonetheless, OnePlus simply fails to keep up the same pace when it comes to releasing the kernel sources.
To recall, the company did publish the kernel source for the OnePlus Nord 2 back in August. The initial release was based on OxygenOS A.07. Unfortunately, not a single public commit corresponding to subsequent updates is visible on OnePlus’ official GitHub repo. Users and developers rightfully deserve access to updated kernel source codes, and the lack of such an important part of the Nord 2’s kernel source means that tweaking and tinkering on this device could be really troublesome.
This transgression isn’t a mere inconvenience for the developer community (via PiunikaWeb), it’s also reprehensible as OnePlus is effectively violating the General Public License by not providing the GPLv2 licensed source code in a timely manner. Without up-to-date sources, for example, we won’t get fully working custom kernels and the custom ROM diversity will eventually stagnate and suffer for the OnePlus Nord 2.
At the end of the day, much of the trust and enthusiasm OnePlus has built behind their devices will get irreparably harmed, if these issues persist or such reluctance to comply with the GPLv2 manifests itself in the future.
Download OxygenOS A.14 for the OnePlus Nord 2
Thanks to XDA Recognized Developer yshalsager for the download links!