New Android malware can remotely root phones

By on April 5, 2012 at 5:40 PM.

New Android malware can remotely root phones

Lookout Mobile Security on Tuesday published a report stating that a known malicious Android program has been updated with the ability to harm a device without depending on a user’s interaction. The new version of the “Legacy Native” (LeNa) app utilizes an exploit called GingerBreak to gain root permission on Android phones. The new variant of LeNa hides its payload just past the End of Image marker of an otherwise fully-functional JPEG. The malware is then able to communicate with a command and control server to install and launch packages unbeknown to the phone’s user. According to the report, this new version of LeNa is currently being distributed in a fake version of Angry Birds Space, but the malicious program is not believed to have made its way into the Google Play marketplace at this time. More →

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Google Wallet prepaid service re-enabled after security fix

By on February 15, 2012 at 9:45 PM.

Google Wallet prepaid service re-enabled after security fix

Last week, two exploits concerning Google Wallet left users questioning the service’s security. One of the exploits allowed hackers to bypass PIN protection, but it was only present on rooted devices. A second exploit, however, did not require a handset to be rooted, leaving all Google Wallet users exposed. The company maintained that the service was secure but as a precautionary measure it disabled its prepaid card services, but Google announced on Tuesday that it has patched Wallet and has fixed the vulnerability. Security firm zVelo, however, is not satisfied with Google’s efforts. While the Mountain View-based company has suggested that users with rooted handsets don’t use Google Wallet, zVelo insists that a person can steal an Android phone and then root, thus performing the exploit to bypass the PIN. As an extra layer of security, it is recommended that users configure a passcode to protect their devices from unwanted access. More →

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Hackers crack Google Wallet security on rooted Galaxy Nexus [video]

By on February 9, 2012 at 9:50 PM.

Hackers crack Google Wallet security on rooted Galaxy Nexus [video]

The security experts at zVelo have discovered a vulnerability in Google Wallet that allows them to “easily reveal” users’ PINs. If a Google Nexus is rooted, Google Wallet’s PIN verification system can be cracked using a brute force attack. zVelo said on Wednesday that it immediately reported its findings to Google, and the company “agreed to work quickly to resolve it,” although the researchers said Google “ran into obstacles.” To fix the problem, the PIN verification must be moved into the secure element of the NFC chip in a device, however to do so Google must apparently coordinate with banks. Moreover, changing the way a PIN is stored will also change which company is responsible for its security. Read on for more. More →

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Google Wallet doesn’t properly protect personal data, security firm says

By on December 13, 2011 at 11:05 PM.

Google Wallet doesn’t properly protect personal data, security firm says

Security firm ViaForensics recently said Google Wallet does not properly protect personal data, including credit card balance information, on a rooted Nexus S smartphone. Google Wallet is an NFC-based mobile payment system for Android that is accepted by a number of retailers in the United States. It is currently only officially available on the Nexus S and Nexus S 4G. “While Google Wallet does a decent job securing your full credit cards numbers, the amount of data that Google Wallet stores unencrypted on the device is significant,” ViaForensics said in a recent report. “Many consumers would not find it acceptable if people knew their credit card balance or limits.” Read on for more. More →

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Hacker uncovers major iOS security flaw [video]

By on November 8, 2011 at 10:00 AM.

Hacker uncovers major iOS security flaw [video]

A major security flaw in Apple’s iOS operating system that could allow hackers to remotely gain unauthorized access to an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad has been uncovered by a security expert. Described by Forbes as a “serial Mac hacker,” Accuvant LABS computer security researcher Charlie Miller has uncovered a security flaw that allows hackers to build apps that look legitimate and pass through Apple’s App Store approval process. Using a code-signing vulnerability, however, the malicious apps will automatically connect to a remote server following installation and download new unapproved code that might grant hackers access to system files, personal data and a host of unauthorized functionality. Read on for more. More →

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Google to patch Android credentials vulnerability

By on May 18, 2011 at 2:29 PM.

Google to patch Android credentials vulnerability

Well that didn’t take long. Yesterday, we told you about an Android vulnerability found in ClientLogin that could have serious security ramifications. Using a dummy open access-point, a nefarious third party could passively — via Wi-Fi — collect authentication tokens to password protected services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Calendar stored on affected Android devices. Speaking with Mobilized’s Ina Fried, the Android-maker has stated that it is taking action, and fast. “Today we’re starting to roll out a fix which addresses a potential security flaw that could, under certain circumstances, allow a third party access to data available in calendar and contacts,” Google told the publication. “This fix requires no action from users and will roll out globally over the next few days.” The vulnerability will still be present in the company’s Picasa online photo offering, but Google stated that it is working to patch that service as well.

More →

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Skype patches Android client weakness; adds 3G calling

By on April 20, 2011 at 7:28 AM.

Skype patches Android client weakness; adds 3G calling

Last week, we told you about a weakness discovered in Skype’s Android client. The issue stemmed from a combination of incorrect file permissions and lack of encryption usage on the database files used to store contact information, chat history, and more. The company has gone ahead and updated said client, and as an added bonus has included the ability to make VoIP calls via your phone’s 3G data connection. “Calling over your 3G connection is available worldwide – now including the US,” reads the post. We can’t see any reason not to mosey on over to the Android Market and update to the latest version of Skype. The scannable QR code is after the jump. More →

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Skype acknowledges Android vulnerability, user data at risk [video]

By on April 15, 2011 at 7:12 PM.

Skype acknowledges Android vulnerability, user data at risk [video]

The detectives over at Android Police have found an interesting weakness in Skype for Android. The site has discovered that the popular VoIP chat client stores contact details, conversation logs, and a host of other information in a series of unprotected squlite3 databases. “Skype mistakenly left these files with improper permissions, allowing anyone or any app to read them,” reads the article. “Not only are they accessible, but completely unencrypted.” The vulnerability was initially found in the recently-leaked Skype build for Verizon’s HTC ThunderBolt, but upon further review the current build of the software was also found to have the issue. The article’s author has even provided a proof-of-concept application that can leverage the databases’ weakness. Skype has published an official response saying that the company takes privacy very seriously and is “working quickly to protect users from this vulnerability.” Hit the jump to see a video of the proof-of-concept in action. More →

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Adobe finds gaping security hole in latest version of Flash Player for PC, Android

By on April 12, 2011 at 1:58 PM.

Adobe finds gaping security hole in latest version of Flash Player for PC, Android

Adobe has identified a zero-day exploit in the latest version of Flash Player 10.2 for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. Using the the security hole, an attacker can potentially run malicious code and even take control of an affected system. While the vulnerability and potential damage to a system are significant, common sense will help users avoid the issue in most cases. The malicious code that takes advantage of this exploit is typically delivered as a Flash file embedded in a Microsoft Word document attached to an email. Most users in this day and age know to avoid such files. Adobe is currently working on a fix for the security hole, though the company has not stated when the fix might become available. More →

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BlackBerry vulnerability exposed at Pwn2Own; no fix in sight

By on March 17, 2011 at 12:42 PM.

BlackBerry vulnerability exposed at Pwn2Own; no fix in sight

In light of a WebKit vulnerability discovered at this year’s Pwn2Own conference in Vancouver, Research In Motion has issued a bulletin for its most security conscious customers. Affecting handsets running BlackBerry Device Software version 6.0 or higher, the exploit could allow an attacker to gain access to data stored on the media card or in the media storage area built into BlackBerry devices. RIM notes that the vulnerability does not grant attackers access to email, calendar, contact, or application store data. Regardless, if you’re reading this with your tinfoil hat on, the company has issued a list of workarounds that can mitigate your risk to the hack. Standalone users can disable JavaScript in their Internet browser — JavaScript is not the root of the problem, but the use of JavaScript is required to execute the vulnerability. BlackBerry Enterprise Server administrators can disable the BlackBerry browser altogether from the BES console — which, as you can imagine, has other implications. RIM has yet to comment on when a more permanent fix might become available, but it has issued a statement saying it is, “investigating the issue to determine the best resolution for protecting BlackBerry smartphone users.” More →

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Adobe issues warning for critical Flash Player, Adobe Reader vulnerability

By on March 15, 2011 at 8:11 PM.

Adobe issues warning for critical Flash Player, Adobe Reader vulnerability

Adobe has issued a security bulletin about a critical security flaw found in Adobe Flash Player affecting the Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Solaris, and Android operating systems. The vulnerability, labeled CVE-2011-0609, “could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.” The company reports that exploits are already in the wild — most prevalently attached to Flash (.swf) and Excel (.xls) files. Adobe notes that it is “aware” of exploits for Adobe Reader and Acrobat, but explains that “Adobe Reader X Protected Mode mitigations would prevent an exploit of this kind from executing.” The company has stated that it will issue a patch for its Flash Player sometime during the week of March 21st. Curiously, the company writes, “Because Adobe Reader X Protected Mode would prevent an exploit of this kind from executing, we are currently planning to address this issue in Adobe Reader X for Windows with the next quarterly security update for Adobe Reader, currently scheduled for June 14, 2011.” June? Wow. Now might be a good time to enable Protected Mode on Adobe’s PDF reader. More →

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iOS, BlackBerry OS fall at Pwn2Own

By on March 11, 2011 at 11:33 PM.

iOS, BlackBerry OS fall at Pwn2Own

Add Apple’s iOS and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS to the list of victims at this year’s Pwn2Own challenge. Conference veteran Charlie Miller, along with Dion Blazakis, deployed an exploit to iOS 4.2.1 through a vulnerability in Safari. By navigating to a custom-made webpage, the duo were able to execute remote code and gain access to the iOS address book. Vincenzo Iozzo, Willem Pinckaers, and Ralf Philipp Weinmann also utilized a WebKit-based vulnerability to take down a BlackBerry Torch running BlackBerry OS 6.0.0.246. The three researchers noted that the exploit used on the BlackBerry’s mobile OS was difficult to craft due to the lack of documentation, software tools, and resources available. They also noted that most of the operating systems security was achieved via obscurity, and stated that the company was “way behind the iPhone at the moment, from a security perspective.” No conference participants have yet to challenge Google’s Android or Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating systems. More →

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