Newsletters
The Enterprise Security Supersite NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Home Network Security Viruses & Malware Hackers Security Solutions More Topics...
Build Apps 5x Faster
For Half the Cost
Enterprise Cloud Computing

On Force.com
Wireless Security
Tame your scariest paperwork. Find Out How
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Samsung Smartphones Vulnerable to Remote Wiping
Samsung Smartphones Vulnerable to Remote Wiping

By Barry Levine
September 25, 2012 12:21PM

Bookmark and Share
If a Samsung smartphone with the TouchWiz interface is set to automatically load a site that has been delivered via a SMS message, a malicious remote-wipe code can also be delivered. Researchers advise deactivating any automatic site loading in software on Samsung devices that read QR or NFC codes, in addition to not clicking on links that are unknown.
 


A variety of Samsung smartphones can be wiped by a remote factory reset. That vulnerability, which includes the popular Galaxy S III, was highlighted at the recent Ekoparty security conference in Argentina.

The vulnerability could be induced through a single line of code, according to security researcher Ravi Borgaonkar. He said that the reset can be accomplished via a simple code using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) that can be delivered to the smartphone by a Web site, near-field communication (NFC) wireless transmission, or a QR code.

TouchWiz User Interface

Only Samsung devices running the company's TouchWiz user interface appear to be vulnerable, while those devices by the manufacturer that are only running basic Android will show the code in the dialer screen but not automatically run it. The default setting on the devices with TouchWiz is to dial the code.

There has been confirmation that, in addition to the Galaxy S III, the USSD code can work on the Galaxy Beam, S Advance, Galaxy Ace or Galaxy S II, but not the Nexus, which runs only basic Android. Once the process begins, it cannot be stopped.

Some industry observers have indicated that a key issue is how the TouchWiz dialer handles the USSD code, because it loads the reset code and then automatically dials it. Samsung has not yet issued a statement, but company representatives have told news media that the vulnerability report is being investigated.

Additionally, if a phone is set to automatically load a site that has been delivered via a SMS message, the USSD code can also be delivered. The researchers advise deactivating any automatic site loading in software on Samsung devices that read QR or NFC codes, in addition to the standard precaution not to click on any links that are unknown.

Android Vulnerability

Borgaonkar reports that a USSD code could also be included that could deactivate the SIM card at the same that it wipes the phone.

Security researchers have been warning that Android mobile devices are very susceptible to attacks and, as Android has become the top mobile platform, it has also grown into a much more visible target.

A report released earlier this month by security firm McAfee Labs, for instance, said that Android-based mobile devices continue to be the most targeted mobile platform. It found that "virtually all new mobile malware detected in Q2 2012 was directed" at that platform, in the form of SMS-sending malware, mobile botnets, spyware and destructive Trojans.

In June, a company called Lookout Mobile Security said that some providers of free Android mobile apps were accessing personal information without the user's notification or consent, through the use of "adware."

Lookout found about 5 percent of the apps it analyzed used these kinds of aggressive ad networks. Google has been criticized in some quarters for not providing pro-active monitoring of Android apps on its Google Play marketplace.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


 Wireless Security
1.   NSC Backs Disclosing Vulnerabilities
2.   McAfee Tool To Stop the Heartbleed
3.   How, Why Heartbleed Got Its Name
4.   Is Heartbleed the Biggest Threat Ever?
5.   States Probing Massive Data Breach


advertisement
McAfee Tool To Stop the Heartbleed
Firm offering it free to users.
Average Rating:
Is Heartbleed the Biggest Threat Ever?
Widespread extent puts millions at risk.
Average Rating:
States Probing Massive Data Breach
Credit giant Experian in the hot seat.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
What Verizon's Data Breach Report Can Teach Enterprises
It’s probably not a jaw-dropper, but cyberespionage is officially on the rise. And the use of stolen or misused credentials is still the leading way the bad guys gain access to corporate information.
 
Top Cyberthreats Exposed by Verizon Report
Beyond Heartbleed, there are cyberthreats vying to take down enterprise networks, corrupt smartphones, and wreak havoc on businesses. Verizon is exposing these threats in a new report.
 
Where Do Web Sites Stand, Post-Heartbleed?
A security firm says the vast majority of Web sites have patched themselves to protect against the Heartbleed bug, but now there are questions raised on the reliability of open-source programs.
 

Navigation
Enterprise Security Today
Home/Top News | Network Security | Viruses & Malware | Hackers | Security Solutions | Mobile Security | Disaster Recovery | Windows Security
Data Security | EST Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.