Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Android SMS phishing exploit uncovered

Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean all affected

Article comments

A vulnerability that could be exploited to send deceptive text messages from some Android devices as part of a phishing scheme has been uncovered by a researcher at North Carolina State University.

Particularly worrisome is the fact that the vulnerability doesn't need any elevated app permissions in order to function, according to NCSU computer science professor Xuxian Jiang.

"The vulnerability allows a running [untrusted] app on the phone to fake an incoming SMS text message with arbitrary content, including the text message itself as well as the 'sending' phone number, which can be your friend in the contact list or simply your trusted banks," Jiang said.

The flaw is apparently present in the Android Open-Source Project, and some versions of the software ranging from 1.6 (Donut) to 4.1 (Jelly Bean) are vulnerable. Jiang said that his team has been able to exploit it on the Samsung's Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S and Galaxy S III, HTC's One X and Inspire, and the Xiaomi MI-One.

Jiang praised Google for reacting quickly, confirming the presence of the vulnerability within two days of receiving the team's report. He expressed hope that a rapid patch would be forthcoming.

Jiang did not provide full technical details of the flaw, citing responsible disclosure issues, although he did describe the vulnerability as difficult to detect but easy to exploit, once found.

Jiang has been at the forefront of the discovery of several other Android security flaws, including, in June, a rootkit attack that might have allowed malicious software to be concealed on an affected device. He is the founder of the Android Malware Genome Project, an academic investigation of security threats affecting the platform.



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *