Feeds

Text message freezes Siemens 35 and 45 phones

Patch available

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

Users of Siemens 35 and 45 series phones have been warned of a bug which allows the handsets to be disabled by an incoming text message.

The fault is linked to the enhanced messaging service technology in the phones. A correctly formatted incoming message can freeze the 35 series phone immediately and cause the 45 series to hang for up to two minutes. To activate the flaw, the message would need to contain a single word from the phone's language menu, preceded by a special character and surrounded by quotes, such as "%English" or "%Deutsch."

The incoming message effectively instructs the handset to display an EMS symbol which doesn't exist in its library, freezing or stalling the handset, depending on the model. The bug is not thought to erase or corrupt information on the handsets, but may force users to turn the phone off and on again.

While Siemens has moved to downplay the bug, users complained that the flaw constitutes a genuine Denial of Service vulnerability. The 35 series is no longer in production; a software update for the 45 series from the Siemens Web site.

Siemens has been aware of the bug for some time but PC World reports that the company did not publicise the flaw in case attackers exploited it.

The Siemens flaw follows a glitch discovered last month in the Nokia 6210, which was also found to be susceptible to Denial of Service attacks. A vulnerability could let an attacker use the phone's VCard attachments facility to reboot or disable the handset.

Nokia said it did not intend release a patch for that vulnerability, as chances for its exploitation were considered remote. The Nokia flaw was discovered by US company @Stake, which said the bug illustrated the need for new mobile phone features to be thoroughly tested and debugged before introduction. © ENN

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.