Feeds

How to crash a Windows mobile using MMS

Test code spotlights mobile malware menace

Reducing security risks from open source software

Security researchers have released proof-of-concept code that exploits vulnerabilities in MMS implementations in mobile phones running mobile versions of Windows.

The vulnerability was discovered six months ago by security researcher Collin Mulliner, who published the exploit at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin last week in a bid to force manufacturers to deal with the issue.

The flaw involves buffer overflow vulnerabilities in the SMIL (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language) protocol in MMS messages. As a result long MMS messages appended with malware may crash phones in such a way as to deposit hostile code in the memory of targeted devices. The IPAQ 6315 and i-mate PDA2k are confirmed as vulnerable but other devices running Pocket PC 2003 and Windows Smartphone 2003 are also likely to be at risk of attack using the technique.

Even in devices confirmed as vulnerable the attacker needs to know the correct memory slot where the MMS processing code is executing, so exploitation is far from easy. Malicious MMS message will most likely only crash a device rather than infecting it, reports anti-virus firm F-Secure.

"While [this] is very significant, it does not pose an immediate danger to any large group of users. Although it is possible to create an MMS worm or other malware that uses the vulnerability, this particular exploit cannot be directly used in creating malware," Jarno Niemela, a researcher at F-Secure's Labs, writes. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot
Dirty QWERTY a perfect P@ssword1 for garbage websites
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.