Feeds

PacketVideo opens doorway to Android

Google fans told to down browsers for the duration

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

G1 owners have been warned to stop browsing immediately or risk exposing themselves to the worst of the internet, after researchers found a flaw in PacketVideo's runtime for Android.

The flaw was presented by security researcher Charlie Miller at the recent Schmoocon conference, as reported by ReadWriteWeb, and details are available at oCERT. Given the exploit allows arbitrary code execution, provided within a specially-crafted MP3 file, the security implications are serious - but not as serious as they could be thanks to Android's layered security model.

Not that the complexity of the exploit, or the robust security model, have prevented Miller from recommending that G1 users stop browsing entirely, or at least limit themselves to only visiting trusted sites using the T-Mobile network (avoiding the potential for DNS-spoofing, assuming T-Mobile's DNS' are secure).

ReadWriteWeb contacted Mocana's James Blaisdell for a second opinion, and got the same advice, though it's worth noting that James is CTO of a company that supplies security software for Android.

Google seems less concerned. Indeed the company has had a fix knocking around in its source tree since Monday this week, but T-Mobile hasn't got round to pushing it out to Android users yet.

Even if the flaw was successfully exploited, no mean feat in itself, the attacker would only have access to the browse at best, and more-likely would be restricted to the media player.

That's not to say that the flaw shouldn't be fixed, or that Charlie Miller doesn't deserve our respect for identifying the bug, but calling on Android users to stop browsing is little more than showboating and we'll continue to browse the web on out G1 for the moment, while we wait for a proper mobile-phone security issue to come up.®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.