Feeds

RIM tells users of bloodied BlackBerry to disable JavaScript

More Pwn2Own fallout

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Research in Motion has suggested BlackBerry users disable JavaScript to protect themselves against a critical vulnerability that allows attackers to remotely execute malicious code and access confidential data stored on the phone.

Monday's unusual recommendation came four days after contestants in an annual hacking competition exposed a serious security vulnerability in a fully patched BlackBerry Torch 9800. By exploiting a bug in the phone's web browser, they were able to write a file to its storage system and steal a complete list of contacts and a cache of pictures stored on the device.

“Users of BlackBerry Device Software version 6.0 and later can disable the use of JavaScript in the BlackBerry Browser to prevent exploitation of the vulnerability,” RIM said in the advisory. “The issue is not in JavaScript but the use of JavaScript is necessary to exploit the vulnerability.”

RIM warned that disabling JavaScript may result in a “diminished browsing experience.” Exploits don't allow access to email and other personal information on the BlackBerry file system, RIM said.

Unlike Apple's iPhone and Microsoft's Windows 7 Mobile, the BlackBerry doesn't come with ASLR, or address space layout randomization, which makes it hard for attackers to predict the memory locations of their malicious payloads, according to the hacking contestants, who claimed $15,000 in prize money for their exploit. The RIM smartphones also lack another protection known as data execution prevention and offer only a rudimentary security sandbox to isolate apps from more sensitive parts of the OS, they said.

RIM frequently markets the BlackBerry as a safer smartphone alternative that makes them more suitable for corporate networks, where security is at a premium.

The integer overflow that felled the BlackBerry was found in Webkit, the same browser rendering engine used in both the iPhone and smartphones that run on Google's Android operating system.

Members of RIM's security team are “investigating the issue to determine the best resolution for protecting” users. Affected models include the Torch 9800, Bold 9700, Bold 9650, Curve 9300, and Pearl 9100. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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?