Feeds

HTC to plug private data backdoor leak slurp vuln

Fix on the way for promiscuous Droid system app

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

HTC has admitted some of its Android handsets have a flaw which could allow malicious apps to read customer locations and account details, but a fix is on the way.

The flaw was spotted last week and HTC were alerted to the flaw; now the mobe maker has admitted the problem exists and is working towards developing a fix that will be pushed out to handsets as soon as it's properly tested.

The vulnerability stems from HTC's decision to log user activity using an application which was, itself, unsecured. Applications that successfully asked for internet privileges could access the logging application and slurp details of user accounts and locations as well as various bits of system information.

The flaw was spotted by one Trevor Eckhart, who dropped HTC a line and gave the company five days to respond before taking the matter public, on the grounds of responsible disclosure, with a detailed breakdown of the vulnerability and some demonstration code.

HTC is keen to point out that they've no evidence of anyone exploiting the vulnerability, at least not yet, and that it is "working very diligently to quickly release a security update that will resolve the issue on affected devices". That patch will be sent out over the air once its been given the green light by testers, so HTC users should expect to see it soon.

Until then they might like to hold off installing applications which ask for internet privileges, though that is most of them these days. HTC reckons customers should avoid "installing and updating applications from untrusted sources", but given the security of Google's Marketplace relies entirely on peer reporting it might be better to hold off installing any unknown brands until the fix is in. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.