Feeds

Nexus phones carry SMS crash bug vuln

You have 1 new message: You've been p0wned

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A Romanian security researcher has published a vulnerability that allows someone to crash a remote Nexus 4 or Nexus 5 phone – by sending them a crafted “Class 0” text message.

Instead of falling into a user's inbox and waiting for someone to read the message, a Class 0 or “flash message” pops up immediately as a message window that the user is supposed to decide whether or not to save.

On the Nexus phones, according to Levi9's Bogdan Alecu, the flash message is displayed above all active windows, with a semi-transparent overlay dimming them.

The bug that turns this into a vulnerability is this: Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 don't give audio notifications of incoming flash messages. So an attacker can pile message upon message on a victim until the phone begins to misbehave.

In this presentation to DefCamp 2013, Alecu identified various impacts of an attack in which more than 30 messages are sent to a target: either the messaging application crashes, or the phone reboots, or Internet access collapses.

If the victim's phone has SIM PIN-protection enabled, the phone will stop responding to the network.

Class Zero Attack

Alecu complains that Google has known of the flax for more than a year with no fix announced. In the absence of an official fix, he points to this app, which is designed to act as a firewall against Class 0 messages. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
SMASH the Bash bug! Red Hat, Apple scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Desperate VXers enslave FREEZERS in DDoS bot
Updated Spike malware targets Asia
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.