Feeds

Nexus phones carry SMS crash bug vuln

You have 1 new message: You've been p0wned

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
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

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
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.
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.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.