Feeds

Thought your Android phone was locked? THINK AGAIN

Another day, another vulnerability

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Android has taken another step to cement its place behind Java in the world of repeatedly-vulnerable software, with German group Curesec discovering that an attacker can get past users' PINs to unlock the phone.

In fact, the Curesec post states, the bug – present in Android 4.0 to 4.3 but not 4.4 – exposes any locking technique: PINs, passwords, gestures or facial recognition.

“The bug exists on the 'com.android.settings. ChooseLockGeneric class'. This class is used to allow the user to modify the type of lock mechanism the device should have,” Curesec writes.

A user changing the type of lock they're using should have to enter their previous lock – so if you swap from PIN to gesture, you would have to provide your PIN before Android allows the change.

The problem is that the program flow in the ChooseLockGeneric class lets an attacker bypass the confirmation:

“We can control the flow to reach the updatePreferencesOrFinish() method and see that IF we provide a Password Type the flow continues to updateUnlockMethodAndFinish(),” the post states. “Above we can see that IF the password is of type PASSWORD_QUALITY_UNSPECIFIED the code that gets executed and effectively unblocks the device.

“As a result, any rogue app can at any time remove all existing locks.”

Curesec has proof-of-concept code in its post. The bug has been designated CVE-2013-6271, and Curesec says it decided to go public after the Android Security Team stopped responding to its e-mails about the issue. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.