Feeds

Israeli Android researchers demo VPN vulnerability

Malicious app can redirect traffic invisibly

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The Ben Gurion University security researchers who tangled with Samsung over its KitKat security implementation have posted a follow-up, in which they demonstrate how a malicious app could bypass some VPN protections in Android.

Back in December, the university's Cyber Security Labs stated that Samsung's Knox implementation was insecure, but last week the mobe-maker and Google agreed that the problem lies in Android rather than being specific to one handset vendor.

The researchers now say that in a related vulnerability, they have used a malicious app to redirect a user's VPN connection to a server which is then able to capture user traffic. As the researchers state:

“This vulnerability enables malicious apps to bypass active VPN configuration (no ROOT permissions required) and redirect secure data communications to a different network address. These communications are captured in CLEAR TEXT (no encryption), leaving the information completely exposed. This redirection can take place while leaving the user completely oblivious, believing the data is encrypted and secure.”

The vulnerability is demonstrated in the video below.

Youtube Video

The researchers haven't published the code for their exploit, but say they have notified Google of the vulnerability and will provide more detail once the problem has been patched.

While the vulnerability provides deep access to user communications that are supposed to be protected, it's important to note that it can only be exploited if a user can be tricked into installing a malicious application.

Also, SSL / TLS traffic remains encrypted: it can be captured, but not in plain text.

At this stage, the researchers have only tested their attack on Android 4.3 KitKat. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
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.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
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.