Find My Phone does just one thing but Samsung's messed it up
Hackers can p0wn smartmobes through handset location services
Researcher Mohamed Baset has reported a zero day flaw that allows hackers to lock a host of Samsung phones with the lost device feature.
Phones could be remotely locked, unlocked, or made to ring, Baset demonstrated.
The US National Vulnerability Database warned the wider public about the flaws in an advisory rated in risk 7.8 out of 10.
"The Remote Controls feature on Samsung mobile devices does not validate the source of lock-code data received over a network, which makes it easier for remote attackers to cause a denial of service (screen locking with an arbitrary code) by triggering unexpected Find My Mobile network traffic," the agency wrote.
The value of locking and ringing Samsung phones en masse was obvious for frequenters of web cesspits such as 4Chan but it could open an opportunity for others to hold owners to ransom.
There's precedent for such attacks: last May an attacker using the handle "Oleg Pliss" locked scores of antipodean iPhones and demanded $50 to unlock the devices.
That bid failed miserably despite the efforts of a few victims to pay up because Pliss failed to register the payable email address, while users still had the option of wiping their devices.®