Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Some smartphone models more vulnerable to attack

Date:
November 30, 2011
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Some smartphones specifically designed to support the Android mobile platform have incorporated additional features that can be used by hackers to bypass Android's security features, making them more vulnerable to attack. Android has the largest share of the smartphone market in the US.

New research from North Carolina State University shows that some smartphones specifically designed to support the Android mobile platform have incorporated additional features that can be used by hackers to bypass Android's security features, making them more vulnerable to attack. Android has the largest share of the smartphone market in the U.S.

Related Articles


"Some of these pre-loaded applications, or features, are designed to make the smartphones more user-friendly, such as features that notify you of missed calls or text messages," says Dr. Xuxian Jiang, an assistant professor of computer science at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the research. "The problem is that these pre-loaded apps are built on top of the existing Android architecture in such a way as to create potential 'backdoors' that can be used to give third-parties direct access to personal information or other phone features."

In essence, these pre-loaded apps can be easily tricked by hackers. For example, these "backdoors" can be used to record your phone calls, send text messages to premium numbers that will charge your account or even completely wipe out all of your settings.

The researchers have tested eight different smartphone models, including two "reference implementations" that were loaded only with Google's baseline Android software. "Google's reference implementations and the Motorola Droid were basically clean," Jiang says. "No real problems there."

However, five other models did not fare as well. HTC's Legend, EVO 4G and Wildfire S, Motorola's Droid X and Samsung's Epic 4G all had significant vulnerabilities -- with the EVO 4G displaying the most vulnerabilities.

The researchers notified manufacturers of the vulnerabilities as soon as they were discovered, earlier this year.

"If you have one of these phones, your best bet to protect yourself moving forward is to make sure you accept security updates from your vendor," Jiang says. "And avoid installing any apps that you don't trust completely."

Researchers now plan to test these vulnerabilities in other smartphone models and determine whether third-party firmware has similar vulnerabilities.

The paper, "Systematic Detection of Capability Leaks in Stock Android Smartphones," will be presented Feb. 7, 2012, at the 19th Network and Distributed System Security Symposium in San Diego, Calif. The paper was co-authored by Jiang and NC State Ph.D. students Michael Grace, Yajin Zhou and Zhi Wang. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Army Research Office.

The full paper, with technical details, is available here.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Some smartphone models more vulnerable to attack." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111130100228.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2011, November 30). Some smartphone models more vulnerable to attack. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111130100228.htm
North Carolina State University. "Some smartphone models more vulnerable to attack." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111130100228.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

No, A Google Exec Did Not Predict An Internet Apocalypse

No, A Google Exec Did Not Predict An Internet Apocalypse

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) — Earlier this week, a Google exec made headlines for saying "the Internet will disappear," but that doesn&apos;t quite mean what it sounds like. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tim Cook Made 8 Times Less Than Another Apple Exec In 2014

Tim Cook Made 8 Times Less Than Another Apple Exec In 2014

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) — Tim Cook&apos;s total compensation more than doubled in 2014 to $9.2 million, but his pay was still less than four other Apple executives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) — In light of high-profile plane disappearances in the past year, the NTSB has called for changes to make finding missing aircraft easier. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins