Sometimes a word or sentence is enough to destroy friendships and relationships. In computing, pressing Y instead of N can create a nightmare for even the most experienced IT Pro. So it would be very frustrating if Samsung allowed a single line of code to be remotely executed, wiping your near full Galaxy S III, wouldn’t it?
Security researchers have discovered that one line of code is all it takes to start an unstoppable factory-reset of the S III, opening the possibilities for malicious websites to completely wipe the handset, restoring it to it’s out of the box experience.
Using a pair of zero day vulnerabilities, a team of security researchers from U.K.-based MWR Labs hacked into a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone running Android 4.0.4 by beaming an exploit via NFC (Near Field Communications).
The team -- Tyrone Erasmus, Jacques Louw, Jon Butler and Nils (yes, that Nils) -- carted off a $30,000 cash prize as part of the EuSecWest mobile Pwn2Own hacker contest.
Over half of Android devices are vulnerable to known security flaws that can be exploited by malicious applications to gain complete access to the operating system and the data stored on it, according to a report from mobile security firm Duo Security.
This conclusion is based on scans performed during the last couple of months with X-Ray, a free Android vulnerability assessment tool developed by Duo Security. X-Ray scans devices for known privilege escalation vulnerabilities that exist in various versions of the mobile operating system.
Google won't be able to compete with the attention lavished on Apple for the launch of the sixth-generation iPhone, but it did announce the notable milestone late tonight of half a billion device activations.
"Today is a big day for Android... 500 million devices activated globally, and over 1.3 million added every single day," said Hugo Bara, Android's director of product management, in a Google+ post. It's not clear how many devices are replacing older ones, though.
There's been a lot of news lately on how Android mobile devices are malware's new favorite victims. While Google has been working to beef up security for its mobile OS, wireless carriers are also pitching in.
Verizon announced the launch of its McAfee "Mobile Security" app for Android today, which aims to help subscribers protect stored data on their smartphones. More specifically the paid version of the app lets users remotely locate, alarm, lock, and wipe data from their device.