Researchers ID 'smishing' vulnerability in Android

Nov 05, 2012 by Matt Shipman

(Phys.org)—Mobile security researchers have identified a new vulnerability in popular Android platforms, including Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean. The vulnerability has been confirmed by Google, and will be addressed in a future Android release.

Specifically, Xuxian Jiang's research team at NC State has identified an SMS-phishing ("smishing") vulnerability. If an Android user downloads an infected app, the attacking program can make it appear that the user has received an SMS, or text, message from someone on the phone's contact list or from trusted banks. This fake message can solicit personal information, such as passwords for user accounts.

"For responsible disclosure, we will not publish the details of the vulnerability until an ultimate fix is out," Jiang says. "However, we think all recent Android phones are vulnerable."

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Pending the release of a fix from Google, Jiang says "users are encouraged to be cautious when downloading and installing apps (particularly from unknown sources). As always, it is important to pay close attention to received SMS text messages, in order to avoid being duped by possible phishing attacks."

Explore further: Microsoft CEO is driving data-culture mindset

More information: A full write-up from Jiang's team is available here: ttp://www.csc.ncsu.edu/faculty/jiang/smishing.html

Related Stories

Apple says it's fixed iPhone SMS vulnerability

Jul 31, 2009

(AP) -- Apple Inc. says it has fixed an iPhone vulnerability that lets hackers knock people offline - and possibly take over the phones - by sending them specially crafted text messages.

Microsoft engineer eyeballs Android botnet

Jul 04, 2012

(Phys.org) -- A Microsoft engineer has spotted a botnet that targets Yahoo! Mail users using Android devices. Terry Zink , who also writes an Internet security blog, said he has evidence of a botnet running ...

Recommended for you

Microsoft CEO is driving data-culture mindset

10 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Microsoft's future strategy: is all about leveraging data, from different sources, coming together using one cohesive Microsoft architecture. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday, both in ...

Enabling dynamic prioritization of data in the cloud

Apr 14, 2014

IBM inventors have patented a cloud computing invention that can improve quality of service for clients by enabling data to be dynamically modified, prioritized and shared across a cloud environment.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Simplicity is key to co-operative robots

A way of making hundreds—or even thousands—of tiny robots cluster to carry out tasks without using any memory or processing power has been developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Microsoft CEO is driving data-culture mindset

(Phys.org) —Microsoft's future strategy: is all about leveraging data, from different sources, coming together using one cohesive Microsoft architecture. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday, both in ...

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, ...

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

(Phys.org) —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...