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: Breakthrough elastic cloud-to cloud networking

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

Body by smartphone

2 hours ago

We love our smartphones. Since they marched out of the corporate world and into the hands of consumers about 10 years ago, we've relied more and more on our iPhone and Android devices to organize our schedules, ...

Breakthrough elastic cloud-to cloud networking

4 hours ago

Scientists from AT&T, IBM and Applied Communication Sciences (ACS) announced a proof-of-concept technology that reduces set up times for cloud-to-cloud connectivity from days to seconds. This advance is a major step forward ...

Security CTO to detail Android Fake ID flaw at Black Hat

18 hours ago

Where have you heard this before: A team of security researchers discover a security flaw in Android devices. This is, however, news. This time, experts are talking about a flaw that involves a widespread ...

Software provides a clear overview in long documents

Jul 25, 2014

In the future, a software will help users better analyze long texts such as the documents for calls for bids, which are often more than one thousand pages long. Experts at Siemens' global research unit Corporate ...

User comments : 0