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  1. #1
    Hang 'Em High
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    12.17.17 @ 10:02 AM
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    Google Android flaw found

    Researcher says flaw in Android creates phone risk

    http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/resear...ne-risk/nSP9C/

    WASHINGTON —

    Cellphones using Google's Android operating system are at risk of being disabled or wiped clean of their data, including contacts, music and photos because of a security flaw that was discovered several months ago but went unnoticed until now.

    Opening a link to a website or a mobile application embedded with malicious code can trigger an attack capable of destroying the memory card in Android-equipped handsets made by Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Sony Ericsson, rendering the devices useless, computer security researcher Ravi Borgaonkar wrote in a blog post Friday. Another code that can erase a user's data by performing a factory reset of the device appears to target only the newly released and top selling Galaxy S III and other Samsung phones, he wrote.

    Borgaonkar informed Google of the vulnerability in June, he said. A fix was issued quickly, he said, but it wasn't publicized, leaving smartphone owners largely unaware that the problem existed and how they could fix it.

    Google declined to comment. Android debuted in 2008 and now dominates the smartphone market. Nearly 198 million smartphones using Android were sold in the first six months of 2012, according to the research firm IDC. About 243 million Android-equipped phones were sold in 2011, IDC said.

    Versions of Android that are vulnerable include Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean, according to Borgaonkar. He said the Honeycomb version of Android, designed for tablets, needs to be tested to determine if it is at risk as well.

    Samsung, which makes most of the Android phones, said only early production models of the Galaxy S III were affected and a software update has been issued for that model. The company said it is conducting an internal review to determine if other devices are affected and what, if any, action is needed. Samsung said it is advising customers to check for software updates through the "Settings: About device: Software update" menu available on Samsung phones.

    Borgaonkar, a researcher at Germany's Technical University Berlin, said the bug works by taking advantage of functions in phones that allow them to dial a telephone number directly from a web browser. That convenience comes with risk, however. A hacker, or anyone with ill intent, can create a website or an app with codes that instruct the phones linking to those numbers to execute commands automatically, such as a full factory reset.

    The phone's memory card, known as a subscriber identity module, or SIM, can be destroyed remotely in the same way, Borgaonkar said. "Vulnerability in Android can be exploited to kill the SIM card permanently by clicking a single click," he wrote. "After the successful attack, the end user has to go to the mobile network operator and buy a new SIM card."

    While Borgaonkar has drawn attention to the problem, it's unclear how useful the vulnerability would be to cybercriminals who are primarily interested in profits or gaining a competitive advantage, said Jimmy Shah, a mobile security researcher at McAfee. "There's no benefit to the attacker if they can't make money off it or they can't steal your data," Shah said. "It's really not that useful."

    But the technique could cause huge headaches if it were harnessed to issue outbound phone calls, said Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure, a digital security company in Helsinki, Finland. "If that would be doable, we would quickly see real world attacks causing phones to automatically dial out to premium-rate numbers," he said.

  2. #2
    Good Enough Thai Boxer 9901's Avatar
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    08.28.16 @ 11:47 PM
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    Once again, another reason that I am glad I have an iPhone. You never hear about exploits or vulnerabilities with iOS and if they exist, they are patched rather quickly.
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  3. #3
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 11:22 AM
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    Too bad Android phones wipe the floor with the iPhone. Macs are great, I love my Mac, would never buy another PC. But I think iPhones are a joke. Give me my Motorola Razr anyday over it...I'll take my chances. Androids do eveything better than the iPhone, from email to the web.

    iPhones have had their issues...and they're are a lot of right now with the new one apparently. Yeah they'll get fixed, just like if there is an Android issue, it will get fixed. It's not like there haven't been patched OS's for the Android phone...there have been.
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  4. #4
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 08:12 AM
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    I don't and won't use all of the features of a smart phone, but I will say this: iPhones are much more intuitive, even if they do less. My mother has an Android which will beep loudly if a weather alert is issued even if in silent mode (we had lots of heat and flash flood warnings in the area this summer). She tried to figure it out. I tried to figure it out. I went through the entire settings app and the entire weather app and nothing.

    On an iPhone/iPad, you go into settings, find the app, and set alerts on or off.

    My girlfriend also had all kinds of stability issues with her Android. Since the iPhone--nada.

    To each their own. I know plenty who argue either way. But in my experience the ease of use and stability trump all else. Luckily, we have choices :-)

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk
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    You're gonna have more risk with the Android because of it being an 'open source' platform. I guess that's the trade off for more bells and whistles. My experience was more lag with the android.Perhaps because of the open source platform as well.


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  6. #6
    Atomic Punk CaboChris's Avatar
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    I'm kinda ignorant on the whole smartphone thing. I have an Android and I'm wondering are you supposed to have internet or phone security on them? Perhaps Norton or one of the others? Some kind of security app?

  7. #7
    Good Enough Thai Boxer 9901's Avatar
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    08.28.16 @ 11:47 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaboChris View Post
    I'm kinda ignorant on the whole smartphone thing. I have an Android and I'm wondering are you supposed to have internet or phone security on them? Perhaps Norton or one of the others? Some kind of security app?
    With Android, yes. At the very least, it couldnt hurt.

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  8. #8
    Atomic Punk CaboChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Boxer 9901 View Post
    With Android, yes. At the very least, it couldnt hurt.
    Thanks, I appreciate that!

  9. #9
    Unchained
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    10.19.13 @ 02:25 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Too bad Android phones wipe the floor with the iPhone. Macs are great, I love my Mac, would never buy another PC. But I think iPhones are a joke. Give me my Motorola Razr anyday over it...I'll take my chances. Androids do eveything better than the iPhone, from email to the web.

    iPhones have had their issues...and they're are a lot of right now with the new one apparently. Yeah they'll get fixed, just like if there is an Android issue, it will get fixed. It's not like there haven't been patched OS's for the Android phone...there have been.
    Yeah exactly... having developed for both, and given the iOS's current trend towards "isolation" (see the ditching of a map system that works for one that... well, doesn't) and the massive jumps forward in UI & UX in Android OS v 4 & 4.1, I can't see ever switching to iOS. I say this typing on a Mac, that if someone offered me an iPhone for free to replace my Samsung Galaxy Nexus, I'd tell 'em "Thanks, but no thanks."
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  10. #10
    Good Enough
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    I don't and won't use all of the features of a smart phone, but I will say this: iPhones are much more intuitive, even if they do less. My mother has an Android which will beep loudly if a weather alert is issued even if in silent mode (we had lots of heat and flash flood warnings in the area this summer). She tried to figure it out. I tried to figure it out. I went through the entire settings app and the entire weather app and nothing.

    On an iPhone/iPad, you go into settings, find the app, and set alerts on or off.

    My girlfriend also had all kinds of stability issues with her Android. Since the iPhone--nada.

    To each their own. I know plenty who argue either way. But in my experience the ease of use and stability trump all else. Luckily, we have choices :-)
    I'm with Brett and Rantz. For computing (especially graphics work) I'm a mac man all the way. But my phone is Android. I've tested the iPhone and it's not as good, in my opinion.

    As for the weather alert thing, somehow I turned on mine. Scared the bejezuz out of me the first time it went off. It's loud as hell, isn't it? The fix was easy for me. Open "Emergency Alert," open the settings and turn them off.

  11. #11
    Eruption markp's Avatar
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    Drop box, Google music and a host of other google and non-google apps ensure I'd be up and running in less than 30 minutes with all contacts, calendar and email fully restored..

    And yes, I COULD install sketchy apps and need to run Norton or some other security app...but I don't

  12. #12
    Eruption markp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    I don't and won't use all of the features of a smart phone, but I will say this: iPhones are much more intuitive, even if they do less. My mother has an Android which will beep loudly if a weather alert is issued even if in silent mode (we had lots of heat and flash flood warnings in the area this summer). She tried to figure it out. I tried to figure it out. I went through the entire settings app and the entire weather app and nothing.

    On an iPhone/iPad, you go into settings, find the app, and set alerts on or off.

    My girlfriend also had all kinds of stability issues with her Android. Since the iPhone--nada.

    To each their own. I know plenty who argue either way. But in my experience the ease of use and stability trump all else. Luckily, we have choices :-)
    On most droids, its an app called emergency alerts right in the app drawer..open it up and hit menu to go into settings.

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Which I will take a look at next time, and I appreciate the response, so thanks :-)

    My point was more that Apple does "intuitive" very, very well. It doesn't work for all, but a large amount of people like how it works. My iPad and the girlfriend's iPhone are very easy to maneuver. I haven't had that experience with Android, but as I said before, that's the beauty of choice.

  14. #14
    Eruption zoident's Avatar
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    I love my iPhone and iPad! And yes they are very easy to use.

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 11:43 AM
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    I love my iPad, but my Droid is ten times better than my iPhone.

    What a change for the better when I switched.
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