Android phones are still vulnerable to SMS-based attacks according to researchers at Context Information Security. One of the bugs found by Context in older models of Samsung Galaxy devices could be triggered remotely and rendered the device unusable until a factory reset was performed, leaving users open to ransomware attacks. The vulnerability was triggered by the type of SMS messages sent by manufacturers and network operators for configuring carrier and other device configuration settings.
While Context alerted the Samsung Mobile Security Team who were quick to fix the problem and release a security update, the researchers believe that it is likely similar vulnerabilities exist in other Android devices. A detailed blog describing the vulnerabilities has been published today at: https://www.contextis.com/resources/blog/wap-just-happened-my-samsung-galaxy/
“Modern mobile devices are generally difficult for attackers to exploit due to increasing protection offered by the operating systems, but all phones still rely on old, complex technologies for basic functionality that are often poorly understood and documented, leaving room for bugs and ambiguities to exist,” said Neil Biggs, Head of Research at Context. “The complexity of exploiting Android devices has escalated to the point where an attacker usually requires a chain of bugs to achieve the desired effect and just looking at one specific technology we found four separate bugs.”
Source: IT Security Guru