Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Androids Destroyed

There was a hacking contest in which hackers were paid out up to $117,500, equivalent to Ksh 10,575,000. The contestants were to exploit handheld devices including Samsung Galaxy S4 and Nexus 4. Pinkie Pie, an under 21 hacker was crowned winner after using drive-by attacks to take over Nexus 4 and Samsung Galaxy S4, both with are android based devices.

Pinkie Pie’s hacks drew applause from the audience. Pinkie used a malicious site to compromise the security of the devices and then went ahead to execute a code on the android devices. A senior security content developer at HP, Heather Goudey said that they had witnessed a successful exploit on the two devices within minutes; they were ready to pay out $50,000 (Ksh450,000) for the breach. Pinkie compromised chrome on both Nexus 4 and Samsung Galaxy S4 just for a good measure.

Pinkie’s exploit took advantage of two vulnerabilities. The first one is an integer overflow that affects chrome and the second is a chrome vulnerability that resulted in a full sandbox escape. The implications for this vulnerability are the possibility of remote code execution on the affected device.

A report by ESET indicates that cybercriminals are increasingly targeting android devices with malware detections rising in the West and China. It’s therefore important that you add a layer of security by availing ESET Mobile Security for your device. Additionally, get acquainted tothe nitty-gritty of making your device more secure using the built-in tools.


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