Print 82 comment(s) - last by callmeroy.. on Jul 7 at 8:48 AM

  (Source: Attack of the Show)

A gaping hole in the iPhone 3G S's beefed up security, allows a packet of code to be fired into it via SMS and compromise the entire system. Apple says that it will fix the major flaw by the end of July.  (Source: AppleIPhoneReview)
IPhone SMS vulnerability could allow malicious users to install and execute malware

Recently, Apple has struggled with the security ramifications of a higher commercial profile, and seeing an increasing number of OS X malware.  Now another security flaw has been found, this time in the iPhone OS.  The flaw allows attackers to gain root access to the iPhone's underlying OS, allowing them to install and execute malicious programs at will.

The iPhone apparently automatically executes binary code sent in SMS messages.  Messages are limited to 140 bytes, but this is little deterrence as longer programs can be broken up into several messages, which the phone automatically reassembles.  While other applications such as the Safari browser on the phone only enjoy access to their sandbox, the SMS system is automatically granted root access, and SMS commands execute as root.

Charlie Miller, during a presentation at the SyScan conference in Singapore on Thursday introduced the vulnerability to the public.  He declined to go into specific details or offer his proof-of-concept code to the public, as he has entered under an agreement with Apple.  Mr. Miller did state, "SMS is a great vector to attack the iPhone."

He went on to describe several examples of how such an attack could prove beneficial to malicious parties.  Among his ideas were to use the phone's GPS technology to track people, to turn on the phone's microphone to snoop on meetings or conversations, and to use groups of the infected phones to form a botnet and launch distributed denial-of-service attacks.

Apple will have a fix ready by the end July, it says.  Mr. Miller says he will hold off on releasing details of his attack until then.  He will present the attack in its full glory at the Black Hat USA 2009 conference in Las Vegas.  Mr. Miller is the author of The Mac Hacker's Handbook, one of the leading resources for prospective Apple hackers.

He praises Apple's efforts with the iPhone saying that the stripped down version of OS X provides less attack opportunities.  He says that lack of support for Adobe Flash and Java while an annoyance to users actually aid security, as these are traditional attack vectors.  He also notes the phone's provisions to only run Apple-signed code and to provide hardware encryption as other promising features.  

Many of these features were added in the new iPhone 3G S, but were not present in the iPhone 3G leading the iPhone 3G to receive failing marks in a recent security study.  Mr. Miller concludes, "The iPhone is more secure than OS X, but SMS could be a critical vulnerability."

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RE: fsardis and his iDick debacle
By ice456789 on 7/2/2009 7:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
Lexus lacked manual transmission too.
Missing cut and paste on a $600 phone is more like having a non-adjustable driver's seat on the Lexus. Sure, the car runs fine without it but it is quite inconvenient.
Compensated by longer internal battery life and external batteries.
Longer battery life than what? And I would say that external batteries are a poor solution to the many problems of a non-removable battery.
Many reviews of the iPhone have echoed the statement that the call quality has been poor, especially at launch.
So now, 3 years after the phone comes out, someone makes another app capable of putting media on the phone. Bravo! How long do you give it before it's sued out of existence? Even if someone found out how to spoof iTunes, it is still far from universal.
Are you malware author? ;-)
Perhaps he's just someone who is not interested in Steve Jobs telling him what apps he's allowed to have on his phone. If you think the only apps that are blocked are malware, you've been living in a cave (which is probably a good thing so the sun won't melt your iPhone).

Still you only even debated 5 of the previous poster's 9 comments. Am I to assume you agree with the rest, or just that you need more time to figure out how to BS your way out of them? Or perhaps you live in the sunbelt and walked outside and your iPhone overheated?

RE: fsardis and his iDick debacle
By Pirks on 7/2/2009 8:26:32 PM , Rating: 1
Longer battery life than what?
Than that of a user-removable battery.
external batteries are a poor solution
No poorer than the internal ones.
you only even debated 5 of the previous poster's 9 comments
The rest are subjective thoughts/opinions, not worth debating. If a guy has some problems with his fingers - duh, tough luck buddy. What else can I say? ;-)

By Chocobollz on 7/4/2009 9:37:30 AM , Rating: 2
you've been living in a cave

Well if he is, I hope he can't make "it" with a box of scraps LOL

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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