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Print 9 comment(s) - last by Trisped.. on Dec 20 at 2:46 AM

Memory permissions raise danger of local attacks

Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) the top maker of Android smartphones in the world (or any kind of phones, for that matter), received some unwelcome news on Monday, when a developer going by the handle "alephzain" posted details on Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) XNA developers forum regarding memory permissions security holes in some of Samsung's top devices.

In order to give their proprietary Exynos 4 system-on-a-chip a dedicated line from the camera to the memory, Samsung opened up permissions to the on-chip DRAM.  The only issue is that it appears to have opened its memory for writing to all users.

That's good news for modders who could use it to obtain root for the purpose of installing custom builds of Android like Cyanogen.  Bu at it's bad news from a security perspective.
 
Galaxy Note II
The Galaxy Note II

The flaw appears to affect a number of top Samsung devices, including the Galaxy Note II, the Galaxy S2, and the Meizu MX.  Comments the developer who found the flaw, "The good news is we can easily obtain root on these devices and the bad is there is no control over it."

Generally to do something truly malicious with the flaw, you would have to use a trojan app equipped with memory dumping or memory injection functionality.  But given the success of past trojans against Android-rival Apple, Inc. (AAPL) the possibility of this flaw being exploited in the wild should not be ruled out.

Sources: XDA, CNET



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RE: Galaxy S3 Affected
By TakinYourPoints on 12/18/2012 12:14:28 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Curious why the article doesn't mention that the Galaxy S3 is also affected given that is Samsung's most popular device and that large body of users should be aware?


Obvious bias and sweeping information running counter to it under the rug, standard DT.

quote:
And I guess I'm not surprised that an article about a Samsung/Android smartphone vulnerability still manages to sling mud at Apple by roping in previous Mac vulnerabilities.


It is also weird given that iOS vulnerabilities and malware rates are statistically insignificant. Slinging mud at Apple is weird in these circumstances, it only makes Android's current situation appear worse in comparison. Meanwhile malware on Android is rampant and increasing even through official Google channels:

http://www.techradar.com/us/news/phone-and-communi...

http://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/low-detection-ra...

http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/10/android-4-2-app...

http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/05/android-malware-s...


RE: Galaxy S3 Affected
By Trisped on 12/18/2012 5:45:13 PM , Rating: 2
As has been stated many times before, DailyTech reports the news as they get it. Did they know the S3 was also a reported victim? Probably, but rather then list every device they state the known (S2) and indicate that several other devices are also thought to be affected.

The iOS vulnerabilities are brought up to provide context (writer expects the S2 vulnerability to be widely exploited like the iOS vulnerabilities were). This is not a love Android hate iOS post, but an attempt to provide the facts in a manor the average reader can understand and relate to.

quote:
It is also weird given that iOS vulnerabilities and malware rates are statistically insignificant
iOS vulnerabilities might not have been very common, but how many ways must there be to root a device before it is statistically significant? How many people running a cracked version of iOS have to get viruses and malware installed before that is statistically significant? Or are you limiting your statistics to only those who did not jailbreak their phones, happy to stay on the Apple applied rails?


RE: Galaxy S3 Affected
By ltcommanderdata on 12/18/2012 6:45:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The iOS vulnerabilities are brought up to provide context (writer expects the S2 vulnerability to be widely exploited like the iOS vulnerabilities were). This is not a love Android hate iOS post, but an attempt to provide the facts in a manor the average reader can understand and relate to.

That's the point. If the article wanted to refer to iOS malware, then of course that would be relevant since that is a competing smartphone platform. However, iOS malware is apparently not prevalent. Instead, an article on Samsung/Android smartphone security vulnerabilities name drops Apple and links to an article on desktop Mac malware. If the intent was to provide general malware context, Windows malware which is more prevalent would be more appropriate. Trying to associate Mac malware with Samsung smartphone security vulnerabilities is only to sling mud Apple's way.


RE: Galaxy S3 Affected
By euclidean on 12/19/2012 10:33:45 AM , Rating: 2
The article was completely right in mentioning Apple. Not too long ago everyone* claimed Apple was free of malware/virus issues that seemed to plague Windows. While us in the Tech industries know the truth, many out there still believe that Apple is free of Malware.

So it's easy to relate/explain to the general populous in writing this article that yes, malware/viruses do exist outside of Windows, here are examples.

No matter though - I really would like someone to provide me of a Single example somewhere (maybe not even DT) that is completely unbiased towards Apple, Android, or whomever. It doesn't matter where I go, I've seen nothing but people complaining either about "This article is Biased towards Apple!" or "This article is Biased towards Android!"....Get over yourselves...


RE: Galaxy S3 Affected
By Trisped on 12/20/2012 2:46:35 AM , Rating: 2
The article is not reporting on malware, it is reporting on a vulnerability in a popular handset. Since it should be exploitable for root access, it is on the order of the iOS jailbreak hacks which were so widely reported.

Personally I think Windows vulnerabilities are a different league. While they often do achieve root level (admin privileges), they do so with the user's consent. This is in stark contrast to the attempts of Apple and now Samsung to keep root access for themselves.


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