Friday, 11 March 2016

THE EASIEST AND WORST EVER DISCOVERED WAY OF HACKING ANDROID PHONES; STAGEFRIGHT


Stagefright is the collective name for a group of software bugs(or more specifically backdoors), that affect versions 2.2 ("Froyo")and newer of the Android operating system, allowing an attacker to perform arbitrary operations on the victim device through remote code executionand privilege escalation (wikipedia),is a critical vulnerability at the heart of Android that can open up 95 percent of all smartphones on that platform to devastating hacks with a single text message. This hack is able to execute remote code on an Android phone with just the phone number of the victim. Described as one of the "worst Android vulnerabilities ever known", was discovered by Zimperium zLab's vice president of platform research and exploitation Joshua J. Drake.
The discovered bugs have been provided with multiple Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) identifiers, CVE-2015-1538, CVE-2015-1539, CVE-2015-3824, CVE-2015-3826, CVE-2015-3827, CVE-2015-3828, CVE-2015-3829 and CVE-2015-3864 (the latter one has been assigned separately from the others), which are collectively referred to as the Stagefright bug.
The Stagefright code would theoretically be able to attack a device and delete the message before a user could even see it. "The security of Android users is extremely important to us and so we responded quickly and patches have already been provided to partners that can be applied to any device." The full details of the bug was said to b released at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, but researchers said it relies on the ability for a virus to be embedded within a video file. When sent directly to your device via MMS, the virus can then access other parts of your phone -- including photos, Bluetooth radios and more. So far Zimperium don't think anyone is exploiting the flaw -- at least, not yet. But it remains a serious problem. "These vulnerabilities are extremely dangerous because they do not require that the victim to take any action to be exploited. Unlike spear-phishing bug, where the victim needs to open a PDF file or a link sent by the attacker, this vulnerability can be triggered while you sleep and the hacker will remove any signs of the device being tampered with and the victim will continue using the trojand device unknowingly," said Zimperium . The bug was reported by Joshua Drake, from Zimperium zLabs, in April in order to give Google enough time to fix the problem and send patches out to its partners. Drake says that Google has done so -- but that most manufacturers have not reissued them to users, working to the traditionally slow pace of Android phone partners. Some phones have already been patched -- Blackphone tweeted that it had fixed the bug "weeks ago" because researchers help back from going public for three months. Android phones below version 2.2 are not affected. The researchers called on all manufacturers to release updates immediately.
In addition to fixing these individual issues, we hope they will also fix any business processes that prevent or slow the uptake of such fixes," the team said. Google told Android Central that patches were already in place for any device -- it just depends on manufacturers issuing them in the wild. "We thank Joshua Drake for his contributions," Google said in a statement to Android Central. "The security of Android users is extremely important to us and so we responded quickly and patches have already been provided to partners that can be applied to any device." "Most Android devices, including all newer devices, have multiple technologies that are designed to prevent easy exploitation. Android devices also include an application sandbox designed to protect user data and other applications on the device."
So to prevent your device from this attack, read our next post onhow to protect your device from being hacked.
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