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Samsung Galaxy Security Alert: Android Backdoor Discovered

14th March 2014, 03:19 PM   |  #1  
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Hi,
I came across this article and wanted to share with you all. I did post this under Android-> Security Discussion but I still wanted to share with this community. Mod's please close this thread if you think it's not required here.

http://www.informationweek.com/secur...d/d-id/1127675

Highlights of this article:
Attackers can remotely exploit a software-based backdoor -- present in at least nine different models of Samsung smartphones and tablets -- to steal files and location data or surreptitiously activate a microphone or camera.

Radio modems on some Samsung devices can execute remote file system (RFS) commands.

This program is shipped with the Samsung Galaxy devices and makes it possible for the modem to read, write, and delete files on the phone's storage," he added. "On several phone models, this program runs with sufficient rights to access and modify the user's personal data."

The backdoor could be used by any remote attacker -- such as criminals or intelligence agencies -- to turn the devices into remote spying tools. "The spying can involve activating the device's microphone, but it could also use the precise GPS location of the device and access the camera, as well as the user data stored on the phone," he said. "Moreover, modems are connected most of the time to the operator's network, making the backdoors nearly always accessible."

List of affected devices:
According to Replicant, so far it's identified nine different types of Samsung devices that have the vulnerability. It cautioned that more devices may be affected.
Nexus S
Galaxy S
Galaxy S 2
Galaxy Note
Galaxy Nexus
Galaxy Tab 2 7.0
Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
Galaxy S 3
Galaxy Note 2

Fix/Workaround:
There isn't any for now but you can follow some basic safety measures.
1) Keep SE-Linux mode to Enforcing
2) Do not install applications from untrusted sources. This is configured by default under :Settings->Security->Device Administration->Unknown Sources.
3) Always verify the permissions the application is requesting.
4) Av's help in atleast verifying the apk's and there are applications to detect adnetworks like (Lookout,Symantec,TrustGo Ad detectors, etc).


Update from mattlowry.
Samsung Backdoor May Not Be as Wide Open as Initially Thought
Last edited by ciphercodes; 14th March 2014 at 08:30 PM.
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14th March 2014, 05:52 PM   |  #2  
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Gee, that list of measures is a big cold wet blanket.

Thanks, Samsung! You're the best!

Hastily spouted for your befuddlement
14th March 2014, 06:41 PM   |  #3  
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Deleted original comments.

Edit: Thanks ciphercodes & mattlowery. Nice to have you both around watching out for us note 2 holdouts.
Last edited by Alpha1011Omega; 14th March 2014 at 10:17 PM.
14th March 2014, 07:21 PM   |  #4  
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http://www.xda-developers.com/androi...ially-thought/
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15th March 2014, 12:00 PM   |  #5  
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So.. Since SElinux is set to permissive to use aosp roms, the user is indeed susceptible to this security risk, correct?
17th March 2014, 05:42 AM   |  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apeiiron

So.. Since SElinux is set to permissive to use aosp roms, the user is indeed susceptible to this security risk, correct?

Correct, but too early to say.
9th April 2014, 03:44 AM   |  #7  
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Any updates on this?

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