Android Devices Vulnerable to Exploit

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 @ 03:02 PM gHale

A Metasploit module that allows attackers to remotely access most Android-running devices brings up the point that security on mobile devices is a weak link.

This most recent bug is in Android’s WebView programming interface.

It gives attackers access to the devices’ camera and file system via a malicious web page, but it can also end up set off via a man-in-the-middle attack to deliver an app update laced with a Trojan that would then allow attackers to access all the things the app itself has permission to use.

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The vulnerability in question ended up publicly disclosed in December 2012, and Google fixed it in November 2013 when it released Android 4.2, according to Ars Technica.

Tod Beardsley, technical lead for the Metasploit Framework, said this vulnerability is “kind of a huge deal”, and 70 percent of devices out there are vulnerable because they run Android versions below 4.2.

By publishing an E-Z-2-Use Metasploit module that exploits it, Beardsley hopes he can push vendors toward ensuring single-click vulnerabilities like this don’t last for over 93 weeks.

There is not much that users can do to fix this problem, except pester their carriers in great numbers in the hope they will release a security update sooner rather than later, hope that cyber criminals won’t start using the module en masse, and be careful on which links the click on when using their Android devices.

Users of devices who receive their OS updates directly from Google remain safe.

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