Text message of 'death' threatens smartphone security

Security researchers have shown that many popular phones can be knocked offline by carefully crafted text messages

By Keir Thomas, PC World |  Security, security, smartphones

Service providers could filter out the messages from their network but, although filtering software is often already in place to capture spam, it doesn't presently have the ability to catch data messages, such as those used in the attack.

The good news is that the relative simplicity of feature phones means that the hack is limited to annoying tricks, such as turning-off the phone. It'll be almost impossible for attackers to inject their own code into phones in order to steal data, for example, something which is possible with higher-level smartphones such as the Apple iPhone and, potentially, devices running Google Android.

It's been an uneasy time recently in the world of mobile phone security. Last year it was shown how GSM phone communications can be hacked with just $1500 of hardware, allowing attackers to listen into communications.

To view a video of the presentation by the researchers behind the 'SMS-o-Death' hack, Nico Golde and Collin Mulliner, click here.

Keir Thomas has been writing about computing since the last century, and more recently has written several best-selling books. You can learn more about him at http://keirthomas.com and his Twitter feed is @keirthomas .


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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