Flaws in Samsung Phones Exposed Android Users to Remote Attacks

New investigation disclosed a string of serious stability vulnerabilities in the ‘Locate My Cellular‘—an Android app that will come pre-set up on most Samsung smartphones—that could have authorized distant attackers to observe victims’ genuine-time site, keep an eye on cellular phone phone calls, and messages, and even delete data saved on the telephone.

Portugal-centered cybersecurity companies supplier Char49 unveiled its results on Samsung’s Discover My Cellular Android app at the DEF CON convention final week and shared information with the Hacker Information.

“This flaw, immediately after set up, can be very easily exploited and with serious implications for the person and with a potentially catastrophic impression: long-lasting denial of assistance by way of phone lock, comprehensive details loss with factory reset (SD card bundled), major privateness implication by using IMEI and spot monitoring as effectively as call and SMS log access,” Char49’s Pedro Umbelino reported in specialized investigation.

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The flaws, which function on unpatched Samsung Galaxy S7, S8, and S9+ products, had been addressed by Samsung right after flagging the exploit as a “significant affect vulnerability.”

Samsung’s Uncover My Cellular provider enables homeowners of Samsung units to remotely track down or lock their smartphone or pill, back up info saved on the gadgets to Samsung Cloud, wipe neighborhood info, and block obtain to Samsung Spend.

In accordance to Char49, there ended up 4 different vulnerabilities in the application that could have been exploited by a malicious app set up on the specific machine, as a result building a guy-in-the-disk attack to hijack conversation from the backend servers and snoop on the sufferer.

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The flaw stems from the point the app checks for the presence of a certain file on the device’s SD card (“/mnt/sdcard/fmm.prop”) in purchase to load a URL (“mg.URL”), as a result allowing for a rogue app to create this file that can be utilised by a terrible actor to probably hijack the communications with the server.

“By pointing the MG URL to an attacker-managed server and forcing the registration, the attacker can get a lot of information about the person: coarse place via the IP handle, IMEI, machine model, API level, backup apps, and a number of other information,” Umbelino reported.

To achieve this, a malicious app put in on the gadget makes use of an exploit chain that leverages two diverse unprotected broadcast receivers to redirect commands despatched to Samsung’s servers from the Obtain My Mobile application to a distinct server that’s under the attacker’s manage and execute malicious commands.

The destructive server also forwards the request to the authentic server and retrieves the response, but not before injecting its have commands in the server responses.

In executing so, a successful attack could allow for a hacker to monitor the device’s place, grab simply call knowledge and textual content messages for spying, lock the phone for ransom, and erase all knowledge through a manufacturing facility reset.

Needless to say, the vulnerability is yet yet another indicator of how an application that is meant to safeguard people versus information and facts decline can be inclined to a number of flaws that can defeat the app’s intent.

“The FMM [Find My Mobile] software ought to not have arbitrary factors publicly available and in an exported point out,” Umbelino reported. “If totally vital, for instance if other offers call these factors, then they ought to be secured with proper permissions. Tests code that depends on the existence of information in public sites really should be removed.”

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