Massive HTC Android security flaw leaves security expert speechless

“I am quite speechless right now,” Artem Russakovskii reports for Android Police. “Justin Case and I have spent all day together with Trevor Eckhart (you may remember him as TrevE of DamageControl and Virus ROMs) looking into Trev’s findings deep inside HTC’s latest software installed on such phones as EVO 3D, EVO 4G, Thunderbolt, and others.”
“These results are not pretty. In fact, they expose such ridiculously frivolous doings, which HTC has no one else to blame but itself,” Russakovskii reports. “In recent updates to some of its devices, HTC introduces a suite of logging tools that collected information. Lots of information. LOTS. Whatever the reason was, whether for better understanding problems on users’ devices, easier remote analysis, corporate evilness – it doesn’t matter. If you, as a company, plant these information collectors on a device, you better be DAMN sure the information they collect is secured and only available to privileged services or the user, after opting in.”

“That is not the case,” Russakovskii reports.

What Trevor found is only the tip of the iceberg – we are all still digging deeper – but currently any app on affected devices that requests a single android.permission.INTERNET (which is normal for any app that connects to the web or shows ads) can get its hands on:

• the list of user accounts, including email addresses and sync status for each
• last known network and GPS locations and a limited previous history of locations
• phone numbers from the phone log
• SMS data, including phone numbers and encoded text (not sure yet if it’s possible to decode it, but very likely)
• system logs (both kernel/dmesg and app/logcat), which includes everything your running apps do and is likely to include email addresses, phone numbers, and other private info

Read more in the full article here.

Article from Android Police

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