2 min read

Bitdefender Wipe Stopper Prevents Remote USSD Attack on Androids

Liviu ARSENE

September 28, 2012

Bitdefender Wipe Stopper Prevents Remote USSD Attack on Androids

Bitdefender Labs has released Bitdefender USSD Wipe Stopper to protect Android users from a USSD attack. The app detects when a USSD code is accessed and notifies the user he`s about to trigger a potentially harmful USSD code.

The Android dialer this week was found vulnerable to a remote wipe attack by means of passing specialized strings of characters with a certain prefix to the phone`s dialer. The attack was demonstrated via a website link containing the USSD remote wipe code for a Samsung Galaxy S3, which was interpreted as a special dialer string.

By using the “tel” URL prefix to hyperlink to phone numbers, Android users clicking the link trigger the phone dialer to call the USSD code. The automatic process of initiating the “restore to factory settings” or displaying the IMEI, requires no user intervention whatsoever.

Considering the attack`s trivial nature, using a browser`s User Agent or an iFrame to detect each Android device and serve a specific USSD code could easily be implemented even by poorly skilled coders.

The USSD attack could be delivered via a plethora of methods which include WAP Push SMS, QR Codes and even NFC. With such a broad attack vector, users should exercise extreme caution when hitting links or scanning QR codes.

Other Samsung devices have since proven prone to the same attack. Samsung said it patched the vulnerability earlier this year but not all devices received the update. Although no weaponised version of the attack was yet found in the wild, the seriousness of the vulnerability cannot be ignored.

Other Android builds ranging from Android 2.3 to Android 4.0.3 were found as vulnerable to the attack as the proof-of-concept Samsung Galaxy S3, potentially placing hundreds of thousands of users at risk.

The Android tool released by Bitdefender Labs enables users to check if their device is vulnerable or not to the USSD attack.

 

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

Watch Out for These Ongoing Bank of America Phishing Campaigns Targeting Customers in the US

Watch Out for These Ongoing Bank of America Phishing Campaigns Targeting Customers in the US

July 16, 2021

3 min read
How to protect yourself against cyberstalking

How to protect yourself against cyberstalking

July 06, 2021

2 min read
The Top Five Security Risks Smartphone Users Face Today

The Top Five Security Risks Smartphone Users Face Today

July 02, 2021

4 min read
Phishing Alert: Scammers Use Fake SharePoint and DocuSign Messages to Steal Users’ Login Credentials

Phishing Alert: Scammers Use Fake SharePoint and DocuSign Messages to Steal Users’ Login Credentials

July 02, 2021

3 min read
Your Doxxing Dossier Will Keep Growing Thicker Until You See the Danger

Your Doxxing Dossier Will Keep Growing Thicker Until You See the Danger

June 30, 2021

2 min read
Mobile security threats: reality or myth?

Mobile security threats: reality or myth?

June 13, 2021

3 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

Fraud Family cybercrime ring under the spotlight as arrests made in the Netherlands Fraud Family cybercrime ring under the spotlight as arrests made in the Netherlands
Graham CLULEY

July 23, 2021

3 min read
Homoglyph domains used in BEC scams shut down by Microsoft Homoglyph domains used in BEC scams shut down by Microsoft
Graham CLULEY

July 22, 2021

3 min read
China Sets Up New Worrying Vulnerability Disclosure Rules China Sets Up New Worrying Vulnerability Disclosure Rules
Silviu STAHIE

July 20, 2021

1 min read