SMS Based Attack Can Disable Nexus Smartphones
Published on: 3rd Dec 2013
By: Ian Mansfield
Android based Nexus smartphones are apparently vulnerable to a type of Denial of Service attack that causes them to reboot and lose network connection.
The exploit, being described later this week at a security conference was uncovered by Bogdan Alecu, a system administrator at Dutch IT services company Levi9.
At the moment, Google hasn't deployed a fix for it, although there is a Google App that can be freely downloaded to block the inbound messages -- which come in the form of a flash SMS.
What the researcher found is that if around 30 such messages are sent in very quick succession -- faster than a user can dismiss the on-screen alert, then the phone starts to behave in an unusual manner.
There seems to be a variable pattern to the way the phones react, but fortunately, sending bulk flash SMS is unlikely to be a simple task in itself, and there is currently no known use for the problem.