Google patches DoS vulnerabilities in Android

Flaws could have allowed attackers to remotely reboot mobile devices

Researchers at the Open Source Computer Emergency Response Team (oCERT) disclosed two denial-of-service vulnerabilities in Google Inc.'s Android 1.5 mobile phone platform, both of which have already been patched by the vendor.

One of the vulnerabilities stems from Andoid's handling of SMS messages, according to an advisory released by oCERT earlier this week. The flaw allows an attacker to use malformed WAP (wireless application protocol) Push messages to disconnect a mobile phone from a cellular network. WAP Push messages are typically used to send ringtones, wallpapers and other content to mobile users.

According to oCERT, a maliciously crafted WAP message can cause the phone to reboot without the user's knowledge, which can lead to a temporary loss of connectivity and dropped calls. In cases where the phone SIM (subscriber identity module) is protected by a PIN, users will need to re-enter the PIN to reestablish connectivity causing longer delays. When the bug is triggered repeatedly, it could result in a denial of service condition, oCERT said.

A similar vulnerability was discovered in several Sony Ericsson handsets earlier this year where a malformed WAP Push message could be used to remotely reboot a vulnerable handset.

The other DoS vulnerability was reported in the application programming interface for Android's Dalvik virtual machine. It also allows an attacker to create a DOS condition by causing a handset to repeatedly reboot without the user's knowledge.

The advisories were released this week after Google issued patches addressing both problems.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GoogleGoogle Androiddos

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?