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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: smartphone hacking

Hackers Can Use Ultrasonic Waves to Secretly Control Voice Assistant Devices

Hackers Can Use Ultrasonic Waves to Secretly Control Voice Assistant Devices

March 02, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Researchers have discovered a new means to target voice-controlled devices by propagating ultrasonic waves through solid materials in order to interact with and compromise them using inaudible voice commands without the victims' knowledge. Called " SurfingAttack ," the attack leverages the unique properties of acoustic transmission in solid materials — such as tables — to "enable multiple rounds of interactions between the voice-controlled device and the attacker over a longer distance and without the need to be in line-of-sight." In doing so, it's possible for an attacker to interact with the devices using the voice assistants, hijack SMS two-factor authentication codes, and even place fraudulent calls, the researchers outlined in the paper, thus controlling the victim device inconspicuously. The research was published by a group of academics from Michigan State University, Washington University in St. Louis, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Un
Saudi Prince Allegedly Hacked World's Richest Man Jeff Bezos Using WhatsApp

Saudi Prince Allegedly Hacked World's Richest Man Jeff Bezos Using WhatsApp

January 22, 2020Mohit Kumar
The iPhone of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos , the world's richest man, was reportedly hacked in May 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message from the personal account of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman , the Guardian newspaper revealed today. Citing unnamed sources familiar with digital forensic analysis of the breach, the newspaper claimed that a massive amount of data was exfiltrated from Bezos's phone within hours after he received a malicious video file from the Saudi prince. The mysterious file was sent when crown prince Salman and Bezos were having a friendly WhatsApp conversation, and it's 'highly probable' that it exploited an undisclosed zero-day vulnerability of WhatsApp messenger to install malware on Bezos's iPhone. "The forensic analysis found that within hours of receipt of the MP4 video file from the Crown Prince's account, massive and (for Bezos' phone) unprecedented exfiltration of data from the phone began, increasing da
OnePlus Suffers New Data Breach Impacting Its Online Store Customers

OnePlus Suffers New Data Breach Impacting Its Online Store Customers

November 22, 2019Mohit Kumar
Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus has suffered a new data breach exposing personal and order information of an undisclosed number of its customers, likely, as a result of a vulnerability in its online store website. The breach came to light after OnePlus started informing affected customers via email and published a brief FAQ page to disclose information about the security incident. According to OnePlus, the company discovered the breach just last week after an unauthorized party accessed order information of its customers, including their names, contact numbers, emails, and shipping addresses. "Last week while monitoring our systems, our security team discovered that some of our users' order information was accessed by an unauthorized party," the company said . OnePlus also assured that not all customers were affected and that the attackers were not able to access any payment information, passwords, and associated accounts. "Impacted users may receive spa
Mysterious malware that re-installs itself infected over 45,000 Android Phones

Mysterious malware that re-installs itself infected over 45,000 Android Phones

October 29, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Over the past few months, hundreds of Android users have been complaining online of a new piece of mysterious malware that hides on the infected devices and can reportedly reinstall itself even after users delete it, or factory reset their devices. Dubbed Xhelper , the malware has already infected more than 45,000 Android devices in just the last six months and is continuing to spread by infecting at least 2,400 devices on an average each month, according to the latest report published today by Symantec. Here below, I have collected excerpts from some comments that affected users shared on the online forums while asking for how to remove the Xhelper Android malware: "xhelper regularly reinstalls itself, almost every day!" "the 'install apps from unknown sources' setting turns itself on." "I rebooted my phone and also wiped my phone yet the app xhelper came back." "Xhelper came pre-installed on the phone from China."
SIM Cards in 29 Countries Vulnerable to Remote Simjacker Attacks

SIM Cards in 29 Countries Vulnerable to Remote Simjacker Attacks

October 12, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Until now, I'm sure you all might have heard of the SimJacker vulnerability disclosed exactly a month ago that affects a wide range of SIM cards and can remotely be exploited to hack into any mobile phone just by sending a specially crafted binary SMS. If you are unaware, the name "SimJacker" has been given to a class of vulnerabilities that resides due to a lack of authentication and proprietary security mechanisms implemented by dynamic SIM toolkits that come embedded in modern SIM cards. Out of many, two such widely used SIM toolkits — S@T Browser technology and Wireless Internet Browser (WIB) — have yet been found vulnerable to SimJacker attacks, details of which we have provided in our previous articles published last month. At that time, a few experts in the telecom industry confirmed The Hacker News that the SimJacker related weaknesses were internally known to many for years, and even researchers also revealed that an unnamed surveillance company has been
0-Days Found in iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9, Xiaomi Mi6 Phones

0-Days Found in iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9, Xiaomi Mi6 Phones

November 15, 2018Swati Khandelwal
At Pwn2Own 2018 mobile hacking competition held in Tokyo on November 13-14, white hat hackers once again demonstrated that even the fully patched smartphones running the latest version of software from popular smartphone manufacturers can be hacked. Three major flagship smartphones—iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9, and Xiaomi Mi6—were among the devices that successfully got hacked at the annual mobile hacking contest organized by Trend Micro's Zero Day Initiative (ZDI), earning white hat hackers a total of $325,000 in reward. Teams of hackers participated from different countries or representing different cybersecurity companies disclosed a total of 18 zero-day vulnerabilities in mobile devices made by Apple, Samsung, and Xiaomi, as well as crafted exploits that allowed them to completely take over the targeted devices. Apple iPhone X Running iOS 12.1 — GOT HACKED! A team of two researchers, Richard Zhu and Amat Cama, who named themselves Fluoroacetate, discovered and managed to
Ex-NSO Employee Caught Selling Stolen Phone Hacking Tool For $50 Million

Ex-NSO Employee Caught Selling Stolen Phone Hacking Tool For $50 Million

July 05, 2018Swati Khandelwal
A former employee of one of the world's most powerful hacking companies NSO Group has been arrested and charged with stealing phone hacking tools from the company and trying to sell it for $50 million on the Darknet secretly. Israeli hacking firm NSO Group is mostly known for selling high-tech malware capable of remotely cracking into Apple's iPhones and Google's Android devices to intelligence apparatuses, militaries, and law enforcement around the world. However, the phone hacking company has recently become the victim of an insider breach attack carried out by a 38-year-old former NSO employee, who stole the source code for the company's most powerful spyware called Pegasus and tried to sell it for $50 million on the dark web in various cryptocurrencies, including Monero and Zcash, Israeli media reported. That's much higher than the actual NSO Group's price tag for Pegasus, which reportedly sells for under $1 million per deployment. If you remember
Researchers Uncover New Attacks Against LTE Network Protocol

Researchers Uncover New Attacks Against LTE Network Protocol

June 30, 2018Swati Khandelwal
If your mobile carrier offers LTE, also known as the 4G network, you need to beware as your network communication can be hijacked remotely. A team of researchers has discovered some critical weaknesses in the ubiquitous LTE mobile device standard that could allow sophisticated hackers to spy on users' cellular networks, modify the contents of their communications, and even can re-route them to malicious or phishing websites. LTE, or Long Term Evolution, is the latest mobile telephony standard used by billions of people designed to bring many security improvements over the predecessor standard known as Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications. However, multiple security flaws have been discovered over the past few years, allowing attackers to intercept user's communications, spy on user phone calls and text messages, send fake emergency alerts, spoof location of the device and knock devices entirely offline. 4G LTE Network Vulnerabilities Now, security researchers
BlueBorne: Critical Bluetooth Attack Puts Billions of Devices at Risk of Hacking

BlueBorne: Critical Bluetooth Attack Puts Billions of Devices at Risk of Hacking

September 12, 2017Swati Khandelwal
If you are using a Bluetooth enabled device, be it a smartphone, laptop, smart TV or any other IoT device, you are at risk of malware attacks that can carry out remotely to take over your device even without requiring any interaction from your side. Security researchers have just discovered total 8 zero-day vulnerabilities in Bluetooth protocol that impact more than 5.3 Billion devices—from Android, iOS, Windows and Linux to the Internet of things (IoT) devices—using the short-range wireless communication technology. Using these vulnerabilities, security researchers at IoT security firm Armis have devised an attack, dubbed BlueBorne , which could allow attackers to completely take over Bluetooth-enabled devices, spread malware, or even establish a "man-in-the-middle" connection to gain access to devices' critical data and networks without requiring any victim interaction. All an attacker need is for the victim's device to have Bluetooth turned on and obvious
How CIA Agents Covertly Steal Data From Hacked Smartphones (Without Internet)

How CIA Agents Covertly Steal Data From Hacked Smartphones (Without Internet)

July 13, 2017Swati Khandelwal
WikiLeaks has today published the 16th batch of its ongoing Vault 7 leak , this time instead of revealing new malware or hacking tool, the whistleblower organisation has unveiled how CIA operatives stealthy collect and forward stolen data from compromised smartphones. Previously we have reported about several CIA hacking tools, malware and implants used by the agency to remotely infiltrate and steal data from the targeted systems or smartphones. However, this time neither Wikileaks nor the leaked CIA manual clearly explains how the agency operatives were using this tool. But, since we have been covering every CIA leak from the very first day, we have understood a possible scenario and have illustrated how this newly revealed tool was being used. Explained: How CIA Highrise Project Works In general, the malware uses the internet connection to send stolen data after compromising a machine to the attacker-controlled server (listening posts), but in the case of smartphones,
All Android Phones Vulnerable to Extremely Dangerous Full Device Takeover Attack

All Android Phones Vulnerable to Extremely Dangerous Full Device Takeover Attack

May 25, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Researchers have discovered a new attack, dubbed 'Cloak and Dagger', that works against all versions of Android, up to version 7.1.2. Cloak and Dagger attack allows hackers to silently take full control of your device and steal private data, including keystrokes, chats, device PIN, online account passwords, OTP passcode, and contacts. What's interesting about Cloak and Dagger attack? The attack doesn't exploit any vulnerability in Android ecosystem; instead, it abuses a pair of legitimate app permissions that is being widely used in popular applications to access certain features on an Android device. Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered this attack, who successfully performed it on 20 people and none of them were able to detect any malicious activity. Cloak and Dagger attacks utilise two basic Android permissions: SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW ("draw on top") BIND_ACCESSIBILITY_SERVICE ("a11y") The first permissi
All OnePlus Devices Vulnerable to Remote Attacks Due to 4  Unpatched Flaws

All OnePlus Devices Vulnerable to Remote Attacks Due to 4 Unpatched Flaws

May 11, 2017Swati Khandelwal
There is a bad news for all OnePlus lovers. A security researcher has discovered four vulnerabilities that affect all OnePlus handsets, including One, X, 2, 3 and 3T, running the latest versions of OxygenOS 4.1.3 (worldwide) and below, as well as HydrogenOS 3.0 and below (for Chinese users). Damn, I am feeling bad, I myself use OnePlus. One of the unpatched vulnerabilities allows Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack against OnePlus device users, allowing a remote attacker to downgrade the device's operating system to an older version, which could then expand the attack surface for exploitation of previously disclosed now-patched vulnerabilities. What's even worse? The other two vulnerabilities also allow an MitM attacker to replace any version of OxygenOS with HydrogenOS (or vice versa), as well as to replace the operating system with a completely different malicious ROM loaded with spying apps. The vulnerabilities have been discovered by Roee Hay of Aleph Research, HCL
Beware! Pre-Installed Android Malware Found On 36 High-end Smartphones

Beware! Pre-Installed Android Malware Found On 36 High-end Smartphones

March 11, 2017Wang Wei
Bought a brand new Android Smartphone? Do not expect it to be a clean slate. At least 36 high-end smartphone models belonging to popular manufacturing companies such as Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, Asus, Nexus, Oppo, and Lenovo, which are being distributed by two unidentified companies have been found pre-loaded with malware programs. These malware infected devices were identified after a Check Point malware scan was performed on Android devices. Two malware families were detected on the infected devices: Loki and SLocker. According to a blog post published Friday by Check Point researchers, these malicious software apps were not part of the official ROM firmware supplied by the smartphone manufacturers but were installed later somewhere along the supply chain, before the handsets arrived at the two companies from the manufacturer's factory. First seen in February 2016, Loki Trojan inject devices right inside core Android operating system processes to gain powerful root privi
7 Things That Happened After WikiLeaks Dumped The CIA Hacking Files

7 Things That Happened After WikiLeaks Dumped The CIA Hacking Files

March 10, 2017Swati Khandelwal
This week WikiLeaks published "Vault 7" — a roughly 8,761 documents and files claiming to detail surveillance tools and tactics of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The leak outlined a broad range of flaws in smartphones and other devices that the agency uses to intercept communications and spy on its targets, making even China and Germany worried about the CIA's ability to hack all manner of devices. While WikiLeaks promised the "Vault 7" release is less than one percent of its 'Year Zero' disclosure, and there's more to come, we are here with some new developments on the CIA leak. But, before knowing about the latest developments in the CIA hacking tool leak, I would suggest you read my previous piece to know 10 important things about 'WikiLeaks-CIA Leak .' We believe the US intelligence agencies have access to much bigger technical resources and cyber capabilities than the leak exposed in the leak. The dump so far just
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