Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

1/28/2009
07:53 PM
50%
50%

Nokia Fixes 'Curse Of Silence' Exploit

The vulnerability could crash millions of Nokia handsets' SMS system with a single malformed text message.

Nokia has released a fix for the "Curse of Silence" exploit, a denial-of-service attack that could potentially shut down millions of phones' SMS systems.

The exploit enables malicious programmers to specially format an e-mail to be sent as a text message by setting the message's Protocol Identifier to "Internet Electronic Mail." If the message contains more than 32 characters, certain S60 devices would not be able to receive other SMS or multimedia messages. Depending on the handset, the vulnerability could damage the targeted phone with a single message.

Millions of handsets were potentially vulnerable to this exploit, including UIQ devices and handsets running S60 2nd Edition Feature Packs 2 and 3, S60 3rd Edition, and 3rd Edition Feature Pack 1. Nearly any device capable of sending SMS as "Internet Electronic Mail" can send a malicious message.

Users who are vulnerable to this exploit can download an SMS Cleaner from Nokia. Once installed, the application will cleanse the device of malformed messages and restore the functionality of the messaging system. Once the application has completed the process, it will restart the phone and uninstall itself.

The exploit was discovered by researcher Tobias Engel an independent researcher who made his findings known to F-Secure, and later made public at the Chaos Communication Congress event last year. The security firm said it made Nokia aware of the exploit months before it was exposed, and it sold software that protected users from the vulnerability.

While there hasn't been a widespread attack on smartphones, most security experts believe it's a matter of time with vulnerabilities showing up for high-profile devices like the iPhone 3G and the T-Mobile G1. InformationWeek recently took a look at how enterprises can incorporate smartphones to boost productivity while making sure the data is secured, and the report can be downloaded here (registration required).

The article was edited on 1/30 to clarify Mr. Englel's relationship to F-Secure.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How to Think Like a Hacker
Dr. Giovanni Vigna, Chief Technology Officer at Lastline,  10/10/2019
7 SMB Security Tips That Will Keep Your Company Safe
Steve Zurier, Contributing Writer,  10/11/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: The old using of sock puppets for Shoulder Surfing technique. 
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
2019 Online Malware and Threats
2019 Online Malware and Threats
As cyberattacks become more frequent and more sophisticated, enterprise security teams are under unprecedented pressure to respond. Is your organization ready?
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-17667
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-17
Comtech H8 Heights Remote Gateway 2.5.1 devices allow XSS and HTML injection via the Site Name (aka SiteName) field.
CVE-2019-17666
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-17
rtl_p2p_noa_ie in drivers/net/wireless/realtek/rtlwifi/ps.c in the Linux kernel through 5.3.6 lacks a certain upper-bound check, leading to a buffer overflow.
CVE-2019-17607
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-16
HongCMS 3.0.0 has XSS via the install/index.php servername parameter.
CVE-2019-17608
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-16
HongCMS 3.0.0 has XSS via the install/index.php dbname parameter.
CVE-2019-17609
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-16
HongCMS 3.0.0 has XSS via the install/index.php dbusername parameter.