Samsung Android Virus that Leaves SIM Cards Vulnerable

The Android users all over the world were recently hit by a shock as a cyber-attack surfaced that attacked the Android users. According to the report, a malicious webpage was the source of this attack. All the data of those Android devices was wiped from the smartphones, who visited this webpage.

Ravishankar Borgaonkar, who is a research assistant in Telecommunications Security department at technical University Berlin, did an Ekoparty security conference in Buenos Aires, where he explained the media about this malicious attack on the Samsung Android devices. He demonstrated how this virus is able to wipe data from mobile phones.

The attack can affect an Android phone in several ways. For example, an NFC-enabled mobile phone if touches a rogue NFC tag, if an android phone scans a QR code and also in the form of a service message. In addition, the attacker can include the malicious message in a text message, e-mail or a twitter post.

The big worry for the Android phone users is that according to the researchers, this malicious attack can also kill SIM cards. If the SIM cards in Android phones also get vulnerable by this virus, then it can really hurt the Android market. According to a security researcher in SECLAB at NorthEastern University in Boston, stated in an email that the malicious virus contained in the e-mails and messages can cause the users to put in wrong PUK code several times and thus resulting in blocking their SIMS.

Samsung claims that they have fixed the USSD/MMI code issues in their latest edition to the Galaxy series, Galaxy S3. According to a statement by Samsung,

“We would like to assure customers that the recent security issue affecting the Galaxy S III has already been addressed in a software update. We believe this issue was isolated to early production devices, and devices currently available are not affected by this issue. To ensure customers are fully protected, Samsung advises checking for software updates through the ‘Settings: About device: Software update’ menu. We are in the process of evaluating other Galaxy models.”

The bad news for Samsung is that this attack seems to be affecting Android Devices only. However, Samsung is working to help their users prevent this attack. They have already released a firmware update for some of their phones. However, Android users other than Samsung will still be vulnerable to this virus as other companies are unlikely to send a firmware update for their users.

If Android does not resolve this issue, it can seriously damage the Android market as the competition between Apple, Android and Microsoft is already going very tough.


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