Back when smartphones and mobile apps were new and novel people used to show off the latest tricks their devices could perform, leading to the cliché "there's an app for that!" Today's trio of Black Hat Briefing highlights explore the latest mobile-device attack research, leading us to think that a far more relevant catchphrase would be "there's an exploit for that!"
Smartphones took the concept of carrier control to a whole new level, but service providers' influence over these devices goes even deeper than most would imagine. In Cellular Exploitation on a Global Scale: The Rise and Fall of the Control Protocol Mathew Solnik and Marc Blanchou walk you through their extensive reverse engineering of baseband- and application-space code and over-the-air protocols. Their proof-of-concept shows how the flaws they've uncovered can pose real threats to end users, not the least of which is OTA code execution over all major cellular networks and operating systems.
Mobile Point-of-Sale (mPOS) systems allow small businesses and drug dealers to accept credit card payments using a smartphone. You won't be surprised to hear that mobile security experts Nils and Jon Butler have discovered a series of mPOS vulnerabilities that give them code execution through a variety of vectors. Come to their Briefing, Mission mPOSsible, to hear all about the weaknesses of current mPOS solutions and see live attack demos, including a malicious credit card that drops a remote root shell on the unsuspecting system.
Despite Google Play's relative lack of malware, aggressive ad libs leak a lot of user privacy information, which allows for some very targeted attacks. Sidewinder Targeted Attack Against Android in the Golden Age of Ad Libs delves into one such practical case in point, which uses ad libs to intercept location information, opening the door to targeting specific areas (say, a CEO's office). The attacker can invoke common Android services to take photos, read the clipboard, call numbers, and more, opening the door to yet more attacks. Google knows, but the fragmented nature of the Android ecosystem means millions of users remain vulnerable to such "Sidewinder" attacks.
Sound fun? Good, we think so too. Regular registration ends on July 26. Please visit Black Hat USA 2014's registration page to get started.