Samsung's TouchWiz vulnerable to one-click data wipe or reset attack (video)

Samsung's TouchWiz vulnerable to one-click data wipe or reset attack (video)
Over at the Ekoparty security conference, Ravi Borgaonkar presented a session titled “Dirty use of USSD Codes in Cellular Network”, and what do you think was used for the demonstration?

Samsung Androids with TouchWiz, of all things. The guy demoed how a single line of HTML code can wipe the data on such handsets if you click it, since TouchWiz has a feature that automatically dials a code when a link is tapped.

The same goes for QR scans and NFC - Samsung's TouchWiz UI makes the dialer automatically execute the sequence, which can potentially force a factory reset code onto your unsuspecting phone, and wipe your data. Here is a video demonstrating the theoretical disaster.

FEATURED VIDEO

26 Comments

1. md227a

Posts: 226; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Glad my S3 isn't running touchwiz! That would suck haha

6. phljcnth

Posts: 553; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

But aren't we using TouchWiz UX? :-0

12. dexter_jdr

Posts: 1163; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

S3 still got OWNED!!! watch the last minutes of the video, the S3 got attacked by nfc...woohoo!!!

18. adelta90

Posts: 63; Member since: Sep 14, 2012

yeah guess the S3 did get owned but lets face it, unless someone deliberately tries to do this, its not likely for it to happen At least this is something that can be corrected quite easily, but lets see if it does get corrected

23. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Chances of you receiving that through NFC? 0.000257812%.

26. brar.arsh

Posts: 202; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

Thanks To CM10 team that I am not on TouchWiz for my S3.. :D

2. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

A good thing is, there's tons of solution for this. Change a ROM if you want to :)

3. kartik4u98

Posts: 511; Member since: May 19, 2012

Ya exactly...who likes Touchwiz by the way?!

8. JonBjSig

Posts: 176; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

You can also just download a different dialer, then you'll be prompted first.

4. kamil

Posts: 118; Member since: Feb 07, 2012

touchwiz UI is the most boringest (if there is word for that) UI you can ever get on an Android platform device literally.

5. OpTiMuS_BlAcK

Posts: 418; Member since: May 04, 2012

All the data gone, ouch.

9. kreneo

Posts: 13; Member since: Aug 29, 2011

samsung fanboys giving out excuses! LoL

10. som

Posts: 768; Member since: Nov 10, 2009

It is just a test nothing will harm your phone.

11. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Another reason added to my list of why Touchwiz is not to be trusted.

13. bigstrudel

Posts: 594; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

Sense don't look so bad now huh

17. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1773; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

I love HTC Sense. Back in the day I preferred my OG EVO over the SGSII even though the screen was beautiful it still felt like a downgrade going to Touchwiz

14. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

Does this affect everyone or just US PHONES... verge reports they only got it to work on a at&t s3...either way let's hope this is fixed ASAP and should not be a problem unless you or on dodgy sites

15. tedkord

Posts: 17307; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Come on, Samsung. Address this. It should be as easy as having a confirm factory reset dialog box poo up for all hidden code disks.

16. Gingershnaps

Posts: 18; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

Per another android site: Update: This issue is, unsurprisingly, a lot more nuanced than the video here lets on. The bug is based in the stock Android browser, is in fact quite old, and has been patched in more recent builds of Android - this is probably why Nexus devices running the most recent OTAs are unaffected. The fact is, this is not a Samsung problem, it's an old Android problem that has been known about for some time. Any of the U.S. SGs3 that have their OTA updates aren't able to be affected.

19. christianqwerty

Posts: 467; Member since: May 05, 2011

touchwiz has crashed on my s3 so many times

22. tedkord

Posts: 17307; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Really? I don't think I've had TouchWIZ crash even once in the two months I've had my GS3. And I tinker a lot.

24. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

^ This. And I've managed to reach 1.56GB of RAM of 1.59 and it didn't crash or lag, at all.

20. Martine

Posts: 102; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

@ Phonearena. This has been confirmed to be a vulnerability of the stock Android browser. A fix for this hack was released with the latest Jelly bean update. Therefore, the hack will affect any android device running previous versions of Android. You can use a simple google search to confirm this info. Please update the post. Thanks. Jokesy

21. geesanut

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

Looks like a conspiracy to me.? (LoL)! Phones not meeting expectations,android haters, could it be possible!?

25. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Why is there no source listed?

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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