By Mathew J. Schwartz
November 29, 2010
Google is working to patch a new data-stealing vulnerability that
affects all versions of the Android operating system.
The vulnerability was discovered by security researcher Thomas Cannon.
"While doing an application security assessment one evening I found a
general vulnerability in Android which allows a malicious website to get
the contents of any file stored on the SD card," he said on his blog.
"It would also be possible to retrieve a limited range of other data and
files stored on the phone using this vulnerability." In other words, a
successful exploit wouldn't provide the attacker with root access to all
Cannon said that after he emailed Google about the bug, the company made
contact to discuss the issue just 20 minutes later. Google also asked
him to withhold some details while it works on a fix. "As my intention
is to inform people about the risk, not about how to exploit users, I've
agreed," he said.
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