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Security Flaw In Android Web Browser 59

Posted by timothy
from the more-information-would-be-nice dept.
r writes "The New York Times reports on a security flaw discovered in the new Android phones. The article is light on details, but it hints at a security hole in the browser, allowing for trojans to install themselves in the same security partition as the browser: 'The risk in the Google design, according to Mr. Miller, who is a principal security analyst at Independent Security Evaluators in Baltimore, lies in the danger from within the Web browser partition in the phone. It would be possible, for example, for an intruder to install software that would capture keystrokes entered by the user when surfing to other Web sites. That would make it possible to steal identity information or passwords.'"
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Security Flaw In Android Web Browser

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  • by alphad0g (1172971) on Saturday October 25, 2008 @04:45PM (#25511757)
    It would be interesting to hear more about this hack as they seem to make a pretty bold and bogus claim in the article:

    "Unlike modern personal computers and other advanced smartphones like the iPhone, the Google phone creates a series of software compartments that limit the access of an intruder to a single application."

    The iPhone is very compartmentalized. That is why there is no cut and paste - all apps are limited to their own directory. Anyone that has jailbroken an iPhone is familiar with how one app can NOT access data in another apps directory unless permissions are changed.

    Anyone else know more about this comment? It is true for WinMo smartphones - no perms at all, but I am pretty sure that the iPhone does not apply. Is this just a dig at apple?
  • by lysergic.acid (845423) on Saturday October 25, 2008 @11:16PM (#25514391) Homepage

    so true. you have to wonder what cellular networks would be like if they were not closed proprietary infrastructure.

    of course there are the obvious things like:

    • retail phones with mp3 players would actually let you use mp3s as ringtones, instead of forcing you to buy short, low-quality clips of the same songs from your service carrier at a higher cost than the actual song.
    • calls & text messaging rates would correspond to their actual network costs--the same way e-mails, IMs, voice chat, etc. on the internet do not cost anything extra, but are covered by your ISP fees.
    • retail phones come with original unrestricted firmware rather than the crippled carrier-rebranded interface that users see.

    but there'd be other less-obvious indirect benefits, such as:

    • better nationwide network coverage--since we'd be using open public networks, cellphone towers would have a natural & more even distribution covering all parts of the country rather than having lots of redundant/competing infrastructure consisting of a bunch of small concentrated clumps of cellular coverage in urban areas with lucrative markets and almost no coverage at all in poorer, more sparsely populated areas.
    • lower cost of entry to the handset market due to anyone being able to develop devices to use the open networks without carrier approval ($$$). this would lead to more handset makers, meaning lower handset costs & wider selections.
    • boundless technological innovation and creativity. being unhampered by the draconian rule of the telecoms over their proprietary networks, anyone and everyone will be free to develop new and useful applications for the network. that is what propelled the internet from its primitive beginnings to the thriving online digital ecosystem it is today. such technological process is nonexistent on today's cellular networks because it's up to the carriers alone to implement new cellular applications, and they are adversed to experimenting with new technology prevent.
    • the development of mobile communications networks would be put back into the hands of the people. right now people only get to pick their handset from a list of preapproved models allowed by their carrier. useless, poorly designed and unncessary technologies (WAP) continue to be forced on consumers. instead of this, consumer demand would drive the adoption of new/useful technology, while bad products/services designed solely to exploit consumers would be immediately dispensed with.

    this may seem like a pipe dream right now, but it might happen if wireless access internet becomes a basic public utility like roads and sidewalks. VoIP services like Vonage are already stealling business customers from conventional telecoms because of their competitive pricing. old business models will no longer be viable in the information age as closed proprietary specialized communication networks are assimilated by the open and public internet, which is a generalized communication network that can serve the needs of telecommunication, radio broadcast, TV broadcast, etc.

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