Security Market Segment LS
Thursday, 15 June 2017 09:42

Samsung forgets domain renewal, exposes millions to hackers Featured

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Millions of users of older Samsung devices were left exposed to hackers because the company failed to renew a domain that was used to control an app, according to security researchers.

The company supplies an app called S Suggest as part of the default setup on older smartphones. This app suggests the use of other popular apps to users.

Samsung appears to have discontinued the S Suggest app recently, according to a report on Motherboard, and let one of the domains use to control the app, ssuggest.com, expire.

Anyone who registered the domain gained a means of pushing malicious apps to the millions of devices that have the app.

One researcher, João Gouveia of Anubis Labs, registered the domain on Monday in 24 hours witnessed about 620 million check-ins from 2.1 million smartphones.

S Suggest has permissions that allow for remotely rebooting a phone and installing apps or packages.

Another security researcher, Ben Actis, told Motherboard that if an attacker had found out about the domain and registered it, he or she could have pushed backdoored or malicious apps to millions of Samsung smartphones.

Samsung's stuff-up comes a couple of months after a researcher described its Tizen operating system — which the company has touted as an Android replacement — as having some of the worst code he had ever seen.


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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