Researchers crack Palm webOS with a text message

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Operating system riddled with security holes.

Researchers have disclosed that they have managed to crack Palm's webOS with a simple text message.

The team at Intrepidus Group worked on a Palm Pre running the 1.3.5. version of the webOS operating system and within hours found it open to many common vulnerabilities due to its inherent design.

“As we started to pry a little it became quite apparent that Palm’s new WebOS platform was riddled with some pretty dangerous bugs,” said the team in a blog post.

“These bugs can all be traced back to that fact that webOS is essentially a web browser and the applications are written in JavaScript and HTML. This also means that webOS applications are subject to the numerous web applications vulnerabilities that any seasoned penetration tester would be all too familiar with.”

While the researchers loved the operating system as a concept but were scathing about the security of the handset, saying Palm must have put “almost no thought into security.” They found common web application flaws built into applications Palm had written itself.

The team found that the SMS system did not perform input/output validation. This allows an HTML injection attack by inserting an iFrame into the message, which is automatically activated, which the team demonstrated in a video.

The announcement comes at a low point in Palm's history, with poor financial results, the resignation of the chief executive and rumours of a takeover in the offing.

Copyright ©v3.co.uk


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