Pwning Androids, iPhones with Exchange

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Wipe phones, steal data and cause mayhem with ActiveSync.

View larger image View larger image View larger image

See all pictures here »

An attacker can steal your contacts, snoop on your email and erase all data from your iPhone or Android using Microsoft Exchange, a Perth university lecturer has revealed.

Peter Hannay discovered that by pushing policy to phones he could wipe the devices clean and likely steal data and sniff outgoing emails.

“There is nothing technically difficult to this – it's really easy and really lame, and that's a problem,” the Edith Cowan researcher told delegates at the Kiwicon security conference. 

Kiwicon 6 coverage

“We can set a minimum length for device passwords, demand as the server that a 65,500-long character password be set … and set the screen lock to a one second timeout and give one password attempt.”

“And we pushed a WiFi [ban] out to a WiFi-only iPad.”

In a proof-of-concept demonstration also shown at Defcon, Hannay used a WiFi Pineapple with DNS spoofing plus a fake certificate to which victim phones would connect.

Victim iPhones would flag a connection warning of which “nine out of 10 CEOs will click through” before the devices would be wiped.

“The problem is that we are giving users ... the ability to turn off security measures and they have been trained for years to bypass these sorts of errors,” Hannay said.

Microsoft's Windows Phone was not vulnerable to the attack.

Hannay along with a crew of Edith Cowan university students were further developing the research to include a protocol library to emulate the ActiveSync Protocol. 

“We may be able to get the phones to sync address books, contacts and so on. We could … push a new outgoing mail server to devices so that from now on whenever you send an email, it comes through us.”

He said the attack would gather a lot of victims in public areas such as airports.

Hannay also said when analysing a recent iteration of Android, he discovered Google Apps for business could also push policies following fallible reverse DNS checks.

Copyright © SC Magazine, Australia


 
 
 
Top Stories
Windows 10 lands in Australia
Campaign to get business to upgrade kicks off.
 
NSW to build its own myGov
Service NSW digital profiles available by September.
 
Android bug leaves a billion phones open to attack
Hackers only need phone number to target devices.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Windows 10 is here! (For some)
Jul 29, 2015
Delivery of the free upgrade versions of Windows 10 began today - have you got yours yet?
Microsoft reveals Microsoft Send, a new enterprise chat app to rival Slack
Jul 27, 2015
Microsoft Send is MSN Messenger for grownups, and you could be using it at work very soon
Developers offered $500,000 grants to find HoloLens uses
Jul 8, 2015
Can augmented-reality end up in business?
Microsoft Tossup: The planning app for unorganised groups of friends
Jul 8, 2015
App allows friends to research venues, vote on plans and chat. And depending on how you run your ...
Windows 10 drops 29 July... but only for some
Jul 6, 2015
If you've reserved your copy of Windows 10 and are keenly awaiting its 29 July release, don't ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Should law enforcement be able to buy and use exploits?



   |   View results
Yes
  13%
 
No
  50%
 
Only in special circumstances
  17%
 
Yes, but with more transparency
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 726

Vote