It never leaves your side, but how much control do you have over your smartphone? You might not have as much control as you think you have. At Black Hat in Las Vegas in August, two researchers from Accuvant Labs released findings of software commonly used for updates that could make your devices easy targets for cyber criminals.
Hidden controls have been found on mobile devices, affecting as many as two billion devices from over 100 leading manufacturers. These controls, while out of your hands, could leave your device vulnerable to hackers. Basically, if your device software can be updated through a carrier or company wirelessly, it could be affected.
Software known as Open Mobile Alliance Device Management (OMA-DM) protocol used to manage software updates is installed on cars, phones, laptops and more. An authentication vulnerability within the software could allow hackers to take control of the device: listen in on phone conversations, grab passwords from accounts or take over the device completely.
The good news
Since this vulnerability has been identified in August, carriers are working on patching up the holes. If you got the new iPhone, you might have other issues, but your device is probably safe from this particular threat. If you want more assurances that your devices are secure, contact your carrier to ask what steps they’ve taken to address this OMA-DM issue.