thinkYou know the text message you just sent using your new iPhone? That one about how much of a “power-hungry slave driver” your boss is?

Until Apple releases a patch to correct the issue, you better hope he doesn’t have the same skills as the two European researchers that recently discovered a way to hijack the iPhone.

Vincenzo Iozzo, 22, and Ralf Philipp Weinmann, 32, successfully broke into the iPhone and hacked into the SMS database in about 20 seconds during the Pwn2Own hacking contest. They were even able gain access to messages that had already been deleted. The hacking technique developed by the two researchers, known as an exploit, could have also extracted the phone contact list, the email database, photographs, and iTunes music files on any iPhone.

The iPhone’s sandbox, a security tool that protects the iPhone from being attacked, was able to keep the hackers from bypassing it. But the winning exploit was strong enough to operate without having to break free from the sandbox.

“Apple has pretty good counter-measures but they are clearly not enough,” said Halvar Flake, a security researcher that assisted with the exploit.

Weinmann said that they were able to hone in an a vulnerability in the iPhone’s design. By using the exploit, a hacker is able to have the same user privileges as a non-root user called mobile located in the iPhone sandbox.

“It was a real world exploit against a popular device, ” said Aaron Portnoy, a security researcher from the company sponsoring the Pwn2Own hacking contest, TippingPoint Zero Day Initiative. “They exfiltrated the entire SMS database in about 20 seconds. It was as if a webpage was loading.”

TippingPoint ZDI will report the issue to Apple and will withhold details until a patch to correct the vulnerability is released.

(Via ZDNet)

 

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oprah-b_9On Oprah’s recent January 18th episode, Oprah spoke about the dangers of talking and texting while driving. Previously she had been quoted saying “how absolutely stupid it is that we continue to text and drive.”

According to the Harvard Center of Risk Analysis, 6 percent of all car crashes are caused by cell phone use while driving. That equates to 636,000 crashes, 330,000 injuries, and 2600 deaths each year. Oprah is asking drivers to commit to obeying the law and to making sure not to text or talk while driving.

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texting-while-drivingAdvice given is much easier than advice taken – especially when it comes to texting and driving. In a new AAA survey, approximately 90% of people equate the dangers of drunk driving with the dangers of texting and driving. Unfortunately 21% of respondents admitted to having done what they had just declared as dangerous as drunk driving in the past month.

Another disturbing statistic was that 58% of respondents determined that talking on the phone while driving is a “very serious threat to their safety,” and yet 55% of respondents admitted to talking on the phone while driving in the past month. The discrepancies between the percent of people who think doing something that puts them in grave danger and the percent of people doing those things can be attributed to many things. For one, there is no national law against texting or e-mailing while driving. Second, there is a certain stigma surrounding drunk driving that isn’t present around texting/e-mailing and driving or talking on your cell phone and driving.

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