Text attacks could force smartphone reboot

Google Nexus owners might be vulnerable to an insidious sort of SMS attack. 

According to reports, attackers are able to force this particular sort of smartphone offline by sending a high number of a particular sort of message. It seemingly affects all Android 4.x firmware versions on the Google Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 devices.

The issue arises if the perpetrator sends several dozen Flash SMS or instantly appearing messages. If they aren't dismissed, the device could be open to an attack. Because there isn't an audio tone to alert the user, he or she might be unaware that they're piling up — which can lead to problems. 

"A live test at the conference performed on a Nexus 4 phone with the screen unlocked and running Android 4.3 did not immediately result in a reboot," says Lucian Constantin of IDG news service.  "However, after receiving around 30 class 0 messages the phone became unresponsive: Screen taps or attempts to lock the screen had no effect. While in this state, the phone could not receive calls and had to be rebooted manually."

While this might be a simple nuisance to a personal user, if it is a company phone, there could be problems. For example, if an employee has sensitive work on his or her phone that it not backed up properly, a sudden reboot could cause information loss. 

One of the ways in which business owners can counteract this problem is by purchasing high tech insurance. This type of policy can insure not only the hardware but also the value of data lost, a crucial protection for any company. 

 

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