Nokia admits security flaws in Series 40 OS

Nokia confirmed Thursday its widely-used Series 40 operating system has security vulnerabilities that could allow activation of stealth applications.

Nokia confirmed Thursday its widely used Series 40 operating system has security vulnerabilities that could allow stealth installation and activation of applications.

But the company was evasive on whether it paid €20,000 (US$29,500) to researcher Adam Gowdiak of Security Explorations, who wanted payment for effort spent finding the flaws.

"For obvious reasons of security, we will not comment further on the detail of our activities with Security Explorations," wrote Nokia spokeswoman Kaisa Hirvensalo, in an e-mail.

Gowdiak, a researcher in Poland, said earlier this month he had found problems with Java 2 Micro Edition, (J2ME) an application framework for mobile devices, as well as the Series 40 OS. Nokia claims Series 40 is the mostly widely used mobile device platform.

Gowdiak has done research on the Java Virtual Machine and wrote on his Web site that he worked at one time for its developer, Sun Microsystems.

Vendors typically steer clear of paying researchers for vulnerability information and alternatively encourage what they term is "responsible disclosure," or a discrete notification before vulnerability information is made public. Otherwise, users of a particular software are at risk while a vendor tries to develop a patch.

Nokia said some of its Series 40 products are vulnerable to an attack that could result in the secret installation of applications. The company said it has also found earlier versions of J2ME could allow privilege escalation or access to phone functions that should be restricted.

"Our testing has been concentrating on products that might have both of the claims present," according to a Nokia statement.

Nokia said it isn't aware of attacks against Series 40 devices, and the problems do not represent a "significant risk."

While details on the vulnerabilities are limited, Gowdiak has said an attack could be mounted by sending maliciously crafted messages to a particular phone number.

Gowdiak could not be immediately reached for comment.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?