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.
  • (IDG News Service)
  • — 21 August, 2008 23:56

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.

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

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?