The world has marveled at the security threats posed by the smartphones. Many agencies of governments in the US do not even approve the use of some of these devices for official activities. Obama cannot use his Blackberry because of threats. Recently, to the joy of Research in Motion, Playbook was approved as the only tablet in the US to be certified for use by government agencies. They found out that it has a good security compared with the competition.
Yet, it is not only the smartphones that are at threats. They just figured out that the “feature phones” – the less glamorous ones are also not excluded. They can be compromised with ease. The fact is that most of these features phones have web browsing, MP3 players and many other features which the cheapest Nokia voice only phones do not have. And of course the feature phones are not as sophisticated as the most advanced smartphones. They seat between the common cheap phones and the complex smartphones.
One guy, named Collin Mulliner, who is showing the world how insecure some of these gadgets are have figured out that features phones can easily be compromised. Mulliner was the guy that humiliated Apple when in 2009 in the BlackHat Security Conference demonstrated an SMS based attack on the iPhone. Apple fixed the hole immediately.
Now, with his student Nico Golde, they can knock your phone out of network just by SMS. They can even crash the phone completely. How? Special software which send SMS-like message to the phone and which makes the device to disconnect from the network. In cases where they want to go far, they can shutdown the phone via those SMS messages.
Now, next time you hold those gizmos, be careful. Someone can attack them from Germany, specifically Technical University Berlin if he sends SMS to the wrong phone number.