‘World’s most secure Android Phone’ hacked in under 5 minutes at DefCon Hacking Conference

“Blackphone, touted as the world’s most secure Android phone, has reportedly been hacked in less than five minutes,” Internatioanl Business Times reports. “This feat was accomplished at the recent DefCon hacking conference, by @TeamAndIRC, who are said to have obtained root access in under five minutes.”

“Blackphone is the brainchild of Geeksphone and Silent Circle, and the Android phone is designed to provide data security services, based on Google’s Android Open Source Project (AOSP),” IBT reports. “Blackphone runs on a modified Android OS version termed ‘PrivatOS’ that is forked from Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, to provide multiple security tools/options.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “The world’s most secure Android phone.” A new classic.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz,” “Laurie,” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

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37 Comments

    1. Of course one would have to compare that with the world’s most insecure Android Phone to see if there is a difference.

      Reminds me of what I once read about Windows security, that is was like an unlocked car in a parking lot with the windows rolled down and a sign on the windshield saying “please don’t steal me.”

  1. No matter how much you claim android is insecure, the truth is that nobody is able to stole money from an android user… Because android users are poor and don’t have a penny 🙂
    Well, in fact, they do get robbed at least one.. When they brought their iPhone wannabe.

  2. Here is my guess, prior to showing up at DefCon it took them quite a while to find a way to get root access. Then when they arrive showing their skills they took five minutes to do what probably took them months to figure out.

    Really folks, you think someone just walks in decides to root a device then does it under five minutes? Please.

    1. That is what the Safari and OS X winners have always said: They discovered the hole some time ago and then perfected a way to abuse it, then instead of reporting it to the company, they waited to reveal it at the conference.

      1. Yes. This is the way it’s always been.

        The hacker group chooses a high profile target that will get them lots of short term fame and their names reported on lots of sites. They then spend weeks or months finding a way to hack that target. Finally, they show up at one of these events and demonstrate their hack within minutes. The press then reports that the famous platform has been hacked in under XX minutes.

        As I see it, the biggest issue here is that the Blackphone is specifically designed to be *much* more secure than any other Android phone. It has a specifically modified Android OS to make it more secure. It’s not supposed to be hacked even with considerable effort. Unless it took that team *several* months to hack the Blackphone, the implementation is a failure.

        The reality is no smartphone is 100% secure, not even the iPhone. There are specific smartphone implementations used by certain small groups within the U.S. Government that have phones tested and approved by the U.S. NSA that are virtually hackproof, but it is recognized by those organizations that even those phones are not 100% hackproof — just that hacking them will take a State Actor a couple years or more to get into them.

        It will be very interesting to read over the next couple of days about the details of this Blackphone hack, how difficult or easy it was to find and implement, how remotely can it be implemented (hacks where you have to have physical access to the phone shouldn’t count, but something that can be implemented over a cellular connection is really scary), and just what level of control the hacker actually has (saying “root access” or “shell access” is far too nebulous a term to really mean anything).

        1. It doesn’t matter how long it took them to figure out the hack, it only matters how long it takes to apply the hack.

          This is where your statement “no phone is 100% secure” misses the point. The question is “Is it so easy to hack a phone that it is economically beneficial for hackers?”. The answer to this is either “yes” in which case hackers will mount sustained automated attacks, or “no” in which case an exploit is unlikely to be actually used in most cases.

          No car is secure, but if it takes an hour to get into your car it is very very safe. If it takes a few minutes and you have valuables in it? Not so safe.

          1. True, but when your car is built, it is forever that secure. With technology, updates can render your year of research into an exploit null and void. That’s the point of concern for Android devices never receiving updates from their carriers. The Android devices are more like your car example.

    1. Sorry i have to disagree.
      Midgets are capable of being a benefit to society. They are able to live honestly without stealing. They are able to survive the day without breaking down or needing resetting. They can be attractive. They are as valuable as any designed human.

      But we get your point

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