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HTC Smartphones Have Bluetooth Security Flaw

Recent reports have suggested that the Windows Mobile powered HTC smartphones have a serious Bluetooth vulnerability which could lead to exploitation of data stored on the handset.

According to the reports, it is a flaw in HTC ‘obexfil.dll’ driver that has been the cause of all the troubles and handsets with Windows 6 or 6.1 with this flawed driver are now vulnerable to hacking attacks; however, HTC handsets running Windows Mobile 5 aren’t affected by the vulnerability.

In addition to allowing hackers to access any file on the handset, the vulnerability even allows a hacker to inject malicious code into the victim’s phone, once he manages to connect the handset via Bluetooth.

The serious issue in the HTC handsets has been bring forth by a Spanish security researcher Alberto Moreno Tablado, who alerted HTC users by saying, “If you have an HTC smartphone running Windows Mobile 6 or Windows Mobile 6.1, you may want to think twice before connecting to an untrusted device using Bluetooth.”

The vulnerability could reportedly allow an attacker to access emails, contact details, pictures and other data stored on the victim’s handset.

So, in order to avoid being troubled by the aforementioned vulnerability, the security researcher suggested users to avoid exchanging content via Bluetooth with the other users they don’t know.

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Our Comments

HTC, not Windows Mobile, is the culprit and the more complex and ambitious mobile platforms become, the more likely will there be weaknesses and vulnerabilities discovered. Clearly it is infinitely more difficult to hack a Nokia 3310 than the new iPhone. The fact that most smartphones now come with always-on internet access make things even more complicated.

Related Links

Bluetooth vulnerability reported in HTC phones (opens in new tab)

(ZDNet)

HTC WinMo phones could allow hackers to infect you via Bluetooth (opens in new tab)

(Mobile Crunch)

HTC smartphones vulnerable to Bluetooth file sniffing (opens in new tab)

(The Register)

HTC Windows Mobile Smartphones: Bluetooth vulnerability (opens in new tab)

(Product Reviews)

HTC Smartphones Left Vulnerable to Bluetooth Attack (opens in new tab)

(PC World)

Bluetooth vulnerability found in certain HTC smartphones (opens in new tab)

(FierceMobileIT)

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.