Android 4.0.4 Zero-Day Found, Galaxy S3 Pwned at Pwn2Own

Today at the EUSecWest conference “PWN2OWN” contest in Amsterdam, MWR labs used a zero-day exploit to pwn an Android based Galaxy S3. MWR Labs used Mercury (their custom made framework to find vulnerabilities) to grab text messages, contacts, pictures and more from the phone:

“MWR showed an exploit against a previously undiscovered vulnerability on a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone running Android 4.0.4. Through NFC it was possible to upload a malicious file to the device, which allowed us to gain code execution on the device and subsequently get full control over the device using a second vulnerability for privilege escalation.

The same vulnerability could also be exploited through other attack vectors, such as malicious websites or e-mail attachments.”

Check out their website for more information.

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iPad or Kindle Fire, and Other Last Minute Geek Gift Ideas

You’ve got a week until Christmas and you still haven’t gotten a gift for the geek in your life?? No worries, we have got you covered. The biggest question this year is “Should I get an iPad 2 or a Kindle Fire?

I am surprised at the confusion over this. As you really aren’t comparing apples to apples, no pun intended. So which one is right for you?

Kindle Fire

The Kindle Fire is a great Book Reader that can browse the internet and play video games. I found the 7″ screen to be vibrant and clear and game playing was rather enjoyable.

If you used one of Kindle’s older readers, this will really be an update for you. The ability to surf the web (Wi-Fi only) is an added bonus.

There have been a lot of complaints about the location of the power button (and users inadvertently hitting it), the unfriendly volume buttons, and many users have complained of the Kindle Fire running very slow and chuggy when in use.

But the price tag of $199 is a lot better than the iPad2 that starts at $499.

iPad 2

The difference? The iPad is a fully functional Tablet PC. The amazing 9.7″ screen is stunning. Tons of apps and games. Video plays smoothly and flawlessly.

You can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi or 3G, it has built in GPS, probably the best mobile operating system and comes sporting two video cameras.

Which one to pick? I always tell people to figure out how much you can afford to spend and then get the best you can get. If you have about $200, and are really into reading Kindle books, then by all means get the Kindle Fire. If you can afford the $499+ for an iPad, then by all means, get the iPad, you will not regret it.

The iPad2 is the best tablet you can get today. Something that more closely compares to the iPad2 is the Samsung Galaxy Tab. It really gives the iPad2 a run for the money in several categories.

How about some other good last minute holiday gifts for the geek in your life?

Here are some great books:

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!