27 Feb '13, 10pm

Embedded Anti-Malware Defends Against Cisco IP Phone Hack

Embedded Anti-Malware Defends Against Cisco IP Phone Hack

Photo: Red Balloon Security LISTENING IN: Columbia University researchers showed recently how to remotely turn on a Cisco IP phone's microphones. All current Cisco IP phones, including the ones seen on desks in the White House and aboard Air Force One, have a vulnerability that allows hackers to take complete control of the devices. Now computer scientists at Columbia University have developed a defense they call a “symbiote” that can detect any such intrusions. [Editor’s note: IEEE Spectrum uses Cisco IP phones too.] The Columbia researchers discovered bugs in the phone’s kernel —essentially, the heart of its operating system—that can give intruders total access to the phones [PDF]. Once hackers are inside a phone, they can turn on its microphones, transforming it into an eavesdropping device. They can also use a compromised phone as the staging area for attacks on other ...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/embedded-systems/embed...

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