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[Chat] [MIUI Tech Discussion #9] Can Rowhammer Attack Be Used to Hack Android Devices?

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07:26, May-07-2018 | From PC
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Greetings MIUIers & Mi Fans!
     We're back to discuss about Rowhammer attack!
Security researchers have discovered an effective way to exploit a four-year-old hacking technique called 'Rowhammer attack' to hijack an Android phone remotely.

So what is a Rowhammer attack?
The Rowhammer attack targets the design of DRAM memory. On a system where the DRAM is insufficiently refreshed, targeted operations on a row of DRAM memory may be able to influence the memory values on neighboring rows,” the CERT Division of the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University succinctly explained.

The result of such an attack is that the value of one or more bits in physical memory (in this case GPU memory) is flipped, and may offer new access to the target system.
Successful Rowhammer attacks have been previously demonstrated against local machines, remote machines, and Linux virtual machines on cloud servers.

android-face.jpg

However, the same team of researchers has now shown how their proof-of-concept attack "GLitch" can exploit the Rowhammer attack technique simply by hosting a website running malicious JavaScript code to remotely hack an Android smartphone under just 2 minutes, without relying on any software bug.

Since the malicious code runs only within the privileges of the web browser, it can spy on user's browsing pattern or steal their credentials. However, the attacker cannot gain further access to user's Android phone.

Check how GLitch attack works!



In the video, the researchers show their JavaScript-based GLitch attack on a Nexus 5 running over Mozilla's Firefox browser to gain read/write privileges, giving them the ability to execute malicious code over the software.

GLitch is the first remote Rowhammer technique that exploits the graphics processing units (GPU), which is found in almost all mobile processors, instead of the CPU that was exploited in all previous theorized versions of the Rowhammer attack.

Since the ARM processors inside Android smartphones include a type of cache that makes it difficult to access targeted rows of memory, researchers make use of GPU, whose cache can be more easily controlled, allowing hackers to hammer targeted rows without any interference.

The technique is named GLitch with first two letters capitalized because it uses a widely used browser-based graphics code library known as WebGL for rendering graphics to trigger a known glitch in DDR3 and DDR4 memory chips.

Currently, GLitch targets smartphones running the Snapdragon 800 and 801 system on a chip—that includes both CPU and GPU—meaning the PoC works only on older Android phones like the LG Nexus 5, HTC One M8, or LG G2. The attack can be launched against Firefox and Chrome.

glitch-rowhammer-android-hacking.gif

Software Patch can't fully fix the Rowhammer issue!

Since Rowhammer exploits a computer hardware weakness, no software patch can completely fix the issue. Researchers say the Rowhammer threat is not only real but also has the potential to cause some real, severe damage.

Although there's no way to fully block an Android phone's GPU from tampering with the DRAM, the team has been working with Google on ways to solve the problem.

What do you think...

Should we really have to worry about that kind of attacks?

Special Thanks to our admins @Nanana @candicesu & Mi 5s Subforum Management Team!




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10:44, May-11-2018 | From Mi Max 2
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Yes, we should..
And probably another exploit will discover while we're still dealing with this issue..

Hopefully, Google can give us a security patch ASAP..

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14:05, May-11-2018 | From PC
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Thanks for the valuable information.  
Don' forget to mention me in your reply!

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14:20, May-11-2018 | From Mi MIX
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Of course we should, that thing is very dangerous

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14:40, May-11-2018 | From PC
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Thanks for the valuable information.  

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14:45, May-11-2018 | From PC
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nice info gan

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15:35, May-11-2018 | From Mi Max 2
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what about thor hammer

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15:38, May-11-2018 | From Redmi Note 4X
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thanks for sharing

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thank,s  info

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15:55, May-11-2018 | From Redmi 3S
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Thanks for sharing

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