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“Frozen” phones, a security threat?

As ridiculous and far-fetched as this sounds, hackers will soon be able to access personal information from your Android phone using a seemingly implausible technique called the FROST attack method. This involves placing your phone in the freezer at temperatures of -15 degrees Celsius for about an hour. The hacker can then gain access to your phone by repetitive switch off and switch on of the device and holding the volume button up and down. The research team at Friedrich-Alexander University in Germany has been able to hack into a number of devices running 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich using this technique.

frost2Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus was relatively easy to break into with the team merely connecting and disconnecting the battery in the span of a few milliseconds. Contacts, images and browser history were some of the information hackers gleaned using this method. The frightening part of this attack method is that even encrypted handsets are susceptible. Encryption creates only a minor obstacle for hackers where the boot loader must be unlocked as with rooting android phones. An amusing aspect of the hack is that it was Android ICS that brought encryption to the platform for the first time.

Android users under the illusion that their personal information is secure even if they lose their handsets best are jerked out of this pleasant notion. Hacking is becoming more and more inventive with ingenious methods to extract sensitive personal information.  Security measures have to keep pace with hackers if consumers are to be safe from hack attacks.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57573226-94/android-phones-susceptible-to-freezing-cold-boot-attacks/