Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart

Samsung’s Galaxy 3 is Vulnerable to Remote Wiping by Hackers [VIDEO]

Ravi Borgaonkar demonstrating Galaxy handset flaws. (Screengrab)

During a recent security conference in South America, a Berlin-based researcher revealed that Samsung has a major problem with its iPhone challengers, the Galaxy 3 and Galaxy S2 smartphones.

Both can easily be remotely wiped by code embedded in a web page.

Ravi Borgaonkar found that the Galaxy’s “service loading” feature, its method of communicating with application servers, can be exploited with just one line of code tucked away in a web page’s HTML. If the attack is successful, the malicious code reverts the phones to their factory settings. Worse still, once the attack begins, the phone’s user can’t do a thing about it.

That’s bad enough. There’s also this: Read More

True Crime

Crime Blog Asks if Social Media Could Have Stopped Charles Manson

Detail from photo of Charles Manson

True Crime Diary is a great true crime blog run by writer Michelle McNamara. Ms. McNamara doesn’t update her blog daily, but when she does, the product is often an insightful and thought-provoking long read. That’s true of this entry posted yesterday, “#bloodbath: how social media might have changed one of history’s most infamous crime sprees.

The crime spree in question: the horrific murders committed by the followers of maniac Charles Manson during the Summer of ’69. Using facts from the case, Ms. McNamara posits an alternate timeline in which smartphones and Twitter were as ubiquitous then as they are now. She paints a brief portrait of how tech might have altered the course of the Manson Family’s rampage, beginning the night Manson followers slaughtered actress Sharon Tate and several guests at Ms. Tate’s secluded Hollywood home: Read More

Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart

Demo Shows How Easily Your iPhone 4S and Android Phone Can Be Hacked

Hope you don't get cancer, CEO guy. (flickr.com/perspective)

Attendees at the EuSecWest-sponsored World Security Professional Summit in Amsterdam are participating in a contest called Mobile Pwn2Own. Contestants are, yes, basically revealing that our mobile devices can be easily pwned by someone with the know-how. Quell your bubbling phone fanboy or fangirl rage right now: it looks like both Androids and iPhones are vulnerable. The Next Web describes the Android pwnage, which was partially done, by the way, via near-field communication, or NFC: Read More

Get Smart(Phones)

A Robot Assistant To Finally Do What You’ve Always Wanted: Compliment You

(Photo: Happiness Engine)

What if your boyfriend was really sweet and helpful and you could shrink him into a tiny cyborg that lives inside your phone? Regardless of what Honey I Shrunk the Kids taught you, we don’t have the technology to do that–yet. But luckily there are Happiness Engines, little bots made by a startup in San Francisco that help make using your smartphone a little bit easier. Read More

Tap It To Me

Dunkin Donuts Definitely Needed Its Very Own Mobile Payment App

America runs on smartphones, more like. (Photo: flickr.com/robertbanh)

Now that big fancy Starbucks has its Square-enabled mobile payments system, you didn’t think Dunkin Donuts was going to allow itself to be one-upped like some sort of country cousin, did you? Certainly not!

GigaOm reports that today, the Massachusetts-based purveyor of superior coffee and slightly stale baked goods is launching its very own mobile payments app, for those of you looking to download something new to the fifth screen of your smartphone.. How it works: Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: No You Can’t Has Game of Thrones on Netflix Instant Edition

One bad apple... (Photo:  flickr.com/lara604

HBO still refuses to cooperate with Netflix, much less offer up Game of Thrones for streaming. [Reuters]

Apple misses quarterly earnings; world continues spinning, somehow. [Washington Post]

AT&T, however, is raking in the dough as a majority of its wireless customers are now smartphone users. [Wall Street Journal]

There are an awful lot of rules for volunteers considering blogging about the Olympics. [Wired.co.uk]

And then there’s the possibility of hackers disrupting the games. [Reuters]

This strategy memo from Buzzfeed is curiously lacking in the use of memes and/or cat pics. [Chris Dixon]

Twitter is cooking up a way of calling up old tweets. If only we actually composed tweets for the ages… [New York Times]

It's Zuck's World We're Just Living In It

Tech Execs Suddenly Wonder What They Hath Wrought

I'm busy, kid. (Photo:  flickr.com/fizzedi)

If you’re reading this on your phone, maybe you should put the phone down and spend some time with your family/girlfriend/dog. Kidding! Keep reading Betabeat, please. 

However, the New York Times reports that an increasing number of Silicon Valley execs are starting to wonder whether maybe they should be telling you to step away from the Internet every once in a while. After getting us all well and truly hooked, they’re now pondering whether maybe the implications of constant connection aren’t as wholly utopian as they expected.

You don’t say. Read More