OMG! Google Pixel Phone Allegedly Hacked Under A Minute: Here’s How? Unbelievable!
Google had introduced their first smartphone Pixel with a lot of promise. Announced by Google on 4th October in a press conference the phone had stunning features. Some even said that it might be a competition for iPhone. However Google’s latest smartphone Pixel fell into a hacking trap made by white-hat hackers from China at the ‘PwnFest hacking competition’ held in Seoul, South Korea. The hackers managed to gain remote access into the phone in under a minute. Team ‘Qihoo 360’ from China managed to run a remote code execution in the Pixel phone in less than a minute via a zero-day vulnerability, according to a report in The Register.
Using this hack, the hacker will be able exploit all of the users data. The team however didn’t release the exact details about the vulnerability, althought they gained ‘remote code execution’ to display “Pwned By 360 Alpha Team” on the Chrome browser. They managed the task using a undisclosed zero-day vulnerability, raking in $120,000 (roughly Rs. 81 lakhs) in cash. By gaining remote access to the Pixel phone, hackers exposed all user data – including phone contacts, messages, emails, photos, videos and even card details.
The team also managed to hack into Adobe Flash in just four seconds using a combination of exploits. The Register reports that Flash was breached in four seconds flat, earning them cash prize of $120,000 (roughly Rs. 81 lakhs) more. The company even demonstrated Microsoft Edge vulnerabilities on Windows 10. All in all, the team earned $520,000 (roughly Rs. 351 Lakhs) as prize money. However the report adds, Google has already patched the vulnerability that allowed the hackers to take control of the Chrome browser. The patch has already been released in a new stable build.
At the event, many other teams also showcased how they could breach many aspects of phones and PCs – be it browsing data, phone contacts, card details and more. Chinese hackers Pangu Team managed to breach the Safari browser running on macOS Sierra in a matter of 20 seconds. This feat earned them a $80,000 (roughly Rs. 54 Lakhs) cash prize.
Another zero-day vulnerability was discovered at a PwnFest in Japan by Keen Team of Tencent, which allowed these hackers to compromise the phone’s major functions like calls, messaging, photos, etc. Google has not yet commented on whether this particular vulnerability has been patched or not.
Pixel had come with a lot of promise from Google, as it was the first smartphone made by the company. Google had promised that various security updates will come with the phone. However the fact that hackers were able to hack their phone in just sixty seconds isn’t good news for the company and might result in loss of customers’ faith. In India, the Google Pixel series starts at Rs 57,000 and goes up all the Rs 76,000. Google is pitching this as an alternative to the Apple iPhone 7.