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The Adverse Effects Of Rowhammer On Smartphones
The Adverse Effects Of Rowhammer On Smartphones
Time icon11 May 2018, 9:05 am

Rowhammer is a hacking procedure that manipulates the user information in electronic devices. It was first realized by researchers four years ago when they began ascertaining the working mechanism of this harmful software. It alters the security system in the computer by influencing the electric charge in the storage system to steal and corrupt the information stored in the device. Efforts to fix this issue, however, bear no fruits since the exploitation happens on the hardware of the device and not the software.

 

The Working Mechanism of the Rowhammer

Recently, the researchers have also established a way of how hackers can use the Rowhammer in attacking Android phones through the internet. The whole process does not require any of the user’s permission nor the susceptibility of the smartphone. This way the devices can easily be rooted and access to the required data granted. Just like in computers, the Rowhammer causes electronic leakages into the phone memory to cause data alterations. This new mode of the technique is referred to as GLitch by the researchers since it converts zeros to one’s digits or ones to zeros using the JavaScript library WebGL. However, the technique only helps the hacker to process a malicious program on the Android phones in case the user browses on a crafted page on the internet. This practice was reported as the first remote program on Android phones.

 

Solutions to the Rowhammer Attacks

After a series of experiments, researchers identified a method of using visuals on the processing unit which can easily be regulated to prevent the hackers from interfering with the data. Researchers have proven that the remote works only if the hackers have installations of the malicious applications on the user’s smartphone.

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