HTC Android phones allow apps to harvest users’ Wi-Fi password

A bug in the way some Android-running HTC smartphones handle requests for password allows some applications to send the user’s Wi-Fi network username, password and SSID information to a remote server, researcher Bret Jordan warned on Wednesday.

“There is an issue in certain HTC builds of Android that can expose the user’s 802.1X password to any program with the ‘android.permission.ACCESS_WIFI_STATE’ permission. When paired with the ‘android.permission.INTERNET’ permission, an app could easily send user names and passwords to a remote server for collection,” he explained. “In addition, if the SSID is an identifiable SSID (‘Sample University’ or ‘Enterprise XYZ’), this issue exposes enterprise-privileged credentials in a manner that allows targeted exploitation.”

He discovered the flaw last September, has notified HTC, Google, key government agencies and CERT about it immediately, and has shared with the companies what the details of the vulnerability. HTC has confirmed on Tuesday the existence of the flaw.

In the meantime, they worked on a patch, and updates that solve the issue have been released for the affected devices: Desire HD (versions FRG83D and GRI40), Glacier (FRG83), Droid Incredible (FRF91), Thunderbolt 4G (FRG83D), Sensation Z710e (GRI40), Sensation 4G (GRI40), Desire S (GRI40), EVO 3D (GRI40) and the EVO 4G (GRI40).

Users who haven’t already received the fix are advised to visit the aforementioned page and update their devices themselves.

“Google has also done a code scan of every application currently in the Android Market and there are no applications currently exploiting this vulnerability.” reassured Jordan.

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