SYMSA-2007-002: Palm OS Treo Find Feature System Password Bypass



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Symantec Vulnerability Research
http://www.symantec.com/research
Security Advisory

Advisory ID: SYMSA-2007-002
Advisory Title: Palm OS Treo Find Feature System Password Bypass
Authors: J.R. Wikes, Matt Cooley, & Scott King
Release Date: 14-02-2007
Application: N/A
Platforms: Palm OS Treo smart phones - Tested on Verizon,
Sprint, & Cingular Treo 650 (Treo650-1.03a-VZW &
Treo650-1.12-SPCS), Cingular Treo 680, and
Sprint/Verizon Treo 700p phones
Severity: Locally exploitable
Vendor status: Verified by vendor. No patch forthcoming.
CVE Number: CVE-2007-0859
Reference: http://www.securityfocus.com/bid/22468


Overview:

Palm OS Treo smartphones are equipped with a system password lock
to secure contents of handheld data from unauthorized access.
When this lock is engaged, Treo's built-in Find feature is still
accessible and can be used to perform searches on text in Treo
applications and databases (e.g. SMS Messages, Memos, Calendar,
Tasks, etc). Search results are accessible, and depending on
their size, may be truncated. An attacker may use this
vulnerability to retrieve information from a locked device.

The built-in Find feature can also be used to access an Edit
window and paste previously cut or copied data into the search
field of a locked device. An attacker may use this vulnerability
to view data that was cut or copied from Treo applications prior
to the device being locked.


Details:

The Find feature can be accessed when the handheld is locked by
issuing keyboard shortcut keys on the Emergency Call screen and
the Call In Progress screen that is displayed when an incoming
call is accepted. More details for each of these methods is
listed below.

1. Emergency Call Screen

- From the System Lockout screen, select 'Make Emergency Call'.
Press the keyboard shortcut keys for Find (Option Key + Find Key).
This will open the Find window on the bottom half of the screen.
Enter the desired text to search and click on 'OK'. (Searching on
a single space usually returns data)

To access the Edit window, press the Menu key while the Find
window is open. Select Paste from the Edit window to paste
previously cut or copied data in the Find window.

2. Call In Progress screen

Accept an incoming call.
Press the keyboard shortcut keys for Find (Option Key + Find Key)
during the call. This will open the Find window on the bottom
half of the screen. Enter the desired text to search and click
on 'OK'. (Searching on a single space usually returns data)

To access the Edit window, press the Menu key while the Find
window is open. Select Paste from the Edit window to paste
previously cut or copied data in the Find window.

Note: The Find window will stay open after a call has been
disconnected. However, users will be returned to the Lockout
screen when the find results are closed.


Vendor Response:

14-08-2006: Initial Vendor Notification.
06-09-2006: Vendor acknowledges receipt of vulnerability description.
06-09-2006: Vendor confirms vulnerability.
19-01-2007: Vendor decides not to fix vulnerability.
14-02-2007: Advisory released.


Recommendation:

In the interim of a patch being released to address this
vulnerability, users should be notified of this condition so that
they may take appropriate actions including encrypting sensitive
handheld databases.


Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) Information:

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has
assigned the following names to these issues. These are
candidates for inclusion in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org),
which standardizes names for security problems.

CVE-2007-0859

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