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"The hackers exploited a weakness in the way NFC is implemented in the Galaxy S3 to deliver a malicious file that was automatically opened by the Android document viewer," writes ZDNet's Ryan Naraine. "Once the file opened, the team exploited a zero-day flaw in the document viewer to launch a code execution attack. A second Android privilege escalation vulnerability, also zero-day, was then used to get full rights on the device."
"The payload is very advanced, so attackers can 'basically do anything on that phone,' the researchers said. ... Though the phones must be very close to each other -- almost touching -- only a very brief connection is needed to upload the payload data, after which a Wi-Fi connection can be established, allowing the attacker to download information from the targeted phone, the researchers said," writes Computerworld's Loek Essers.
At the same contest, Certified Secure researchers also won $30,000 for hacking into an iPhone 4S.
"The hackers, Joost Pol and Daan Keuper, were able to find [a] vulnerability in WebKit that allowed them to hijack photos, videos, address book contacts, and browsing history right from the phone," writes 9to5Mac's Jake Smith.
"The attack relies on directing users to visit a malicious webpage which contains code that can circumvent security mechanisms in the Safari Web browser," writes PCMag.com's Fahmida Y. Rashid. "The page is able to rifle through the user's pictures, contacts information, and browsing history, and then transmit all that information to a remote server, all without the user's knowledge. ... What makes the exploit even more sinister is the user doesn't need to click on anything for this attack to succeed."