Of all the smartphones available, which one protects best against a hackers?
Windows Phone did surprisingly well against hackers in a recent contest. So did Google’s Nexus 5.
The iPhone 5S, not so much.
The contest was HP’s Mobile Pwn2Own held in Tokyo earlier this week. HP throws a series of these contests in which it invites hackers to break in to specific devices or apps, then pays them for the security holes they find.
This contest was focused on popular smartphones.
When the hackers took on the iPhone 5S, they broke in through the Safari browser. Once in, they were able to access the data on the phone. HP won’t share details of what they did, how or how much of the phone they were able to control until Apple has a chance to fix the hole. But it’s not good whenever a hacker can bust through a web browser into other parts of the phone.
Two hackers took a shot at the Galaxy S5 through the phone’s wireless payment tech, NFC, and succeeded, though HP didn’t spell out how much damage they were able to do once in.
Maybe the most spectacular hack was against the LG Nexus 5 also against its NFC tech. The hacker was able to force it to Bluetooth pair with another phone, just like from the TV show “Person of Interest.” Scary.
The Lumia 1520 Windows Phone didn’t stop the hackers completely, either. But it did hold them off surprisingly well. The hacker was able to to get into the phone’s browser cookie database, but couldn’t bust through to gain full control of the phone. That’s a little like a house thief breaking in through your doggy door but getting stuck half-way through it.
Another hacker used WiFi to break into a Nexus 5. But like the Windows phone, once in, he couldn’t bust out and do more damage.
Now that smartphones are so popular, hackers and security companies are ever more interested in them. For instance, just this week security firm FireEye shouted the alert on a flaw in iPhones and iPads that could allow malicious apps to install more malicious apps. Apple says it hasn’t seen any of its customers hit by such an attack.