Researchers: RIM's PlayBook Has Email Security Vulnerability
| Topic : Email Security
Research in Motion, a telecommunications company and developer of BlackBerry smartphones, has recently lost mobile market share to Android OS and Apple's iOS, making a security breach the last thing the company needs.
According to a PCWorld report, researchers Zach Lenier and Ben Nell of Intrepidus Group recently discovered a security vulnerability in RIM's PlayBook, a tablet computer. The researchers revealed that PlayBook's Bridge application, which allows users to connect the device to a BlackBerry via Bluetooth, leaves corporate email and user information exposed to potential hackers.
The report said the vulnerability is in the .ALL file, which contains the Bridge applications token, BlackBerry user information, internet bookmarks and other user information. Using the application's token, hackers could access corporate emails and calendars.
The researchers announced the security issue at a conference on January 12, and RIM followed with a statement regarding the apparent vulnerability, the report said.
"The BlackBerry PlayBook issue described at the Infiltrate security conference has been resolved with BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, which is scheduled to be available as a free download to customers in February 2012," RIM said. "There are no known exploits, and risk is mitigated by the fact that a user would need to install and run a malicious application after initiating a BlackBerry Bridge connection with their BlackBerry smartphone."
RIM has been losing ground in the mobile market to Android and Apple for months, and the security vulnerability is negative news for a company attempting to return to prominance. BlackBerrys are primarily known as business devices that contain top-level email security and message encryption.
According to a recent comScore report, Android devices accounted for 46.9 percent of the mobile market from September through November, while Apple garnered 28.7 percent and RIM ranked third with 16.6 percent market share.