Sunday, October 4, 2009

Palm Pre WebOS <=1.1 Remote File Access Vulnerability

Below are the details of the remote file access vulnerability I have released to various vulnerability mailing lists. To view a flash video that demonstrates how to exploit this bug please check out: Click To Watch

The folks over at did a nice write up on the issue as well:

I. Description

The Palm Pre WebOS <=1.1 suffers from a JavaScript injection attack that allows a malicious attacker to access any file on the mobile device.

Palm has patched this vulnerability and all users are recommended to upgrade to WebOS version 1.2+.

Palm WebOS 1.2 patch notes can be found here:

II. Impact

A specially crafted email can access any file on the Palm Pre WebOS version <=1.1 mobile device and send it to a web site of the attacker's choice just by viewing the email.

III. Details

The Palm Pre WebOS 1.1 and lower will parse and execute JavaScript contained in an email it receives. Exploiting this vulnerability allows an attacker to read/extract any file and post it to a remote website the attacker controls.

One particular file of interest is the "PalmDatabase.db3" file. Having this database file will give an attacker emails, email addresses, contact list information including names, phone numbers, etc. Limitations with binary data have been identified, however viewing binary data such as database files is still simple.

Proof of Concept

Creating an email with the following JavaScript in it will automatically upload a file of the attacker's choice to a remote web server:

To view a Flash demo of this exploit in action:

IV. About

This vulnerability was discovered by Townsend Ladd Harris

Special Thanks to :
- Chris Rohlf - Blog:
- Destinal #webos-internals (
- Webos-Internals group #webos-internals( Website: Here
- Bryce Kerley
- Dan Czarnecki
- Jeremy Rasmussen


  1. The problem is that the European versions of the Pre, launching this week, are carrying 1.1 - NOT the patched 1.2 - and there's no date given yet (beyond "this month") for the upgrade, so you're providing details of how to scupper the European Pre's...

  2. Its so highly informative things are posted in your blog. I was seeking for this type of blog only and also that you have a fresh and interesting content.
    Web Conferencing

  3. Mobile technology is continuously evolving to enable users do almost anything on the go, and much more is in store for sure. Collaboration via mobile is a capability rendered as part of this evolution. Today meetings can be conducted through mobile. You can join a Web Conference wherever you are with just an Internet-equipped mobile. Thanks to vendors such as RHUB and others who have made such enabling technologies.

  4. This is a serious one. I hope it was solved until now.

    Palm Pre Cases

  5. Wow..this is pretty viscous stuff. I had no idea that Palms were so vulnerable to attack. Makes me happy I have somehow managed to avoid smartphones altogether up to this point. Especially considering the fact that I have used remote control software on a friend's iPhone to access my computer..I would be very upset if my info was compromised due to an attack like this..

  6. The iPhone was first introduced by Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007 at the Macworld exhibition in San Francisco. After launching iPhone, Apple's shares were soaring. Coque iphone 4