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Google launches its own mobile network for Nexus 6 owners Google is now a mobile carrier. Today the company has made official its plan to offer wireless service to owners of its Nexus 6 smartphone. It's called Project Fi, and Google is launching an early invite program beginning today. "Similar to our Nexus hardware program, Project Fi enables us to work in close partnership with leading carriers, hardware makers, and all of you to push the boundaries of what's possible," the company wrote in a blog post. The service is only available for the Nexus 6 and requires a special SIM card for Project FI — it will work with both existing Nexus 6 devices and new ones. Google is says that right now the service is only available as an "early access program," and during that program it won't work on other phones. Google's new offering is unique in that the company will charge consumers only for the data they use rather than hit them with a flat monthly fee that comes with a preset amount of data. If you fail to use all the data you've paid for, Google will refund you the difference. If you go over your plan, Google will simply charge you at a pro-rated rate of $10 per GB. In other words, if you pay for data and don't use it, you get refunded. If you don't buy data and use it, you end up paying the same amount. There are no family plans available, but neither does it require a contract of any kind. As reported previously, Google will operate its wireless service with the help of both T-Mobile and Sprint; customers will have access to both networks, and Google's service will intelligently switch between them and Wi-Fi to maintain strong reception. "We developed new technology that gives you better coverage by intelligently connecting you to the fastest available network at your location whether it's Wi-Fi or one of our two partner LTE networks," the company said. Project Fi also supports voice calls and texting over Wi-Fi, lending subscribers more flexibility and how and where they can communicate with their contacts. Google also says it's using secure tech (there's a key that shows up in your menu bar) for when you're using public Wi-Fi hotspots. Google says Project Fi phone numbers "live in the cloud," according to Google, enabling you to text and place voice calls from a laptop or tablet without your actual phone nearby. When you are on the phone, Google says calls can seamlessly transition to LTE when you leave a Wi-Fi network. Google seems to be using the new, combined Hangouts / Google Voice infrastructure in some way for Fi, as its FAQ references it often. If you're interested in being part of Google's mobile experiment, the signup page is here. Google says it'll be sending out a small number of invites every week starting now. Sursa: Google launches its own mobile network for Nexus 6 owners | The Verge
SMS Vulnerability In Nexus Phones Can Be Exploited To Force A Reboot Or Kill Cellular Connectivity Friday 11/29, at the DefCamp Security Conference 2013 in Bucharest, Romania, details were revealed about a potentially serious SMS vulnerability found in all current Nexus phones. The person responsible for the discovery is Bogdan Alecu, a system administrator at Levi9 and independent security researcher in Romania. When exploited, the attack can force the phone to reboot or destabilize certain services. The method of attack simply relies on sending a series of Class 0 "Flash" messages to the target phone. Flash messages are typically used for emergency or security purposes, appearing on the screen immediately instead of going to the default SMS application. When such a message arrives, no sounds are made but the background is dimmed and a single dialog box appears on top. Once 20-30 messages pile up, assuming the user isn't clearing them, it overloads the system and leads to a few potential side-effects. Most commonly, the result is an unresponsive device or an immediate reboot, but the Messages app or cellular radio may occasionally crash or freeze up in some instances. In the event that the cellular radio crashes, it may have some more serious consequences. If a target has their SIM locked with a PIN code, the phone will not be able to reconnect until the code is entered. From time to time, it's also possible for the cellular radio to seize up, which can only be fixed by restarting the device. This is problematic because there are no audible prompts and the malfunction won't be seen until the owner unlocks their screen, leaving them without service for potentially several hours. Alecu first notified The Android Security Team to the issue over a year ago, but initially received only automated responses. Continued efforts were mostly unsuccessful, leading to the decision to disclose the vulnerability publicly. To mitigate potential threats, he collaborated with Michael Muellerto develop Class0Firewall, an app designed to protect from Class 0 messages if they reach the threshold of becoming a denial-of-service attack. Bogdan notes that the current attack is only capable of destabilizing a phone, but theorizes that it might be possible to force remote code execution. Based on limited testing with devices from various vendors, the vulnerability appears to only affect the Nexus line running on all versions of stock Android through to the current release of KitKat. None of the OEM variants checked were susceptible to the attack. Hopefully the publicity will prompt Google to release a patch to block the issue as quickly as possible. Even if a fix is rolled out, it's not entirely clear if the Galaxy Nexus will receive it now that it is no longer getting OS updates. Ideally, the patch will be ported back to Android 4.3 and a security release will be made for the 2-year-old phone. Thanks, Bogdan Alecu! Via SMS Vulnerability In Nexus Phones Can Be Exploited To Force A Reboot Or Kill Cellular Connectivity