Vulnerability Analysis of MMS User Agents

Collin Mulliner

Giovanni Vigna

The Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) is becoming more popular, as mobile
phones integrate audio and video recording functionality. Multimedia messages
are delivered to users through a multi-step process, whose end-points are the
MMS User Agents that reside on the users' mobile phone. The security of these
components is critical, because they might have access to private information
and, if compromised, could be leveraged to spread an MMS-based
worm. Unfortunately, the vulnerability analysis of these components is made
more difficult by the fact that they are mostly closed-source and that the
testing has to be performed through the mobile phone network, which makes the
testing time-consuming and costly. This paper presents a novel approach to the
security testing of MMS User Agents. Our approach takes into account the
effects of the infrastructure on the delivery of MMS messages and then uses a
virtual infrastructure to speed up the testing process. Our testing approach
was able to identify a number of previously unknown vulnerabilities, which, in
one case, allowed for the execution of arbitrary code.

Keywords: Mobile devices, Mobile phones, Multimedia Messaging Service, Vulnerability Analysis, Fuzzing

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