If someone can get you to open a URL on a Samsung smartphone, they can trigger a factory reset that you can’t stop. Boom, data gone byebye. And your SIM card might be dead too.
Band-aid fix is dumping the manufacturer’s version of the OS and getting a standard one (maybe a community-created one). Real fix is selling the thing on Craigslist and using the money to buy yourself a few prepaid phones. And some conductive fabric to make yourself a Faraday-cage jacket pocket to keep them in…
Offtopic but insanely cool: guy builds a variable frequency laser at home, just by shaking a vial of Rhodamine dye full of ball bearings with a speaker. I wonder, if it turns out he’s getting above the lasing threshold, what the coherence length of the output is, and if it’s enough to make holograms with.
Lastly, looks like Hotmail has indeed been only using the first 16 characters of passwords all these years: http://arstechnica.com/security/2012/09/secret-microsoft-policy-limited-hotmail-passwords-to-16-characters/
“Samsung smartphones including the Galaxy S3, Galaxy S2, Galaxy Ace, Galaxy Beam and Galaxy S Advance all appear to be affected by the bug which triggers a factory reset on your phone if your web browser is pointed to a particular website.
Smartphones can also be directed to the code through NFC or using a QR code. Once the process has been initiated, users are have no way of stopping it.
If a user taps an NFC tag which has the website pre-loaded onto it, there will be no warning for the user, which is the same if a user scans a QR code with the website URL embedded in it.”