Samsung has been working on its Tizen operating system for several years now, implementing it into its various televisions and smartwatches. According to a report from Motherboard, the OS isn’t receiving a lot of praise in the security department. Israeli researcher Amihai Neiderman has found 40 unknown zero-day vulnerabilities in Tizen, adding that it may be the worst code he’s ever seen. From the report: “It may be the worst code I’ve ever seen,” he told Motherboard in advance of a talk about his research that he is scheduled to deliver at Kaspersky Lab’s Security Analyst Summit on the island of St. Maarten on Monday. “Everything you can do wrong there, they do it. You can see that nobody with any understanding of security looked at this code or wrote it. It’s like taking an undergraduate and letting him program your software.” All of the vulnerabilities would allow hackers to take control of a Samsung device from afar, in what’s called remote-code execution. But one security hole Neiderman uncovered was particularly critical. It involves Samsung’s TizenStore app — Samsung’s version of Google Play Store — which delivers apps and software updates to Tizen devices. Neiderman says a flaw in its design allowed him to hijack the software to deliver malicious code to his Samsung TV. Because the TizenStore software operates with the highest privileges you can get on a device, it’s the Holy Grail for a hacker who can abuse it. Although TizenStore does use authentication to make sure only authorized Samsung software gets installed on a device, Neiderman found a heap-overflow vulnerability that gave him control before that authentication function kicked in. Although researchers have uncovered problems with other Samsung devices in the past, Tizen has escaped extensive scrutiny from the security community, probably because it’s not widely used on phones yet.
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