Contributor: Branko Spasojevic
A recent post on Pastebin revealed that a simple command can provide root access to the ZTE Score mobile device. This escalation of privilege can give you full control of a ZTE Score M phone running Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread). We analyzed both the MetroPCS and Cricket Wireless versions of the device and we were able to reproduce the privilege escalation.
The Android security model sandboxes applications so they cannot interact with other applications nor directly perform system level commands without specific authorization preventing undesired affects. The privilege escalation allows one to bypass the default Android security model and run any code on the device and make any modifications unchecked.
The privilege escalation was not a bug in code on the device, but instead likely a design feature for carrier administration purposes or troubleshooting. Unfortunately, irrespective of the reason this code was included, by...