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Apache Cordova Android 3.5.1 Update
06 Aug 2014

On Monday, we released Cordova Android 3.5.1, to address a couple of security issues. Afterwards, talking with the original researchers, we realized that the text of the security announcement that went out wasn't quite right, so we've amended it.

You can read the amended blog post here.

The issue in CVE-2014-3502 is that Cordova applications would, by default, pass any URLs that they couldn't load to the Android intent system for handling. This lets developers construct URLs that open email applications, maps, or send SMS messages, or even open web pages in the system browser, but it also allowed malicious URLs that could potentially open other applications on the device. This meant that if someone could execute their own JavaScript in your application, that they could use other applications on the device to "phone home" with the user's data. This is why we are recommending that all Android developers upgrade to Cordova 3.5.1.

In order not to break existing applications, Cordova 3.5.1 disallows clearly malicious URLs, but will still open links like sms:, mailto:, or geo: in their default applications. (It is, after all, a useful feature, and there are many published applications which rely on that behaviour.) If you want to restrict that even further, you can use Cordova plugins to customize which URLs can be loaded, and which URLs will be blocked completely.

As a very simple example of this, I have published a sample plugin which blocks all external applications from loading. To use it, install it like

cordova plugin add net.iclelland.external-app-block

or feel free to clone it from GitHub and tweak it to suit your needs.

We're hoping to have a more flexible solution built in to Cordova with the next release, but in the meantime, the plugin system is powerful enough to allow you to control this for your apps yourself.


Apache Cordova Android 3.5.1
04 Aug 2014 - By Marcel Kinard

Updated: 2014-08-06 (The text of CVE-2014-3502 was changed after this post was...


Plugins Release: August 11, 2014
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