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Android telephones may be hacked simply by somebody realizing your cellphone quantity • Graham Cluley

Android phones can be hacked just by someone knowing your phone number

Effectively, this isn’t good.

Google has issued a warning that some Android telephones may be hacked remotely, with out the supposed sufferer having to click on on something.

If an assault is profitable, the hacker might entry knowledge going by the Samsung Exynos chipsets utilized in many gadgets, scooping up name info and textual content messages.

And what does a hacker have to learn about you to focus on your cellphone?

Your cellphone quantity.

That’s it. All they should know is your Android machine’s cellphone quantity.

Frankly, that’s horrific. It’s simple to think about how such a safety drawback could possibly be exploited by – oh, I don’t know – state-sponsored hackers.

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In all, safety boffins working in Google’s Challenge Zero workforce say that they’ve uncovered a complete of 18 zero-day vulnerabilities in some telephones’ built-in Exynos modem – with 4 of the vulnerabilities being significantly extreme:

Assessments carried out by Challenge Zero affirm that these 4 vulnerabilities enable an attacker to remotely compromise a cellphone on the baseband stage with no person interplay, and require solely that the attacker know the sufferer’s cellphone quantity. With restricted extra analysis and growth, we consider that expert attackers would have the ability to rapidly create an operational exploit to compromise affected gadgets silently and remotely.

In keeping with the researchers, the opposite vulnerabilities require both a malicious cellular community operator or an attacker with bodily entry to the Android machine.

Weak gadgets embody:

  • Samsung smartphones, together with these within the S22, M33, M13, M12, A71, A53, A33, A21s, A13, A12 and A04 collection;
  • Vivo smartphones, together with these within the S16, S15, S6, X70, X60 and X30 collection;
  • Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 gadgets; and
  • any autos that use the Exynos Auto T5123 chipset.

It’s value noting that some gadgets might be utilizing the Qualcomm chipset and modem, which doesn’t endure from the identical vulnerabilities because the one from Exynos.

In fact, Google’s Challenge Zero vulnerability-hunters don’t have any qualms about going into nice element of how safety holes may be exploited, and usually shares such info 90 days publicly after informing related software program or {hardware} distributors of the issue.

On this case, nonetheless, Google’s workforce seems to recognise that public disclosure at this stage may really trigger vital issues:

Underneath our customary disclosure coverage, Challenge Zero discloses safety vulnerabilities to the general public a set time after reporting them to a software program or {hardware} vendor. In some uncommon instances the place we’ve assessed attackers would profit considerably greater than defenders if a vulnerability was disclosed, we’ve made an exception to our coverage and delayed disclosure of that vulnerability.

Resulting from a really uncommon mixture of stage of entry these vulnerabilities present and the pace with which we consider a dependable operational exploit could possibly be crafted, we’ve determined to make a coverage exception to delay disclosure for the 4 vulnerabilities that enable for Web-to-baseband distant code execution.

When you have an affected Google Pixel machine, there’s excellent news. Google has already issued a safety patch to your smartphone with its March 2023 safety replace.

Nonetheless, when you’re the proprietor of a susceptible Samsung smartphone, fixes nonetheless aren’t obtainable in response to no less than one Google Challenge Zero researcher.

So what must you do in case your machine hasn’t been patched?

Google’s advice is that you just change your machine’s settings to change off Wi-Fi calling and Voice over LTE (VoLTE), till a repair to your smartphone is on the market.

Discovered this text attention-grabbing? Observe Graham Cluley on Twitter or Mastodon to learn extra of the unique content material we put up.

Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus business having labored for quite a few safety firms because the early Nineteen Nineties when he wrote the primary ever model of Dr Solomon’s Anti-Virus Toolkit for Home windows. Now an impartial safety analyst, he repeatedly makes media appearances and is an worldwide public speaker on the subject of laptop safety, hackers, and on-line privateness.
Observe him on Twitter at @gcluley, on Mastodon at @[email protected], or drop him an electronic mail.


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