A serious flaw found in Qualcomm chips: millions of Android devices at risk

By: Elena Shcherban | 08.05.2021, 09:47
A serious flaw found in Qualcomm chips: millions of Android devices at risk

Security experts at Check Point Research have discovered a serious vulnerability in Qualcomm modems that could affect millions of Android devices.

What it means

SMU-2020-11292 weakness concerns the Mobile Station Modern modems. These are systems-on-a-chip developed by the company and are used for voice calls and SMS. The error also uses the Qualcomm MSM Interface (QMI) - a protocol that allows the software components of the modem and other subsystems to communicate with each other.

QMI is used by about 30% of Android gadgets around the world. In theory, hackers can attack any of these devices, but the user needs to install a special Trojan-based application. Once launched, the malicious code will hide in the modem chip and will not be visible, and hackers will be able to listen to calls, read SMS and perform other actions remotely.

What to do

Qualcomm said they are aware of the issue and have already released a fix. But patches may not spread as quickly as we would like, because gadget manufacturers still have to implement them in their firmware.

“Delivering technologies that support robust security and privacy is a priority for Qualcomm. We thank the Security Researchers at Check Point for using industry standard coordinated disclosure practices. Qualcomm Technologies has already provided OEMs with all the required patches in December 2020 and we encourage end users to update their devices as new patches become available, ”Qualcomm said in a statement.

Source: Check Point Research