New HTC Vulnerability Found – 4G WiMax Left Wide Open For Malware


A new vulnerability was found in HTC devices — this time, specifically involving HTC handsets equipped with WiMax radios and running on Sprint’s 4G network. Developer TrevE discovered the vulnerability on the 20th and thanks to an agreement he made with HTC, didn’t make the exploit public for a total of 5 days, giving the “Quietly Brilliant” manufacturer time to come up with a fix.

The vulnerability allows for a potentially malicious app to jump onto your WiMax/4G connection and obtain network information or even botch your 4G connection altogether. TrevE even came up with a quick patch as well as a proof of concept app, showing how easy it could be for a would-be hacker to mess with your life. A video of the PoC app in action is provided below.

And now we play the waiting game. HTC recently plugged up one hole in their OTA update that rolled out for all HTC devices on Sprint only a few days ago and now it looks like they’re getting ready to do it all over again. With the ever increasing threat of Android malware on the horizon its nice to know we have a great Android developer community who is on top of issues like this (and keeping OEM’s in check). Thanks, TrevE!

[XDA and InfectedROM]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Not another one. Come on HTC

  2. I got the HTC Inspire a few days ago and I am beyond happy with it! The touch screen actually works great and the screen is huge and very clear. The battery life could be better, but with moderate usage, it will still last all day for me, if I just charge it overnight. This phone is quick and has so many different options. It’s great, the first phone I have been completely happy with!

    1. Wow. Inspire 4g… off eBay? They quit selling them last year didnt they?
      You must have come from feature/dumb phone-huh? Yeah I remember the feeling getting a smartphone last year myself.. Even though they are coming out with dual and pretty soon quadcore phones- I’m still loving my HTC Evo 4g- but the thing to do- is get it rooted-if you are already happy with your inspire- rooting it just blows up your happiness with your device exponentially more. More apps immediately available, some features your phone will do- but your carrier charges for become available for free..and you have the freedom to make your device look and act the way you want it to …
      go over to XDA Android Developers to the Inspire 4g page for custom roms and hot to… on how to root and theme and customize your Inspire 4g…. how it is now is great- but the real fun hasnt started yet for you! heres a link
      or google search the terms: xda android development htc inspire 4g then happy romming…(when you get there look up tutorial on rooting your phone- they give step by step instructions on what software to get hot to- etc and download links for everything…Welcome to the Land of the Droids.

      1. I’ve had an Inspire for a few months and love it as well. I’ve tried a few different ROMs – AOSP, CM7, etc. But I keep coming back to Sense ROMs. Sense is imperfect, but the little features like ring volume going down when you pull the phone out of your pocket, FM radio, the Sense 3.0 lock screen, etc. bring me back. I’m running Android Revolution 6 (2.3.5 with Sense 3.0) right now and really recommend it. Better battery life and memory management, sensible CPU governor, bloatware gone…lots of improvements over the stock ROM.

        I also can’t complain about the network speeds. On HSPA+, which pretty well blankets my home and work area (Seattle and its burbs) I average around 3Mbps up, 1.5Mbps down. Sometimes faster, sometimes slower. I could probably tweak the radio/RIL and APN settings and get faster, but it’s fast enough for me. I’m usually on Wi-Fi anyway.

  3. This EVO 3d is greet

  4. I meant great, got a replacement in the mail from asurion and came in a box with everything brand new, I even got to root it easy hboot1.4

  5. HTCloggers, and now this. No more sense devices for me. Straight vanilla Android for me.

    1. I swear to Goddess! You are so right. I love my Evo 4g to death but HTC and I are so DONE! I can’t believe them! this is outrageous! (And Sprint better keep that unlimited Data coming unthrottled- or their ass is next!).

      1. Where you going when you leave Sprint you whiner? To tiered data somewhere else? I’m sure HTC and Sprint will miss you.

        1. Sprint’s network sucks. What good is unlimited data if it runs like dialup internet?

          1. Richard gets 20mbs down speeds. So sprints network is the fastest. Just ask him. What good is 2gb of tiered data with LTE speeds? You only going to use your phones data for a week and a half a month then turn it off? Sprint’s 3g speed works just fine for me thanks. If it was horrible I would’ve went to Verizon BEFORE they went to tiered data plans, not after. Tiered data with the phones we have now, let alone in the future, will last you half your bill cycle or less. Sprint is going to LTE, so I’m not worried about my dial up network. Ty for your concern.

          2. Not consistently. Only when I’m downtown. And i live uptown. @home I get 3-6megs down 1.3 up…. which I can live with easily for unlimited data… if its throttled or tiered. I can do faster data on LTE.

          3. My sentiment exactly re: Sprint network sucks compared to LTE(my workphones Verizon LTE)
            & really do think -HTC will miss the 3 Phones I buy every two years.
            I’m quite sure Sprint would rather have the $250 a month times 24 (two year lock in)..totalling $6000 for my family’s 2 year phone bill-than not.

    2. Yeah HTC was always my second choice for Android phones but now I have only one, the Nexus.

      1. Heard and witnessed. Nexus.
        I don’t like the look of gingerbread/froyo “vanilla Android”…
        I love Sense(rooted with CIQ snitching detached -and hope they fix the 4g problem quickly!!! for the Evos I have now)…. But going forward. whatever vanilla Android looks like is just going to have to do- with whatever cosmetic changes the “coming root”- will allow in future.
        We need to stop supporting companies that do us dirty like this. We should class action lawsuit them HTC bastards. What is treve gonna find next after this? Its horrendus how they left us out in the wind to identity theft and worse- so cavalierly.

  6. What is this 4g you speak of? I’m so rarely in a 4g area I’m guessing this won’t bother me. I never turn 4g on. If you run a infected rom from infected rom you won’t get your Rom infected. You dig? I told a phone rep to root his phone and install infected rom by Virus. His expression was priceless.

    1. what is this 4g? Its the reason we bought HTC Evos in the first place. I’ve had it since June 2010 its blazing fast downloads- sometimes I get 20megs down and 3 megs up. Hideously fast webpage loads- the thing that makes the cellphone bill able to be swallowed.
      Why do you people who live in the woods always complain that you dont have what civilization offers? You decided to live in the damned woods where major corporations don’t have any economic incentive to put expensive infrastructure in an area 5000 sqaure miles with 25 people in the area. Stop moaning or move to civilization- pick one.

      1. I was joking killer. I live in northern Ohio near lake Erie. So any place not in a major population area is the woods huh? I know what 4g is and I use it when I can. You’re an idiot if you base your home purchase on 4g coverage. I wasn’t whining, I was joking. Went right over your head. Obviously that isn’t hard to do.

        1. Some of us don’t have the means to move -where they’d like….. I now understand that. I’m sorry. I spoke out of turn.

          1. Philly is just a dream. I’d never be able to afford to move to such a exotic resort like city. I’m not sure if i can make it through the rest of my life, but I’ll give it my best try.

      2. 20mbs down, yeah right. That’s pure BS. I’ve had excellent signal reception in Columbus and wasn’t even close to that. My EVO3d loads web pages instantly with my backwoods 3g. Ty for your lesson about your 20mb 4g. Guess you don’t need LTE. It would only slow you down. Learn to pick up on sarcasm bro. If you think everyone without 4g lives in the woods, you’re a tool.

        1. My city was the very first city to roll 4g out from Sprint. And the service has gotten better each time they update the radios and I think they are still laying infrastructure. It was 10 megs down at best a year ago… for the past few months its been just ridiculously faster consistently.
          I dunno if its the radio software or what.
          And theres an obvious speed difference between my hardware 0003 Evo and my other two Evos- hardware 0004- the 0004 Evos are markedly faster than the 0003.

          You insist that the crummy 4g that you are getting is the same in all markets. I’m simply telling you loudly and clearly- it is NOT. the. same. where. you. live. as. where. I. live….
          What you prefer to believe is your own affair. But its rather obvious “some people” living in the hinterlands…have their own versions of reality that trumps the one the rest of us are experiencing.

          1. Downtown Columbus is the “hinterlands” huh? I’m sure the capital city of Ohio has a forest ranger division to deal with those pesky bears in the woods in downtown. I guess your experience counts more than mine since I’m a hick from the sticks.

      3. You say that as if civilization is the pinnacle of human existence. It’s unsustainable idiocy, and history serves as proof of that statement. Hell, look around.

        1. Nope I never said anything about civilization being the pinnacle of anything.
          I said living in the woods- ur 4g is gonna be weak to none. And poked fun at the countryfolk living way out in the boonies cuz they are easy to rile up.
          (It amuses me…)

      4. Hey asshat, I guess I live in the woods too… Except I live in the most populous city in my state and DONT have sprint 4g actually the entire STATE doesnt have 4g. God forbid I dont live on the coast, so therefore I obviously must have chosen to live in the woods as you have said. BTW, when next May rolls around and the sports world decends on my little podunk shanty in the woods for the KENTUCKY DERBY, maybe you will think before you type. Sprint should have at least setup the system so that you didnt have to pay $10 for 4g until you actually HAD 4g!

        1. Don’t get mad at me because you live in the boonies.
          Just sayin.

          1. Phoenix Az is the 6th largest city in the US, and no 4g. Those rubes don’t know they live in the woods either huh? Phoenix just wishes it had phillys great climate. Those poor suckers and their nice weather all year round. They should move to a 4g city.

        2. the ten dollars extra -still has you under the prices for same or lesser service on the other carriers. Switch back to a dumbphone-then. My life isn’t gonna change whatever you do. I like thinking of you guys moaning in the woods with 4g devices and you aren’t ever gonna get 4g. Its kinda funny to me. Flame more.
          Seriously. The madder you get the harder I laugh.
          WiMax 4g is awesome. When Sprint switches to LTE next year- you guys still gonna be moaning… And I’m gonna have faster than what I have now! ROFLMAO.. @# the boyz n da woodz!

        3. Dude u live in Kentucky no one gives a crap about u one way or another including me. Your talk about the Derby as something big proves it. That’s a hand full showing compared to real states and cities. You will never have good phone service. Your in Kentucky dumb ass. Haha

      5. Wow. You’re just as stupid as Richard Yarrell. Coincidence?

  7. Just because it’s near Halloween doesn’t mean you can tell ghost stories. There’s no such thing as Sprint 4G!

    1. Richard B has great stories about 4g. You must live in a cabin next to me out in the woods. I park my horse in the front lawn.

    2. As fins says- u must be in the woods. In the city Sprint 4g is shockingly fast. I live in Philadelphia, PA and I’ve had 4g since June 2010. Its faster than my house cable was. Having an internet firehydrant in each member of my families pockets is a 21st century blessing.
      Not one word of what I said is a Halloween story. I’m not a Sprint booster- I give a damned who the carrier is. I want good quality service and lots of it and a device that doesn’t leave my families identity/bank accounts and online security at risk- like HTC has been doing.

    3. Sprint 4G is WIMAX and mine works great.

  8. I really like my HTC device, despite the few problems it has. But the more I see this sort of thing come up… Im not so sure anymore.

  9. This is a great reason why carriers and manufacturers need to unlock these phones and let the great dev community take care of things. Htc should pay this guy something as will as sprint.
    Great job on finding this.

  10. hahah it’s sprint.. pretty much irrelevant these days.

  11. I love you HTC, but the Galaxy S2 calls to me louder and louder each day. In the mean time, the pressure is mounting to root my EVO Shift. I changed roms like I changed underwear on my old G1, but I just can’t bring myself to root the Shift. I’m a’sceered! D:

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