Dec 27th, 2011

A vulnerability was discovered in GSM networks — the same type of network T-Mobile and AT&T operate on — that could allow for a hacker or an otherwise nefarious character, to gain full remote control of any smartphone running on those types of networks (Sprint and Verizon are in the clear). The security flaw was revealed during a hacking convention in Berlin where the head of Germany’s Security Research Labs, a Mr. Karsten Nohl, said that the attacks could easily be carried out on a large scale as well.

”We can do it to hundreds of thousands of phones in a short timeframe. None of the networks protects users very well. Mobile network is by far the weakest part of the mobile ecosystem, even when compared to a lot attacked Android or iOS devices.”

Hijacked phones could allow for hackers to send text messages or even make phone call, signing up users for expensive premium phone or messaging services, all without the owners consent. If you’re feeling a little bit more paranoid about who could be out there tapping your phone it should be said that Nohl also mentioned carriers could easily patch the security hole simply by updating their outdated software.

[Reuters Via BGR]

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