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ExtraTorrent.cc > Articles > USB Modems Vulnerable to Attack

USB Modems Vulnerable to Attack

USB Modems Vulnerable to Attack

Added: Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
Category: About Torrents > Staying Safe And Secure
Tags:ET, p2p, Torrent, Piracy, Peer To Peer, Network, Hackers, Internet, BitTorrent, Google, utorrent, bitcomet, extratorrent, 2010, www.extratorrent.com
Two Russian security researchers have discovered that majority of 3G and 4G USB modems provided by mobile operators to their subscribers are wide open to attacks. The researchers tested many 3G and 4G sticks obtained from Russian telcos over the past few months and found out that they pose a serious security threat. The USB modems in question were mostly produced by Chinese hardware manufacturers Huawei and ZTE, which are sold not only in Russia, but all over the world with various mobile operators’ stickers on top.

However, the researchers Nikita Tarakanov and Oleg Kupreev had no possibility to test baseband attacks against Qualcomm chips used in the modems. The matter is that under Russian laws you cannot own a GSM base station unless you are an intelligence agency or a telecom operator. This is quite surprising, because almost all Russian oligarchs, politicians and crime bosses have a KGB background.

Due to this limitation, there’s still a lot of research to be done, but the experts have already managed to show many ways to attack the modems through software vulnerabilities. Many modems are identical, and their software is therefore very similar. This is why one can make an image of the modem’s file system, alter it and save it back on the modem.

One of the researchers pointed out that it appeared surprisingly easy to modify the software with the help of free instruments available from Huawei and other developers. Malware has no problem to detect the type of modem used and crack it with malicious customizations of the code. Since the configuration files stored on the modem are in plain text, they can be easily modified, thus allowing the attackers to reroute traffic to their servers and redefine DNS servers used for broadband connection. The intruders can also tinker with custom configuration drives to force modems install malware instead of an antivirus program.

Finally, most modems are set to automatically update software from a single server, but the intruders could potentially compromise the update server and take over heaps of modems handed out by multiple carriers. In the meanwhile, the researchers admitted they didn’t even look for the flaws in the actual modem drivers installed in the operating system, though they were quite confident that they also have vulnerabilities.

April 2nd,2013

Posted by: 

Date:  Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Comments (4) (please add your comment »)

posted by (2013-04-02 06:57:23)
Solcis avatarMoral of the story? Don't use a USB modem unless you absolutely HAVE to.

posted by Blocked (2013-04-02 10:55:26)
No avataror the real moral of the story use your brain with USB modem.used it for a few years here

posted by (2013-04-02 12:37:13)
No avatartrue moral of the story?

hack ur neighbor's WiFi.

posted by ModeratorTrue LoveGirl (2013-04-02 19:35:31)
SiLvErDuSt avatarOr secure tether your mobile

Huawei is another story of corruption-shocking whos getting in bed with them

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