In the latest security report published by Check Point, a security flaw plaguing the Qualcomm mobile station modem (MSM) chips, including the ones deployed in 5G systems, has been detailed that was detected by the security researchers in 2020.
Massive applications and massive implications:
The Qualcomm MSM chips reportedly take up a massive 40% of the phone market share of the globe for delivering cellular communications, and other features.
As a result, the vulnerability within the Qualcomm MSM chips makes it even more critical to patch the security fix.
Critical vulnerability within the Qualcomm Chips:
Detailing the security vulnerability within the Qualcomm MSM chips, it was provided that the bug could be exploited by threat actors to inject malicious code and compromise a victim’s phone.
The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2020-11292, could subsequently give the threat actor access to the compromised device’s call history and text messages. They would also be able to listen to the user’s phone conversations and potentially unlock the phone’s SIM to extract additional, sensitive data.
Delivering the security fix:
According to Check Point, Qualcomm had been alerted about the vulnerability back in October 2020, thereby, prompting a security fix for it.
However, the patch is not automatic and phone vendors must apply the patch and roll out the fix to users, which means that any device not yet updated would still be vulnerable.
The security fix was apparently provided to phone vendors back in December 2020 and many had already released the necessary updates.
The Qualcomm security flaw could be exploited through the Qualcomm MSM Interface (QMI), a protocol that fosters communication between software in the MSM and device peripherals such as cameras and fingerprint scanners, Check Point said.
No cases of exploitation:
As was stated by Qualcomm, there has been no evidence that the flaw was being exploited in the wild, providing that it was rated high and not critical.
To actually exploit the Qualcomm flaw, a threat actor would need to bypass the persistent Android security measures, provided by the organization.