Cellular Exploitation on a Global Scale: The Rise and Fall of the Control Protocol


Publicado el 11/8/2014

“Since the introduction of the smart phone, the issue of control has entered a new paradigm. Manufacturers and enterprises have claimed control over not just how your phone operates, but the software that is allowed to run on it. However, few people know that Service Providers have a hidden and pervasive level of control over your device. These hidden controls can be found in over 2 billion cellular devices worldwide. Organizations have been quietly deploying these controls in smart phones, feature phones, basebands, laptops, embedded M2M devices, and even certain cars. Someone with knowledge of these controls and the right techniques could potentially leverage them for cellular exploitation on a global scale.

We’ve reverse engineered embedded baseband and application space code. We’ve torn apart the Over-the-Air communications and implemented our own code to speak the relevant protocols. Layer by layer, we’ve deconstructed these hidden controls to learn how they work. While performing this work we’ve unearthed subtle flaws in how the communication is handled and implemented. After understanding these flaws, we’ve written proof-of-concept exploits to demonstrate the true risk this software presents to the end user.

In this presentation, we will discuss and disclose how Over-the-Air code execution can be obtained on the major cellular platforms and networks (GSM/CDMA/LTE). Including but not limited to Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Embedded M2M devices. You will come away from this talk armed with detailed insight into these hidden control mechanisms. We will also release open source tools to help assess and protect from the new threats this hidden attack surface presents. These tools will include the ability to dynamically test proprietary system applications and simulate different aspects of a cellular environment.”

BH Cover Photo

BH Cover Photo

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