Major security vulnerabilities detected on 4G and 5G networks

Several security vulnerabilities were discovered on the 4G and 5G networks. These would be widespread around the world. They would allow hackers to geotag your phone, and even intercept your calls.
The field of telephony is not always as secure as we believe. At a time when one protects his SIM card by a PIN code, and access to his phone by many locking systems, there are still simple attacks achievable on the messaging protocols, which would allow access to your phone.

4G 5GAmong them, two have caught our attention because they can be done very simply, using a material available for purchase for less than 200 €. The 4G and 5G networks are therefore less secure than expected.

Torpedo, the biggest vulnerability of the mobile network
Torpedo is probably the most serious security breach, even if it is not the first on smartphone. Present on the 4G and 5G networks, this flaw would allow the hacker to geotag your smartphone in real time, and to intercept your calls. It can therefore be quite dangerous in terms of safety.

At the root of this attack is a paging protocol to inform your smartphone of incoming calls and text messages. The attack aims to make many calls on your smartphone, over a short period. A message is received by the phone even though it has not had time to alert you of the receipt of such calls. From that moment, the data communicated by your device without your knowledge makes it possible to follow your displacements, and also makes it possible to carry out attacks of greater amplitude.

Piercer: an attack a little more complex to achieve
The Torpedo attack allows you to communicate with your smartphone connected in 4G or 5G. This communication makes it possible to carry out another attack: Piercer. The latter consists in determining, by means of an encryption, your IMSI number. This number is unique to each user of 4G and 5G networks. Hackers can then use the latter against you by using several data on your phone.

Are these attacks to 4G and 5G networks widespread?
The first attack, Torpedo, is spread all over the world. All mobiles connected to 4G and 5G networks can be confronted, whatever the chosen operator. In the United States for example, all operators have already suffered such an attack: Verizon, Sprint, AT & T and finally T-Mobile, to name only the main ones.

The second attack, however, Piercer, is a little less widespread even if it is easily achievable by means of a low-end radio equipment. For example, the Piercer attack was only detected on one mobile network in the United States.

Not enough to be alarmed, but be careful
This security flaw in broadcasting is therefore developed around the world. If the resulting attack is fairly common, there is not necessarily cause for concern considering the number of smartphones connected to 4G and 5G networks that roam the world. On the other hand, it is advisable as usual to be cautious by not placing too sensitive data inside the phone, which can be the object of all desires.


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