LTE Security Flaw Reveals All Android Devices’ are Vulnerable

LTE vulnerable
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LTE or Long Term Evolution mobile networks also commonly known as 4G is a type of network that provides users with much faster data speeds than 3G is able to.

The Upside

As much as we like to move to newer and latest App, Android or iPhone or Samsung some of us are so at it that we are the first front. We have heard of midnight queues to get the first hands on latest release. Having newer technology and devices feels awesome thats is from experience i imagine. It feeds well rather than waiting to hear from your friend how fast or superb their machine runs

When LTE was launched by my mobile providers in Zambia i quickly moved on from the 3G surrounding my iPad, iPhone and the Router. I quickly upgraded to to this new phenomena and the speeds it can offer. LTE  (Long Term Evolution) or mostly marketed as 4G, is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals. Its a natural path for upgrades for Mobile Telecommunication carriers using GSM/UMTS networks and CDMA2000 networks.

The Downside

However this endless satiation has its downside for the “i beta tested” and rather not wait class as the recent CERT report shows; 

Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile networks are currently deployed through the world. These LTE mobile networks make use of full packet switching and the IP protocol, unlike previous iterations of the mobile network. This change from circuit switching to packet switching allows new attacks not previously possible. Some implementations of LTE networks and mobile applications are currently vulnerable to several issues which may result in loss of privacy, incorrect billing, and data spoofing. 

4G  distribution
Map showing the red countries commercially using LTE, blue deploying and grey in the trial phase

The leading team advisory of Korean origin found the following vulnerabilities. Depending on the carrier implementation one or all of the vulnerabilities may be found with the network. Though Apple reports that the iOS is not affected.

—————————CERT Vulnerability Note VU#943167————————

Incorrect Permission Assignment for Critical Resource
Call_Phone permission can be overruled with only the INTERNET permission by directly sending SIP/IP packets. A call made in such a manner would not provide any feedback to the user. Continually making such calls may result in overbilling or lead to denial of service. 

Improper Access Control

Some networks allow two phones to directly establish a session rather than being monitored by a SIP server, thus such communication is not accounted for by the provider. This may be used to either spoof phone numbers or obtain free data usage such as for video calls.

Improper Authentication
for every SIP-Session Initiation Protocol- message, allowing the possibility of spoofing of phone numbers.

Session Fixation

Networks allows a user to attempt to establish multiple SIP sessions simultaneously rather than restricting a user to a single voice session, which may lead to denial of service attacks on the network. An attacker may also use this to establish a peer-to-peer network within the mobile network.


As you are using LTE on an Android powered device you risk a remote attacker

1. Establish a peer-peer communication, spoofing your phone call and

2. Retrieve data from your mobile

3. Denial of service and overbilling

3. A malicious mobile app may be able to silently place phone calls without the user’s knowledge.

Solution is none at the moment as alerted by the advisory team, but here is a go on, if you feel things aint right try to restrict device to 3G and see how things move.

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