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Fake GSM Base Station Trick Targets IPhones 64

mvar writes "While his Black Hat DC Conference demonstration was not flawless, a University of Luxembourg student on Wednesday did show that it's possible to trick iPhone users into joining a fake GSM network. Ralf-Philipp Weinmann showed how to cobble together a laptop using open-source software OpenBTS and other low-cost gear to create a fake GSM transmitter base station to locate iPhones in order to send their owners a message. A number of iPhone users in the room expressed surprise that they had gotten a message asking them to join the network. 'You want to get phones not just used by the teenage crowd but executives,' said Weinmann, adding that it is possible to 'have complete control of the phone.' Part of the reason these fake GSM network attacks are possible is because the code base used in smartphones such as the iPhone, which is Infineon-based, goes back to the 1990s."
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Fake GSM Base Station Trick Targets IPhones

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  • Re:All Phones? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @01:38PM (#34941728) Homepage Journal

    for the same reason your boss wants an iPhone instead of an Android-based phone... too many people are stuck on brand names. When an brand name gets attached to a story, holy mother of God suddenly it's important.

  • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @01:43PM (#34941792)

    I had the impression that most, if not all, phones are vulnerable to this attack due to the inherent flaws in GSM. This is a rather old news article that has been reported multiple times. Why is it suddenly "news" again when someone discover it works on the iPhone? And if you're on about targeting business users, won't a compromised Blackberry be as, if not more, significant?

    Its only "news" because of iPhone. If you don't mention iPhone in your title or description then your article/page will have fewer readers and you presentation will have fewer attendees. Basically mentioning iPhone in your title is marketing and even presentations have to be marketed.

  • Re:All Phones? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @01:47PM (#34941862) Journal

    Blackberry's are immune to all attacks because RIM is focused on selling to business, and they know that business cares about security.

    Apple isn't focused on business, they are focused on regular consumers, and consumers care about ease of use and not security.

    Therefore iPhones and virus-laden, malware-spouting candybar phones and Blackberry's are serious, productive work phones.

  • Re:All Phones? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ModernGeek ( 601932 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @02:00PM (#34942042)
    Also, when is code inherently flawed because it, "goes back to the 1990s". IIRC, this flaw has to do with phones connecting to unencrypted gsm networks without warning. I, for one am sick of this sensationalism. Where can I get some scientific news with well moderated discussion that will ensue?

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel