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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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  • All Phones? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tsj5j ( 1159013 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @01:25PM (#34941546)

    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?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, 2011 @01:37PM (#34941716)

    You are missing the point. This is a chipset issue and just the tip of the iceberg. Apple can't patch this properly it requires the chipset manufacturer to update their code which is no easy process on a lot of devices. While the iphone was the demo you can bet that others are affected too.

  • by astern ( 1823792 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @01:40PM (#34941756)

    ... is always dangerous, but this goes beyond that.

    Much more than a legacy leftover, this remains a chipset and baseband issue, and goes much deeper than the application set.

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