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By Kelly Jackson Higgins
Jan 19, 2011
ARLINGTON, VA -- Black Hat DC -- A European researcher today showed how
bugs he has discovered in the baseband chipset firmware of iPhone and
Android smartphones could be exploited to ultimately take control of
Ralf-Philipp Weinmann, a researcher at the University of Luxembourg, was
poised here to demonstrate an exploit he created that turns on the
auto-answer feature on the affected smartphones and then uses them as
remote listening devices. But he was unable to get his demo to run live
successfully, in part due to poor cellular reception in the hotel where
the conference was held.
Despite the demo glitch, security experts say the research marks a new
generation of smartphone hacking.
"This is extremely significant," says Don Bailey, security consultant
with iSec Partners. "Before, you could intercept calls, SMS, and in some
cases GPRS [General Packet Radio Service]/EDGE, depending on if you had
the requisite hardware."
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