Samsung, Android Phones Exposed to Hackers Due to Qualcomm Chip Bugs: Updates, Fixes and More

Samsung, Android Phones Exposed to Hackers Due to Qualcomm Chip Bugs: Updates, Fixes and More
Qualcomm chips, primarily seen on Android devices like Samsung, are reported to be vulnerable to hackers. As a result, phone calls and text messages could be stolen from your device. Photo : David Becker/Getty Images

Qualcomm chips, one of the highest manufactured chipsets sold for smartphone devices, are reported to be vulnerable to hackers. As a result, phone calls and text messages could be stolen from your device. Luckily, the company has developed a quick fix to the problem.

Qualcomm remains one of the top manufacturers for semiconductors, services, and software related to wireless technology. Among its merchandise, some of its popular products in the market are Snapdragon 865+ 5G, Snapdragon 765G, and the recently released Snapdragon 888 5G featuring Elite Gaming user experience. Their technology powers up 30 percent of the world's smartphone devices--and all these users are in danger of hacking attempts.

Qualcomm Chip Bugs

Check Point Research made a security probe on Qualcomm MSM data services and revealed a disturbing discovery. In summary, Qualcomm has been manufacturing capable System on Chips (SoC) with Mobile Station Modem (MSM) technologies that create the ongoing 2G/3G/4G/5G features. The whole system is transmitted through a processor called Qualcomm MSM Interface (QMI) and translated to the Android device.

Unfortunately, the QMI showed signs of vulnerability. Hackers can use it to install malicious content by injecting codes into the Android system. The hacker can then get access to the user's SMS records, call history, and even listen to the user's ongoing conversations.

Additionally, using the QMI, a hacker can unlock the device SIM and take control of the service provider imposed on the smartphone device. The bug is now recorded as CVE-2020-11292.

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How to Fix Qualcomm Bug

The company has issued an update to apply for the fixes. The Record reported that 30 percent of smartphones worldwide that use Qualcomm MSM chips are vulnerable to hacking attacks. Unfortunately, the patch needs to be applied by the phone makers.

A quote from the report said: "The mobile vendors themselves must apply the fix... Qualcomm says it has notified all Android vendors. We do not know who or who did not patch."

The report continued to say that Qualcomm has faced numerous security issues in the past. In August 2020, they had more than 400 security flaws identified. This might be related to Android's open-sourced nature, as its system code is easy and adaptable to develop. Android is marketed for its diversity and choice of system. However, it also remains vulnerable to many threats.

Smartphones using Qualcomm technology continue to be at risk. Unfortunately, there is no practical way to tell which smartphone devices have applied the patch fix against the Qualcomm bug. To be safe, consumers might have to consider other chip processors such as A13 from Apple devices.

Qualcomm chipset continues to be one of the best-performing chips for mobile devices. It also remains a cheaper alternative to Apple smartphones. However, it comes with a lot of risks and dangers. Customers are warned to buy smartphones with these chips at their own risk.

Related Article: Apple Malware Corrupts Your iPhone Memory: Download Update 14.5.1 to Fix Now

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