3 Motorola Phones Found Vulnerable To Hacking Via A Chip-Level Flaw: Report

Three Motorola smartphones are at risk of being vulnerable to an attack that blocks users from using LTE network on their smartphones. The issue stems from the Unisoc chip that Motorola has put in three of its smartphones – Moto G20, Moto E30, and the Moto E40 smartphones.

Unisoc, which has been taking a fair share of the budget smartphone market, was the fourth-largest chipmaker in 2021 after MediaTek, Qualcomm, and Apple with an 11 percent market share. Now, a report from Checkpoint Research has found a vulnerability that could be used to deny modem services and block communications on a Unisoc chip.

The chip, named Unisoc T700 chip is used in three Motorola devices from last year – Moto G20, Moto E30, and the Moto E40 chipset. Checkpoint notified Unisoc last month and the company, evaluating the flaw to be at a critical risk of 9.4 out of 10, has patched the vulnerability.

“In this study, we looked at the UNISOC baseband as an attack target for the first time. We scanned NAS message handlers within a short period of time and found a vulnerability which can be used to disrupt the device’s radio communication through a malformed packet. A hacker or a military unit can leverage such a vulnerability to neutralize communications in a specific location,” Checkpoint Research said in its report.

Now, chip-level vulnerabilities on smartphones are quite common. The smartphone modem is a prime target for attackers, Checkpoint Research said, since it can be easily reached remotely through SMS or radio packet. Those using a Unisoc-powered smartphone are recommended to update their device to the latest OS version. Google has said that it will be publishing a new patch in the upcoming Android Security bulletin.

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