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  • Your iPhone Can Be Hijacked Over Its Cellular Network


    AT&Tís cellular network is vulnerable to malicious hackers that ultimately hijack your data, along with 47 other cell phone carriers, allowing the hijacker to intercept information such as calls, text messages, and cellular data as discovered by some researchers from the University of Michigan. The vulnerability affects all AT&T smartphones, tablets, and computers using cellular connect cards, including Android devices and the iPhone. The vulnerability is a problem because once the data is intercepted, a malicious hacker can inject malicious data into the traffic passing between devices and ultimately leaves the user unknowingly affected.

    This kind of hijacking gives the malicious hacker the ability to redirect phone users to duplicitous Web sites, which attempt to mimic those of legitimate ones to steal user login credentials and scam people out of their money. According to Ars Tecnhica, the vulnerability is caused by a firewall system that AT&T (and other carriers) implemented to attempt to keep hackers out of the cellular data. That being said, the security measure is ironically the cellular carrierís Achillesí heel:

    Originally Posted by Ars Technica:
    "The TCP sequence number inference attack opens up a whole new set of attack venues," the researchers from the University of Michigan's Computer Science and Engineering Department wrote in a research paper scheduled to be presented at this week's IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy. "It breaks the common assumption that communication is relatively safe on encrypted/protected WiFi or cellular networks that encrypt the wireless traffic. In fact, since our attack does not rely on sniffing traffic, it works regardless of the access technology as long as no application-layer protection is enabled."
    Since the attack is performed by intercepting data, the information the user sends out never actually reaches the server it is supposed to. In the instance of being hijacked, the information the user sends out goes right to the hacker and is then sent back to the user with the hackerís special spice mixed into the data. For example, a user trying to send information to a banking server would, in reality, be sending information to the hacker and receiving non-legitimate feedback. The cellular firewall system acts as a go-between for the user and the hacker.

    The hijacking vulnerability is just another reason why users should not rely on an open, public network to do their banking, personal Facebooking, and other things that can cause detrimental damage to a person. Cellular networks are as public as unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Banking and Facebooking should be saved for your personal computer on wired or secured Wi-Fi networks such as that in your home as this will be a way of guarding yourself from this cellular hijacking.

    Sources: Ars Technica via Cult of Mac
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T iPhone Can Be Hijacked Over Cellular Network started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 22 Comments
    1. mortopher's Avatar
      mortopher -
      Very misleading title.
    1. drigo1178's Avatar
      drigo1178 -
      wow hate on ATT much? That can be said on just about any device regardless of encryption, you just have to know how to get in.
    1. Bear_Grylls's Avatar
      Bear_Grylls -
      "47" is a large number of other carriers to be placing so much heat on AT&T. The title really should be edited for clarification because this looks really, REALLY bad.
    1. scroogelives's Avatar
      scroogelives -
      Old news this has been on tv in the uk a couple of years ago!
    1. KSMatic's Avatar
      KSMatic -
      the title is soo mis-leading. Why doesn't it also say, Verizon iPhone Can Be Hijacked Over Cellular Network.. or Sprint? Just delete the carrier name and it will be a better title.
    1. Turnamental's Avatar
      Turnamental -
      Well this is maliciously happening to me as we speak! Old news or not, I would like to know how to stop it. I've already lost my job and my GF of 4 years in part to this. I've damn near lost my mind. It doesn't matter what I do as far as the device. I've used an iPhone 4 forever and swapped for a Skyrocket ... Just a day or so and strange stuff started happening again. Gave that to my mom for Mother's Day and got an Old 3GS... Not even JAILBROKEN and blam... They find a way in...
    1. Holyloktar's Avatar
      Holyloktar -
      Epic fail on the title. Even your article says "The vulnerability affects all AT&T smartphones, tablets, and computers using cellular connect cards, including Android devices and the iPhone." So why title it "AT&T iPhone....". Your bias is obvious. Why not list all other "47" providers too? Maybe title it "Data interception problematic on 47 cellular carriers".
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by Holyloktar View Post
      Epic fail on the title. Even your article says "The vulnerability affects all AT&T smartphones, tablets, and computers using cellular connect cards, including Android devices and the iPhone." So why title it "AT&T iPhone....". Your bias is obvious. Why not list all other "47" providers too? Maybe title it "Data interception problematic on 47 cellular carriers".
      Because that would be incorrect, as AT&T + 47 other carriers would be 48 of them.
    1. tsatryan's Avatar
      tsatryan -
      What is this, junior high? Sheesh. Just fix the thread, and let's stop such juvenile chatter... smh
    1. Bear_Grylls's Avatar
      Bear_Grylls -
      Thank you, this looks much more professional.
    1. RoloDiva13's Avatar
      RoloDiva13 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Bouchard View Post
      Because that would be incorrect, as AT&T + 47 other carriers would be 48 of them.

      And yet, the title was changed. (Now, if we can get that slanted img altered this might pass for real journalism) ;-)
    1. mustard05's Avatar
      mustard05 -
      A majority of the titles on this board are very misleading. That is just the style of Mmi! That is also why I wouldn't consider Mmi reputable!
    1. Bear_Grylls's Avatar
      Bear_Grylls -
      Quote Originally Posted by RoloDiva13 View Post
      And yet, the title was changed. (Now, if we can get that slanted img altered this might pass for real journalism) ;-)
      The image up there right now? They changed from the Anti-AT&T one when they changed the title, the one up now isn't bad.

      Also, I wouldn't go as far to call the site not reputable. This is a legit story and something that needs to be brought to the attention of cell phone customers, the OP just REALLY did not put a lot of thought into the way he worded the title.
    1. nicrfe's Avatar
      nicrfe -
      Way to blame the user at the end there.
    1. RoloDiva13's Avatar
      RoloDiva13 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bear_Grylls View Post
      The image up there right now? They changed from the Anti-AT&T one when they changed the title, the one up now isn't bad.

      Also, I wouldn't go as far to call the site not reputable. This is a legit story and something that needs to be brought to the attention of cell phone customers, the OP just REALLY did not put a lot of thought into the way he worded the title.
      Hey Bear,
      No, not the one up now. The one I'm referring to had the AT&T globe with a bright red slash mark through it and the word "FAIL" also in red font right below.

      I am glad it was replaced. Thank you to the author.
    1. sobeniceguy2's Avatar
      sobeniceguy2 -
      Very informative, insightful and SCARY!
    1. Bear_Grylls's Avatar
      Bear_Grylls -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicrfe View Post
      Way to blame the user at the end there.
      ^This too. It's not like every cell carrier out there tells you when you sign your contract, "hey we don't know how to secure our channels so if you're going to use this phone, use it on your own network, not ours, or you're getting your identity stolen." This post is the first I've seen on the subject ever. But, MMi is one of just 3 news sources I lurk frequently.
    1. docmagoo2's Avatar
      docmagoo2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Turnamental View Post
      Well this is maliciously happening to me as we speak! Old news or not, I would like to know how to stop it. I've already lost my job and my GF of 4 years in part to this. I've damn near lost my mind. It doesn't matter what I do as far as the device. I've used an iPhone 4 forever and swapped for a Skyrocket ... Just a day or so and strange stuff started happening again. Gave that to my mom for Mother's Day and got an Old 3GS... Not even JAILBROKEN and blam... They find a way in...
      I'm curious as to what happened?
    1. budsalinger's Avatar
      budsalinger -
      I get the sense that the author is anti-ATT. Who are the other 47 cell phone carriers with this same security issue?
    1. digitaltechograp's Avatar
      digitaltechograp -
      Actually this is 100% truth because my iPhone get Hijacked plesase give how to avoid from this hijacking?????pls