Galaxy S6 and Note 5 vulnerable to call snooping from afar, tip researchers

Galaxy S6 and Note 5 vulnerable to call snooping from afar, tip researchers

When it comes to security hacks, snooping on your phone calls directly is a pretty big one, and that's exactly what is possible to do with Samsung's newer high-end phones that carry its own "Shannon" line of baseband LTE modems that are paired to the Exynos 7420 chipset.

Security researchers Daniel Komaromy and Nico Golde have found a way to carry out the so-called "man in the middle attack" on phones like the Galaxy S6 or Note 5 that carry Samsung's modems. Through setting up a mobile base station nearby, they were able to use a software vulnerability in Shannon, and push a malicious firmware that reroutes phone calls through the shady base station itself. The process can be set to go on automatically each time you talk to someone, and the calls can be recorded for previewing later.

Needless to say, the researchers aren't spilling publicly all details about the omission they've discovered, and have contacted Samsung to allow it to patch the hack promptly.

Related phones

Galaxy S6
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 2100 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2550 mAh(23h 3G talk time)
Galaxy Note 5
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 2100 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3000 mAh(22h 3G talk time)

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29 Comments

1. Kumar123 unregistered

Great. Really great. Like android is not already vulnerable enough. Now we have phone specific vulnerabilities. Just buy Nexus. And don't buy anything that has Exynos in it.

3. TyrionLannister unregistered

Did you read the last paragraph at all?

5. meanestgenius

Posts: 21323; Member since: May 28, 2014

http://www.cvedetails.com/product/15556/Apple-Iphone-Os.html?vendor_id=49 I'll just leave this right here for you, showing how much more vulnerabilities iOS has when compared to the rest.

11. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

To be fair to OP, his comment wasn't necessarily advocating iOS, just NOT Samsung.

21. j2001m

Posts: 3060; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

It's got nothing to do with 7420, but the chip that does calls (not the modem or CPU)

22. meanestgenius

Posts: 21323; Member since: May 28, 2014

One can logically equate the iOS to the iPhone when talking about smartphones since the iPhone is the only smartphone running iOS.

23. Ninetysix

Posts: 2933; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

It's okay for me to beat up my wife since my neighbors are doing the same.

24. meanestgenius

Posts: 21323; Member since: May 28, 2014

If you choose to do something like that foolish, wrong and cowardly, that's your business brosephine, and has no business here on a phone site. Keep that kind of crap to yourself.

25. Ninetysix

Posts: 2933; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Let me rephrase that so you'll understand broski. It's okay for Samsung to have these vulnerabilities since there's more in iOS.

26. meanestgenius

Posts: 21323; Member since: May 28, 2014

I understood what you were saying. It's called sarcasm. Apparently, it's something over your head, brosephine. And at no time was I implying that. I was merely reminding the Apple loving Samsung troll that his preferred OS is far from perfect. Glass houses and stones, brosephine.

27. Ninetysix

Posts: 2933; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

NP broseph. Have a good weekend.

12. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

IMA bring Harold to have a talk with you. Brb...

13. Jason2k13

Posts: 1444; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

are you planing to set up a mobile base station to anyone who owns an S6 or note 5?

16. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Qualcomm modem dont have such issue! :)

20. j2001m

Posts: 3060; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

This will be locked down within days by knox

2. keithtae

Posts: 564; Member since: Mar 25, 2015

Of course it's always about security issues with every brands other than apple. Because the holiday season is coming and they need this to boost up their sales. "Windows 10 spying on us blah blah blah", what if I tell you whatsapp, Facebook, messenger, instagram are spying on you too? And of course Apple products don't do the same but windows 10 does because it's not apple. *roll eyes*

7. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

My colleague with a windows 10 notebook put a plaster on its camera. I find it very amazing. He might have read it from some news source that you have mentioned. Another interesting fact is his BYOD is iPhone 6s plus.

17. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Well tell him to uninstall the camera drivers in windows so its wont have to put a plaster on it..

4. carlemillward unregistered

snoo-PINGAS usual I see.

6. xfire99

Posts: 1204; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

who fk care. NSA are spying on everyone already and didnt US people's did said they didn't mind NSA spying on them.

10. greyarea

Posts: 267; Member since: Aug 14, 2015

I'm not sure if you're getting your highly generalized info from polls taken in the US or bar mates. In any case you'll find a decent amount of people online who care, even over smaller security stories. Sorry not every vulnerability exposed is so entertaining or directly relevant to you. The party doing the spying and the degree of the spying also matters to people. Just because the nsa/fbi/cia/hls/naacp are all tapping my phone against my will doesn't mean I'm fine with strangers doing it too.

28. xfire99

Posts: 1204; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/16/american-privacy-survey_n_6878764.html 40% AMERICANS accept to be monitoring by the us goverment! So u know all the peoples working at us goverments and none of them are strangers? They are all u friends? U know exactly what they are doing with all the data gathering on u? Its same s**t.

29. greyarea

Posts: 267; Member since: Aug 14, 2015

So a majority does care....out of 475 people 190 found it acceptable. I use the word strangers (esl?) to define people snooping on me that I'm unaware of. It's safe to asssume there's some form or another of government monitoring happening, I'm aware of that. I'm also aware of the potential for other people to snoop, but I'm not assuming it's actively happening. Might be the same s**t to you, but it's not so simple for other people. eff.org

8. Raito

Posts: 77; Member since: Aug 15, 2014

Always wondering,when Phonearena post something about Crapdroids,we dont have many troller there,but when Phonearena post something about CrapIOS,it will become battlefield,strange... Thanx God i'm using Windows :D

18. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

So basically you are trolling right now... nice

9. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Nothing is bullet proof. Android and iOS are very popular and will be targets for hackers.

14. almostdone

Posts: 421; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

This will get patched up soon. Who really wants to listen to your phone calls and bore themselves do death. Going through thousands of hours of recorded conversations will sure be fun to try and extract anything useful for these hackers. None story.

15. Chuck007

Posts: 1409; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

This is nothing but slander tactics. And you suppose Apple is safe from spying? If you believe half a word Tim said couple of days prior you're way more gullible than you believe.

19. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

Ah yes...that fine, fine Sammy software!

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