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Security Cellphones

Feature Phone Hack Can Block Calls, Texts On Some Networks 39

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the security-through-obscurity-problems dept.
Trailrunner7 writes, quoting Threat Post "By tweaking the firmware on certain kinds of phones, a hacker could make it so other phones in the area are unable to receive incoming calls or SMS messages, according to research presented at the USENIX Security Symposium. The hack involves modifying the baseband processor on some Motorola phones and tricking some older 2G GSM networks into not delivering calls and messages. By 'watching' the messages sent from phone towers and not delivering them to users, the hack could effectively shut down some small localized mobile networks. Essentially the hacked firmware ... can block ... pages by responding to them before the phones that were initially intended to receive them do, something Kevin Redon and company called during their research 'the race for the fastest paging response time.'" Thanks to the power of Osmocom BB, which has implemented Free Software baseband for several GSM devices. Also see the research paper.
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Feature Phone Hack Can Block Calls, Texts On Some Networks

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  • I'd love to be able to block texting around me.

    • by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Monday August 26, 2013 @08:36PM (#44681857)
      Shoot, I couldn't care less about blocking other people's texting, what I want is to block texting to my own phone selectively. If they aren't in my contacts list, I don't want their text message. This is mostly, but not entirely due to AT&T's (and everyone else's) abusive pricing strategy for texts. What I would call fair is rates for text messages that are charged the same as the equivalent amount of voice data. As it is, Apple never did a better thing by creating Messages for iOS and imessage.app for OS X. It's a pity they don't open their standard so that android devices or linux computers can use the same protocol and I would never have to pay for another text message.
      • You can do this.

        Pretty easy...
         
            google yourself a solution.... (hint)

        • by Anonymous Coward

          You can do this.

          Pretty easy...

          google yourself a solution.... (hint)

          All the 'solutions' do not actually block messages. You MUST have a Carrier who offers SMS/MMS blocking at the provider level to actually BLOCK unsolicited messages. All the app-based and OS-based solutions do not block the message, they merely suppress notifications, alerts, some auto-delete the item or otherwise hide it. But the cell company still will show a text was sent to your phone. (Which might not matter if you're on an unlimited texting plan) I haven't tested the iPhone to verify, but I suspect th

      • by Trogre (513942)

        Wait, you pay to receive text messages where you live?

        WTF?

        Having said that, there's a few good IM apps for android that

        • by Trogre (513942)

          (stupid submit button) ... that let you send/receive text messages, but of course require the other parties to have the same app installed. Viber comes to mind.

    • I'd love to be able to block texting around me.

      A cell phone jammer is inexpensive ... and illegal. This is the same thing - it breaks FCC broadcast rules.

      • But...but it has a FCC sticker on it!

      • by Anonymous Coward
        It would be pretty difficult to be caught jamming, unless you remain completely stationary with your jammer for days on end.
      • by Errtu76 (776778)

        Also, I found out that if you're in a train and sit close enough to the engineer(? the person who operates the train ..) and switch on the jammer while the train is at the station, the train won't move anymore because you're blocking the signal used by the train to communicate with the station. Was kind of funny at first, but then too many people came in asking questions and being upset ... Also, I was getting late for work and people complaining about their phone not working was worse than when they were q

  • Cool (Score:5, Funny)

    by oodaloop (1229816) on Monday August 26, 2013 @07:57PM (#44681689)
    But can it re-open closed tabs?!1? I just wish there was a hot-key or menu option for this essential but rarely used feature.
  • There are devices you can buy that do the same thing but they are called "jammers" and are illegal in the USA (http://www.jammer-store.com/).
  • If they can respond to the messages, can they read them too?

    Glad I'm not a Vodafone customer anymore though. I'll be safe until they crack WCDMA

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @07:19AM (#44684251) Homepage
    ...but it got delayed somehow.

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