AT&T Ending 2G Support

By Robert Vamosi | 8/9/12 2:16 AM

AT&T will be ending mobile service to 2G-only phones within the next five years.

In a 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), AT&T announced "We expect to fully discontinue service on our 2G networks by approximately January 1, 2017." The filing states that as of June 30, 2012, roughly 12 percent of AT&T customers were using 2G-only handsets.

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"War-Texting" Car Alarms

By Robert Vamosi | 7/26/11 3:25 AM

Researcher Don Bailey of iSec Partners has been cataloging devices communicating through cellular networks for some time. Earlier this year he showed how simple devices designed to report your location can be spoofed, almost trivially, through text messaging. Now Bailey is back with a new presentation at next week's Black Hat USA, where he plans to show how car alarms can fall victim to similar attacks. Car alarms are vulnerable in part because they receive messages from a control server on Internet-ready cellular networks.

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Spoofing Device Location Made Easy

By Robert Vamosi | 5/23/11 8:29 AM

In his talk last week, "A Million Little Tracking Devices: Turning Embedded Devices into Weapons," Don Bailey, a security researcher with iSEC Partners, demonstrated how he'd been in Boston, Afghanistan, Libya, and at the White House –all within the 24 hours proceeding the annual Hack In The Box conference in Amsterdam. Or so his tracking device said.

The device, Zoombak, is essentially a GSM module with a separate MicroController, said Bailey. If you want to find a particular Zoombak, the service sends a SMS over GSM with A5/2 encryption and then the device responds with its location via pure HTTP. Bailey said he was able to spoof the responses, and thus appear to have been in four or five countries within the previous 24 hours.

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10 New Ways That Computer Hackers Are Breaking into Your Machines

By JDavis | 1/24/11 2:16 AM

An article by io9 (Gawker Media) provides an insider glimpse from the 2011 Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin, which headlined a variety of international hackers, scientists, and high-tech gurus who demonstrated how easy it is to break into an individual’s computer, phone, bank card, and more.

Are PDFs no longer safe? The PDF file is one of the most commonplace formats today, but is one of the easiest to break. In fact, the PDF format is so insecure that a hacker can embed a program inside of it, which you would never be able to see, and enable it to attack your computer.

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"SMS of Death" Could Wreak Havoc on GSM Networks

By JDavis | 12/31/10 5:05 AM

Wired's Threat Level blog recently reported on a demonstration by German researchers of vulnerabilities in common GSM phones that, when exploited--using what the researchers refer to as the "SMS of Death," a maliciously coded text message--could not only shut a phone out of its network, rendering it unusable, but if launched on a large scale could potentially shut down entire networks.

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Create Your Own Cellphone Network

By JDavis | 5/2/10 10:29 AM

While most of us depend on major carriers for cell phone service, it is now possible to create small GSM networks for relatively little expense using parts that can be found at many hardware stores. Within these networks callers can communicate between handsets on a local level, and on an internet-enabled system calls can be made over VoIP.

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