Home Cyber Crime ‘Nasty stuff’: Research into Russian push-button cellphones uncovers legion of security issues

‘Nasty stuff’: Research into Russian push-button cellphones uncovers legion of security issues


Emma Woollacott

03 September 2021 at 15:00 UTC

Up to date: 03 September 2021 at 17:48 UTC

Itel, DEXP, Irbis, and F+ cell units put underneath the microscope

Researchers discover numerous security and privacy issues after analysing Russian cellphones

Many push-button telephones on sale in Russia comprise backdoors or trojans, a safety researcher claims.

In response to Russian researcher ‘ValdikSS’, some cellphones are routinely sending SMS messages or transmitting on-line the truth that the machine has been bought and used, amongst different points.

Get the message

As outlined in a technical blog post (Russian language), some fashions have been discovered to comprise a built-in trojan that sends paid SMS messages to brief numbers, transmitting textual content that’s downloaded from the server. Others have been stated to have a backdoor that forwards incoming SMS messages to an unknown server.

ValdikSS says he found the difficulty whereas contemplating swapping the USB modems he used to obtain SMS messages for telephones, as these have been cheaper and are able to taking as much as 4 SIM playing cards every.

“The analysis begun resulting from sudden conduct of the cellphone – it despatched SMS by itself,” he tells The Each day Swig.

Russian push-button phonesOf the 5 Russian push-button telephones examined, just one was stated to be ‘clear’

He then examined various push-button fashions, together with the Inoi 101, DEXP SD2810, Itel it2160, Irbis SF63, and F+ Flip 3.

And, he discovered, among the telephones weren’t solely transmitting IMEI and IMSI numbers for the needs of monitoring gross sales, but additionally contained a trojan that sends SMS messages to paid brief numbers, after downloading the textual content and quantity from a server by way of the web.

Lastly, a backdoor was discovered that intercepts incoming SMS messages and forwards them to the server, doubtlessly permitting an attacker to make use of the cellphone’s quantity to register for companies that require affirmation by way of SMS.

Read more of the latest mobile security news

“I used to be very confused when [a] DEXP SD2160 cellphone tried to ship premium SMS to the quantity and with the physique loaded from its server on the web,” he says.

“The machine, initially manufactured in 2019, was being offered by one of many largest digital shops in June 2021, with a lot of destructive critiques in the identical retailer’s web site, they usually didn’t recollect it from gross sales.

“I’ve watched it to do all of the nasty stuff in actual time on my GSM cell tower.”

Combined bag

The Inoi 101, the researcher says, was clear and didn’t carry out any covert actions.

Nevertheless, the Itel it2160 mannequin – additionally obtainable exterior of Russia – broadcast its sale over the web, with out warning, as did the F+ Flip 3 cellphone.

The DEXP SD2810 did the identical, whereas additionally accessing a command-and-control server on the web and executing its instructions, sending paid SMSs to brief numbers with textual content acquired from the server.

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And the Irbis SF63, says ValdikSS, is “a harmful cellphone that makes use of your cellphone quantity for business functions to register third events with on-line companies” just like the DEXP, sending POST requests over HTTP, but additionally encrypting the transmitted information with its personal algorithm with, apparently, a set key.

ValdikSS stated he contacted the distributors, however with little response.

The Each day Swig has approached the producers for remark, and can replace this text as and once we hear again.

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