Feeds

T-Mobile patches Wi-Fi eavesdrop vuln

Certificate error discovered by Berkeley students

Website security in corporate America

Last week, T-Mobile scrambled to patch a vulnerability uncovered by two University of California Berkeley students that made its Wi-Fi calling feature susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks.

At issue in the students' research, published in full here (PDF), is the certificate implementation used in the feature. The now-patched bug in its Android feature used a certificate chain in which one certificate's name was the IP address of the server, and the second self-signed root certificate “is not included in standard Certificate Authority (CA) distributions”.

“This can mean that the root certificate was either built-in to T-Mobile’s client software, or they did not implement certificate validation correctly. In fact, the client does not seem to have any problems with sslsniff intercepting the connection, making us conclude the latter,” the students, Jethro Beekman and Christopher Thompson, write.

With a man-in-the-middle attack initiated, the researchers write, an attacker can capture the SIP message that provides the encryption key to be used for the calling session – allowing them to record all incoming and outgoing calls or SMS messages using the Wi-Fi calling feature.

“We verified the ability to record outgoing calls and incoming and outgoing text messages. We also verified the ability to change the destination phone number on outgoing calls by modifying sslsniff to change all occurrences of <sip: dest-phone#@msg.pc.t-mobile.com>, replacing a single target phone number by a different one,” they continue.

The only vulnerable phones were those using the T-Mobile IMS stack, covering a number of Samsung and HTC phones. According to the researchers, T-Mobile claimed to have pushed an update to all affected users by 18 March. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.