G-20 News

DANGEROUS Unisoc processors! Makes the Motorola Moto G20 easy to hack

Unisoc processors are considered vulnerable to hacking, according to the latest research. Here’s what you need to know.

Unisoc processors have proven to be dangerous! New research reveals that smartphones using Unisoc processors are easy to hack. The vulnerability was found on a Unisoc T700 chipset inside a Motorola Moto G20. The vulnerability, however, has been found on most other Unisoc processors and therefore puts several smartphones around the world at risk. For those in the unknown, many smartphone manufacturers use Unisoc processors for their affordable smartphones.

The study published by CheckPoint Research suggests that the Unisoc processor is more vulnerable to hacking due to a security flaw in its modem firmware, labeled CVE-2022-20210. The flaw is present on the model’s firmware on 4G and 5G chipsets. On the tested Motorola device, the phone was patched with the January 2022 Android security patch, which eventually fixed the issue. However, for all other phones using other Unisoc processors, the problem persists.

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Unisoc processors prone to hacking

The flaw was discovered while researchers were analyzing Non-Access Startum message handles in the chip’s modem firmware. The flaw may allow hackers to exploit cellular communications, rendering them neutral or completely obsolete. “An attacker could have used a radio station to send a malformed packet that would reset the modem, depriving the user of the ability to communicate. Without a patch, cellular communication can be blocked by an attacker,” said Salva Makkaveev, reverse engineering attorney and security research at Check Point Research.

Unisoc has not received any reports of this vulnerability being exploited. However, the issue still persists, given that most Unisoc processors are used in budget smartphones that rarely or never receive software updates. In fact, most Chinese smartphone makers use Unisoc chipsets to keep prices low without sacrificing much on performance, and then never release software updates to them.

Check Point informed Unisoc about the issue and so far Unisoc has acknowledged and even released a security patch for the same issue. However, the fix has yet to reach most users.

“Android users have nothing to do at this time, although we strongly recommend applying a patch that will be released by Google in its upcoming Android Security Bulletin,” said Salva Makkaveev.

Therefore, if you are using a smartphone with a Unisoc chipset, you should install the latest security updates as soon as possible.