Are you an Android user who frequently uses Wi-Fi calling to make and receive calls? If so, you may want to pay attention to the recent warning issued by the Google team regarding security concerns.
Google’s Project Zero team recently discovered several vulnerabilities in Exynos chipsets, which are used in certain Android phones.
The vulnerabilities could allow hackers to remotely compromise affected devices, giving them access to sensitive information. If you have an Android phone that uses an Exynos chipset, you may want to turn off Wi-Fi calling and Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) to protect against potential attacks.
Which Devices are Affected?
- Samsung Galaxy S22, M33, M12, M13, A71, A53, A33, A21s, A13, A12, and A04 models
- Vivo S16, S15, S6, X70, X60, and X30 series
- Google Pixel 6 and 7, maybe impacted because they use the Exynos chipset. Additionally, some vehicles may also be affected if they use an Exynos Auto T5123 chipset.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Phone?
If you haven’t received an update recently, it’s recommended that you turn off Wi-Fi calling and VoLTE to protect against potential attacks. Here’s how you can do it
For Samsung users
- Wi-Fi calling settings can be found under Settings
- Then, Connections
- Then Wi-Fi Calling. You’ll find a toggle that, if it isn’t already, can be switched off.
For Google, Pixel users
- Go to Setting
- Then Network & Internet
- Then Mobile Network
- and then tap Advanced to find the Wi-Fi calling option.
VoLTE is automatically on for many devices. You can turn it off by going to Settings, then Connections, and then Mobile Network on most Samsung and Google phones.
If your device does not have the option to turn off Wi-Fi calling when the cellular signal is strong, the Google team recommends that you turn off Wi-Fi calling altogether.
Understanding the Security Concerns
Project Zero found that four of the vulnerabilities in Exynos chipsets could allow “Internet-to-baseband remote code execution,” which would enable skilled attackers to remotely compromise certain Android phones.
All hackers would need is your phone number to exploit these vulnerabilities, making it easier for them to access your sensitive data.
While the remaining 14 vulnerabilities are not as severe, it’s still important to take precautions to ensure your phone is protected.
It’s also important to update your phone as soon as new patches and software are made available. This will ensure that your device is protected against any known vulnerabilities.
What exactly is Wi-Fi calling, and how does it affect your security?
Wi-Fi calling is a feature that allows you to make and receive calls over a Wi-Fi network instead of using your cellular network. This can be useful in areas with poor cellular coverage or if you want to conserve your cellular data. However, Wi-Fi calling has also been found to have certain security vulnerabilities that can put your data at risk.
One of the primary concerns with Wi-Fi calling is the potential for hackers to intercept your calls and eavesdrop on your conversations. This can be especially dangerous if you are discussing sensitive information, such as financial or personal data.
In addition, hackers may be able to use Wi-Fi calling to gain access to your device and steal your data, including passwords, contacts, and other sensitive information.
To address these concerns, the Google team has recommended that certain Android users turn off Wi-Fi calling. Specifically, they suggest that users who are on a network that has a weak security protocol or that they don’t trust should turn off Wi-Fi calling. Additionally, users who frequently travel and connect to unknown networks should also consider turning off Wi-Fi calling to reduce their risk of data theft.
While turning off Wi-Fi calling may be a simple solution to this security concern, it may not be ideal for all users. For those who still want to use Wi-Fi calling, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk. For example, you can ensure that your Wi-Fi network is secured with a strong password and that you only connect to trusted networks. You can also use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your calls and protect your data.
If you have an Android phone that uses an Exynos chipset, it’s important to take precautions to protect against potential attacks. Turning off Wi-Fi calling and VoLTE and updating your phone as soon as possible are essential steps to keep your sensitive information safe.
By taking these simple steps, you can help ensure that your device is protected against potential security threats.
(With inputs from newsnationnow)
Should I be concerned about using Wi-Fi calling on my Android phone?
If your phone uses an Exynos chipset, it may be vulnerable to remote code execution by hackers, according to the Google Project Zero team. As such, it is recommended that you turn off Wi-Fi calling and Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) to protect your phone from potential attacks.
Why is the Google Project Zero team warning Android users to turn off Wi-Fi calling?
The Google Project Zero team has found multiple vulnerabilities in Exynos chipsets made by Samsung, which can allow hackers to remotely compromise certain Android phones. Turning off Wi-Fi calling and VoLTE can help protect your phone from these vulnerabilities.
What are the security concerns associated with using Wi-Fi calling on certain Android phones?
Certain Android phones that use Exynos chipsets are vulnerable to remote code execution by hackers. This means that if a hacker knows your phone number, they can potentially compromise your phone and gain access to your data.
How can hackers compromise Android phones that use Exynos chipsets?
Hackers can remotely compromise certain Android phones that use Exynos chipsets by exploiting the vulnerabilities found by the Google Project Zero team. With the knowledge of your phone number, they can create an operational exploit to compromise affected devices silently and remotely.
Which Android phones are affected by the Exynos chipset vulnerabilities?
Devices that may be affected because they use the Exynos chipset, according to Samsung, include Samsung Galaxy S22, M33, M12, M13, A71, A53, A33, A21s, A13, A12, and A04 models; Vivo S16, S15, S6, X70, X60, and X30 series; and Google Pixel 6 and 7.
Can I protect my Android phone from Exynos chipset vulnerabilities?
If you have an affected Android phone, you can protect it from the Exynos chipset vulnerabilities by turning off Wi-Fi calling and VoLTE. You should also update your phone as soon as new patches and software are made available, according to the Google Project Zero team.