DHS Study Finds Multiple Vulnerabilities on Millions of US Smartphones

DHS Smartphone Vulnerability

A study funded by the United States Department of Homeland Security(DHS) has found multiple vulnerabilities on American Smartphones. The vulnerabilities could give bad actors a backdoor into personal phones and access to their information. All major phone carriers on the US have been reported to have sold vulnerable models. Given how integrated smartphones have become to our daily lives, this newly discovered flaw has the potential of becoming a severe cybersecurity incident.

The study was funded by the DHS and conducted by mobile security firm Kryptowire. Analysts discovered multiple vulnerabilities at the core of the operating system for millions of smartphones in the US. The flaws can potentially allow a hacker to change the smartphones privilege settings and grant access to, files, photos, messages including emails and SMS. Since the vulnerability is at the design level, it is unlikely that patching the system will fix the issue.  According to the founder of Kryptowire, Angelos Stavrou, it is difficult to determine if the vulnerabilities have already been exploited.

The bugs were detected on smartphones from specific manufacturers. Since the security flaw is designed at the production level, smartphones made by the same manufacturers are also vulnerable. This means the incident also concerns smartphone users worldwide. It is yet unknown which smartphone models are affected by the vulnerabilities. All major carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and other retailers have sold millions of the compromised smartphone models. Manufacturers who developed the affected models have been notified of the issue since February this year.  

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