Qualcomm Chip Flaws Let Hackers Steal Private Data From Android Devices

Hacking Android Phones

Hundreds of millions of devices, especially Android smartphones and tablets, using Qualcomm chipsets, are vulnerable to a new set of potentially serious vulnerabilities.

According to a report cybersecurity firm CheckPoint shared with The Hacker News, the flaws could allow attackers to steal sensitive data stored in a secure area that is otherwise supposed to be the most protected part of a mobile device.

The vulnerabilities reside in Qualcomm’s Secure Execution Environment (QSEE), an implementation of Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) based on ARM TrustZone technology.

Also known as Qualcomm’s Secure World, QSEE is a hardware-isolated secure area on the main processor that aims to protect sensitive information and provides a separate secure environment (REE) for executing Trusted Applications.

Along with other personal information, QSEE usually contains private encryption keys, passwords, credit, and debit card credentials.

Since it is based on the principle of least privilege, Normal World system modules like drivers and applications can not access protected areas unless necessary—even when they have root permissions.

“In a 4-month research project, we succeeded in reverse…


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