Home Cyber Attack Simjacker is Being Actively Exploited in The Wild To Steal Location Data

Simjacker is Being Actively Exploited in The Wild To Steal Location Data

by Abeerah Hashim

In the murky realm of hacking and jacking, cybercriminals are now using a primitive method for attacking users. Reportedly, researchers have found the Simjacker attack actively targeting various phones. The attack involves exploiting users’ SIM cards by sending malicious SMS messages.

The Notorious Simjacker Attack

Researchers from AdaptiveMobile Security have found a vulnerability that exploits SIM cards to takeover phones. Termed Simjacker, the attack begins when an adversary triggers the bug by sending malicious messages. The researchers have shared a detailed blog post about the attack. They have also set up a dedicated webpage for Simjacker.

Elaborating on the attack, the researchers stated that the attack involves the exploitation of the SIM Card (UICC) component ‘[email protected] Browser’. By sending a maliciously crafted SMS, an attacker can trigger this component to let the SIM takeover the target device. As stated by the researchers,

The attack exploits the presence of a particular piece of software, called the [email protected] Browser – that is on the UICC.  Once the Simjacker Attack Message is received by the UICC, it uses the [email protected] Browser library as an execution environment on the UICC, where it can trigger logic on the handset.

The attacker can then retrieve sensitive details from the device, such as IMEI and location, via another SMS by triggering the same logic. Whereas, the victim remains unaware of all this process during the attack.

Simjacker attack

Source: AdaptiveMobile Security

Following the initial steps, the attackers can further expand the scope of the attack to retrieve other data and perform further commands. The researchers are going to present more details about Simjacker at the upcoming Virus Bulletin Conference (VB2019) scheduled for October 2 to 4, 2019, in London.

Active Exploitation Discovered

According to researchers, the Simjacker attack is already under active exploitation. Presently, they have found the attack to be coming from a limited origin, which collaborates with governments for monitoring individuals.

The probability of further exploitation never diminishes. The researchers believe that the attack threatens over 1 billion users. Essentially, all mobile phones with SIM cards are vulnerable to Simjacker.

Nonetheless, the researchers confirm that they have communicated the vulnerability to the GSM Association, and the SIM alliance. These entities have taken a number of steps to address the problem.

The researchers also urge the mobile operators to block any suspicious messages potentially triggering [email protected] Browser.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

You may also like

Latest Hacking News

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

The __cfduid cookie is used to identify individual clients behind a shared IP address and apply security settings on a per-client basis.

cookie_notice_accepted and gdpr[allowed_cookies] are used to identify the choices made from the user regarding cookie consent.

For example, if a visitor is in a coffee shop where there may be several infected machines, but the specific visitor's machine is trusted (for example, because they completed a challenge within your Challenge Passage period), the cookie allows Cloudflare to identify that client and not challenge them again. It does not correspond to any user ID in your web application, and does not store any personally identifiable information.

__cfduid, cookie_notice_accepted, gdpr[allowed_cookies]

Advertising

DoubleClick by Google refers to the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform which is a separate division within Google. This is Google’s most advanced advertising tools set, which includes five interconnected platform components.

DoubleClick Campaign Manager: the ad-serving platform, called an Ad Server, that delivers ads to your customers and measures all online advertising, even across screens and channels.

DoubleClick Bid Manager – the programmatic bidding platform for bidding on high-quality ad inventory from more than 47 ad marketplaces including Google Display Network.

DoubleClick Ad Exchange: the world’s largest ad marketplace for purchasing display, video, mobile, Search and even Facebook inventory.

DoubleClick Search: is more powerful than AdWords and used for purchasing search ads across Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

DoubleClick Creative Solutions: for designing, delivering and measuring rich media (video) ads, interactive and expandable ads.

doubleclick

Analytics

The _ga is asssociated with Google Universal Analytics - which is a significant update to Google's more commonly used analytics service. This cookie is used to distinguish unique users by assigning a randomly generated number as a client identifier. It is included in each page request in a site and used to calculate visitor, session and campaign data for the sites analytics reports. By default it is set to expire after 2 years, although this is customisable by website owners.

The _gat global object is used to create and retrieve tracker objects, from which all other methods are invoked. Therefore the methods in this list should be run only off a tracker object created using the _gat global variable. All other methods should be called using the _gaq global object for asynchronous tracking.

_gid works as a user navigates between web pages, they can use the gtag.js tagging library to record information about the page the user has seen (for example, the page's URL) in Google Analytics. The gtag.js tagging library uses HTTP Cookies to "remember" the user's previous interactions with the web pages.

_ga, _gat, _gid