1 min read

Android 12 protects phones from Stingray attacks, lets users disable 2G

Radu CRAHMALIUC

January 14, 2022

Ad One product to protect all your devices, without slowing them down.
Free 90-day trial
Android 12 protects phones from Stingray attacks, lets users disable 2G

Are you worried that someone may be intercepting your phone calls and SMSs? Well, you might not be just paranoid, and it’s not just about spying programs installed on your mobile device.

The privacy and information security community has been warning people for years about stingray attacks, a technique that consists of deploying a device that masquerades as a cell tower, forcing cell phones within range to connect to it. The attackers then intercept all data transmitted. There’s dozens of documented cases in which both law enforcement and private entities deployed stingray attacks to spy on protestors, dissidents or other persons of interest.

The bad news is all mobile phones are vulnerable to this type of attack, and there isn’t much you can do to prevent it. However, there’s also a silver lining. Most of these vulnerabilities have been addressed in 4G, which forces attackers to usually downgrade the connection to 2G, an old standard susceptible to flaws. Until recently, users couldn’t prevent their phones from switching to 2G but, with Android 12, Google has quietly rolled out the option to disable 2G on your Android device.

The setting is turned on by default, and 2G remains active as a backup for emergency calls, no matter what position the toggle is set to. You can manually toggle the 2G switch, though, if you have Android 12 installed and go to Settings, Network and Internet, SIMs, Allow 2G.

Of course, this doesn’t solve the problem entirely, as most Android users are still using older phones, running old OS versions, and iPhone users can’t disable 2G for now, but privacy experts are calling this a big step forward.

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

Abode IoT Security Camera Vulnerabilities Would Let Attackers Insert Images, Bitdefender Finds

Abode IoT Security Camera Vulnerabilities Would Let Attackers Insert Images, Bitdefender Finds

December 21, 2021

2 min read
Online Shoppers Beware, Mobile Scams Are on the Rise

Online Shoppers Beware, Mobile Scams Are on the Rise

December 17, 2021

2 min read
The Holiday Guide to Tech Support: Fixing the Family Computer

The Holiday Guide to Tech Support: Fixing the Family Computer

November 24, 2021

2 min read
Bitdefender Celebrates 20 Years of Cybersecurity Leadership

Bitdefender Celebrates 20 Years of Cybersecurity Leadership

November 04, 2021

3 min read
Bitdefender Study Reveals How Consumers Like (and Dislike) Managing Passwords

Bitdefender Study Reveals How Consumers Like (and Dislike) Managing Passwords

October 26, 2021

3 min read
What are drive-by download attacks and how do you prevent them?

What are drive-by download attacks and how do you prevent them?

October 25, 2021

2 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

Data of 500,000 already vulnerable people stolen from Red Cross Data of 500,000 already vulnerable people stolen from Red Cross
Radu CRAHMALIUC

January 20, 2022

1 min read
Printing Giant RR Donnelley Forced into Talks with Conti Ransomware Group to Stave Off Corporate Data Leak Printing Giant RR Donnelley Forced into Talks with Conti Ransomware Group to Stave Off Corporate Data Leak
Filip TRUȚĂ

January 20, 2022

1 min read
Top Five Security Tips for Mac Users in 2022 Top Five Security Tips for Mac Users in 2022
Filip TRUȚĂ

January 19, 2022

4 min read