A Indian Security expert Rahul Sasi, announced a discovery of a USB Internet Modem vulnerability that could allow for an attacker to execute malicious code remotely by simply sending an SMS to the victim.
The USB Internet Modem allows to the user to connect through a GSM/CDMA network, via USB Port creating a PPPoE (Point to Point protocol over Ethernet) interface to the user’s PC.
The researcher reported his findings to The Hacker News that exploiting the USB Internet Modem’s vulnerability he could hack computers remotely to acquire a Meterpreter shell aka full access to the victim’s computer.
The researcher revealed that the vulnerability could be used on large scale attack considering that the hardware responds to phone numbers.
Rahul Sasi explained in his post that the Modems have a built-in dialer software that has an interface to read and send SMS messages.
He stated in his report, “These devices are supplied with dialer software either written by the hardware manufacture or by the mobile supplier. They also come bundled with device driver. One of the interesting features that are added to these dialer software’s is an interface to read/sent SMS from your computer directly. This is mainly done for sending promotion offers and advertising. These SMS modules added to the dialers, simply check the connected USB modem for incoming SMS messages, and if any new message is found it’s parsed and moved to a local sqlite database, which is further used to populate the SMS viewer. The device driver, which comes default with these devices [devices are in CDFS file systems that has the software in it] are installed on the host system, they usually provide interrupt handling for asynchronous hardware interface.”