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Apple Dodges IPhone Radiation Class Action Suit
USA Created: 7 Nov 2020
A federal judge Thursday nixed a class action claiming Apple failed to warn consumers about dangerous radiation from iPhones, finding it has twice demonstrated that its smartphones comply with the Federal Communications Commission’s radiation exposure limits.

Impelled by a Chicago Tribune article indicting iPhone and Galaxy smartphones for surpassing federal safety limits, lead plaintiff Andrew Cohen sued cellphone makers Apple and Samsung in August 2019. Samsung was voluntarily dismissed as a defendant in the case in January.

The plaintiffs commissioned their own independent tests in 2019 and cited tests conducted by the Canadian Broadcasting Company in 2017 and French National Frequencies Agency in 2018, all of which found radiofrequency radiation exposure from iPhones exceeded federal safety limits.

In response to the Tribune’s investigation, the FCC’s lab tested commercially-available iPhones as well as a model iPhone at separation distances of five millimeters, pursuant to federal guidelines, finding they fell well within the safety limits. It published the results of those tests in December 2019.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup sided with Apple in a ruling issued late Thursday, since the FCC has broad authority under the Federal Communications Act of 1934 to enact uniform regulations for wireless radio communications devices and any related emissions.

“If successful, plaintiffs’ claims could set the stage for a patchwork of state-required testing procedures, increasing the burden on manufacturers and thereby upsetting the efficiency that the uniform standards and testing procedures provide,” Alsup wrote.

Alsup also found a jury trial unnecessary, as the FCC’s lab tests indicated that Apple’s smartphones meet its RF exposure standards.

“The Lab found no evidence of violations of the technical standards. Apple’s iPhones have thus demonstrated compliance with its exposure limits not once but twice,” Alsup wrote. “Allowing a federal jury to now second-guess the agency determinations would interfere with the balance struck in the equipment-authorization program. The federal regulations must displace plaintiffs’ claims.”

Attorneys for Apple and the class did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment Thursday evening.

The ruling follows a judgment in favor of a wireless industry trade group rendered by U.S. District Judge Edward Chen earlier this year on similar grounds.

The Cellular Telephone Industries Association had challenged the city of Berkeley’s ordinance requiring cellphone retailers to provide guidance on avoiding radio-frequency exposure. Chen agreed that the FCC’s regulatory actions on radio frequency emissions preempt the local law.
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Source: Court House News, MARIA DINZEO, 29 Oct 2020

Trust Us, Men: Move the Phone from Your Front Pocket
USA Created: 3 Nov 2020
When they aren’t using it, most guys drop their cellphone into a front pocket of their pants. It’s convenient and, really, where else can you put it?

But some research suggests that stashing your phone so close to particularly vital and valued organs may not be the safest place.

Cellphones emit radio frequency (RF) waves that are known to have negative effects on living tissue. RF waves have been linked to sleep disturbance, headaches, increased blood pressure, DNA damage and difficulty in concentrating.

Until recently, most research has focused on the effect RF waves have on the brain, because we hold cellphones close to our heads. The good news, so far, is that data from the National Cancer Institute and other health agencies have not scientifically established that the use of cellphones causes cancer.

Over the past decade, however, scientific research has migrated farther south, assessing the effects of RF waves on sperm. And, guys, a significant amount of the literature cautions that cellphones probably shouldn’t be anywhere below your belt line.

Let’s be clear: Some studies are older and there is no consensus or smoking-gun study that says cellphone RF waves damage sperm. For every study that says “maybe” or “could be,” there has been another that says, “nah” or “probably not.” Nevertheless, several studies conducted by reputable researchers in the past 10 years seem to connect RF waves with lower sperm counts.

For instance, a 2018 study found evidence that “RF-Electromagnetic exposure negatively affects sperm quality,” while another concluded that “long exposure” to electromagnetic waves from mobile phones was associated with a decrease in the number of mature sperm.

And in 2014 researchers at the University of Exeter in the UK reviewed the findings of 10 studies, which included 1,492 sperm samples. While acknowledging their review had limitations, the authors found that the overall result “strongly suggests” that tucking your cellphone into your front pocket “negatively affects sperm quality.” The researchers noted that men with “borderline infertility” issues were probably more likely to be affected.

That same year, the Central European Journal of Urology concluded that a “correlation” exists between cellphone radiation and decreased sperm motility.

Lest we forget: The first mobile phone was introduced in 1973. Sperm counts have been dropping over the past few decades.

Just saying.

Before you panic, note that the two important words to take from those scientific papers are “suggests” and “correlation.” Still, several other studies “suggest” that pocketing your cellphone is associated with a decrease in semen quality (the fluid that carries the sperm), low sperm motility and viability, a decreased sperm count, lower acrosin (an enzyme needed for egg binding and penetration) activity, increased sperm DNA fragmentation (related to sperm viability), and increased expression of the gene that helps with seminal clustering, important in clearing cellular debris.

If you don’t have a PhD in chemistry or biology, let’s put that in plain English: The sperm taken from the men in those studies were more like belly floppers than Olympic breast stroke swimmers. They were much less likely to get the job done.

If you want to play it safe, several companies now make lines of protective underwear that they say block wireless, electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation.

In at least one such product, the cotton fabric is interwoven with threads of silver. Silver is one metal commonly used to shield against electromagnetic radiation.

If silver-lined underwear isn’t your style, you can protect your brain and your genitals with an RF wave, anti-radiation phone case. Several companies manufacture such cases; at least one company states that its cases block 99% of RF wave radiation.

RF waves may not be the only threat your cellphone poses to sperm. You know how people say, it’s not the heat; it’s the humidity. The same is true of cellphones. We know that the slightest increase in scrotal temperature can reduce sperm production. Anything that raises the temperature -- working with a laptop on your lap, wearing tight underwear or clothing, sitting at a desk all day, and even the heat the cellphone generates in your front pocket -- can reduce sperm viability and motility.

Cellphones are a part of modern life. If you or your significant other is worried about the threat it poses to your progeny, there are a few simple things you can do: Buy shirts with a breast pocket to carry your cellphone; buy some silver-lined, loose-fitting underwear; and invest in an anti-radiation phone case. Then relax. That afterglow you’re feeling is radiation-free.

Robert Calandra is an award-winning journalist, book author and playwright. His work has appeared in national and regional magazines and newspapers.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Medical Daily, Robert Calandra, 02 Nov 2020

SpaceX installation continues to rankle residents
USA Created: 31 Oct 2020
The Colburn SpaceX Services gateway antenna array continues to jangle the nerves of residents.

Bonner County commissioners were peppered with questions Tuesday from Selle Valley residents who contend the installation poses a public health risk which hasn't been properly evaluated.

"There’s no U.S. agency that takes into consideration the cumulative effects from microwave radiation exposure and that our total exposure amount is unknown, especially when you consider the multiple sources of microwave radiation we are being bathed in daily," Robin Hunding told commissioners.

Federal Communications Commission records indicate a radiation hazard analysis was done. The analysis concluded the gateway is not a radiation hazard because it does not exceed the maximum permissible exposure limit of 5 megawatts per square centimeters when averaged over a six-minute period in generally-accessible areas.

"This radiation hazard analysis demonstrates that SpaceX Services gateways will not result in unacceptable radiation exposure levels," the report to FCC concludes.

The report also holds the near-field region creates no concern for the general public as they lie in an area where only authorized personnel may enter. The far-field region create no concern for the general public because it develops 130 meters from the antenna at a minimum elevation angle of 25 degrees, an area which also cannot be accessed by the public.

But residents are not swayed by the conclusions in the FAA report

The near field region creates no concern for the general public as they lie behind signage where only authorized personnel may enter. Likewise, the far field region creates no concern for the general public because it develops 130 meters from the antenna at a minimum elevation angle of twenty-five degrees where the general public cannot access.

This analysis demonstrates that the SpaceX Services gateway is not a radiation hazard because it does not exceed the MPE limit of 5 mW/cm2 averaged over a six-minute period in generally-accessible areas.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Bonner County Daily Bee, KEITH KINNAIRD, 25 Oct 2020

A geek researches 5G: Letter to Greta Thunberg: how 5G contributes to climate change
USA Created: 24 Oct 2020
Last Spring, after I spoke about the Internet’s footprint on a teleconference, I met Miguel Coma, a Belgian engineer. Thanks to the Internet, we have corresponded regularly and taught each other a lot about 5G, the fifth generation of mobile networks. The way he takes responsibility for his part of climate change really inspires me. Let me introduce you.

Dear Greta,

I’ve been a geek from the age of ten, when I started using and programming some of the first personal computers. I am 47 now. I am an engineer because I love technology, but living beings and nature also mean very much to me. I’m married, and I have three children, including two teenagers.

I was very lucky to be raised in a caring family with good values, however my parents did not teach me to think about the environment. At school, our planet’s future was never discussed, either. Meanwhile, I inherited my uncle’s passion for science and technology. I have always loved electronics, space exploration, astronomy, robots and supercomputers. Technology and science never bore me. (Chemistry does—nobody’s perfect.) Technology drives my will to understand and improve the world. Seeing the miracles that people can achieve when technology is used well gives me comfort.

In college, I learned how to build machines, systems and processes. I specialized in electronics and telecommunications. Whenever I talked with other engineers, we never discussed the ecological impacts of building, using or disposing of electronic devices. We focused on making attractive, reliable and affordable products and services. Innovation was all about technology, and only technology. As a student and then an engineer, working for the telecom industry (until twelve years ago), I never met experts in environmental or biological sciences.

At 33, I met my wife. She works for an environmental organisation. Through her, I started to realize the extent of environmental problems like global warming, pollution, e-waste and their impacts on living beings. I also started to connect with nature and got energized by observing tiny insects, flowers and the stars. (I have a telescope.) I increased my efforts to reduce our household’s waste, use renewable energy and buy energy efficient devices.

But I was still in the dark about problems caused by my own industry.

Then came the Covid-19 global pandemic. For the first time in my life, I had no job for several months. I used the time to do research. I remembered my wife telling me, in 2018, that she worried for our family’s health because of radiation emitted by 5G. At first, I considered the idea that 5G could harm us a conspiracy theory. My training taught me that only ionizing radiation is dangerous, and that exposure to the non-ionizing radiation levels used in telecommunications is perfectly safe. (Nonetheless, the industry recommends that mobile phone users keep a safe distance from their devices. Katie Singer and I will write about this in other letters. For now, you can read the fine print in your owner’s manual.)

I believe that technology should benefit our society. It should co-exist harmoniously with all living beings and ecosystems. But I have learned recently that technology can harm everything I care for, on a very large scale. Only a few years back, the odds that I would write to someone like you about re-thinking how to build the Internet would have been slim. Now, I want everyone to know 5G’s footprint. I want you to learn the key facts and have the widest possible picture about 5G so that you can make your own opinions. I encourage you to check and research the facts for yourself.

I researched 5G’s advantages and impacts—the applications it could make possible, the energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, worker hazards; its impacts to wildlife, public health, the economy and democracy. People call me a perfectionist. I wanted numerous viewpoints, so I cross-checked studies, reports and essays. I contacted scientists, engineers, non-profit associations, and even a philosopher.

As an engineer, I naturally started to read about 5G‘s technology and potential applications. Compared to 4G, 5G is designed to offer faster wireless connections. It aims to connect many more devices than 4G can, and, when necessary, to respond faster and more reliably. For mobile network operators as well, 5G means technical progress. The industry promotes 5G as a digital revolution, where every person and every device will be connected, enabling applications that we have not yet imagined. The industry claims that 5G will provide the backbone of a connectivity-based future economy.

But we already have billions of devices connected to the Internet. We call this the Internet of Things, and it is growing, rapidly, even without 5G. Moreover, alternative technologies already enable autonomous vehicles and tele-surgery, smart cities and more. To my surprise, I found publications from engineers, analysts and even a mobile operator who report that smartphone users are satisfied with 4G and will experience no substantial benefit from 5G. (The people who had the courage to reveal this give me courage.)

5G mainly stands to benefit large industries. For example, 5G can help robots use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to speed construction, modification, painting and the movement of parts along an assembly line. It could make some factory floors more efficient with nearly instantaneous interactions, and enable automated quality control. By replacing network cables and Wi-Fi with 5G, many more robots could connect in the same space. However, we do not need an extensive, public 5G network to connect a factory or other industries. Each manufacturer could have their own, private 5G network.

Unemployment, food insecurity, Covid-19, education, climate change and so many other issues already burden governments and taxpayers. Nevertheless, 5G manufacturers seeking higher profits are pressuring governments to facilitate the deployment of massive numbers of 5G antennas in every city and rural area. If consumers are already satisfied with 4G, and if industries can use a private 5G network, I wonder: given our global economic and environmental crises, is deployment of 5G public networks justified?

When I started looking at 5G’s environmental footprint, I had several shocks. First, I realized that the information-communication-technology (ICT) industry uses enormous and rapidly increasing amounts of electricity--and generates enormous amounts of greenhouse gases. And yet, neither I nor the experts I contacted could find a study about 5G’s energy use or greenhouse gas emissions.

I have to admit that I am part of the ICT industry. I helped create the problems. Remaining silent about my realizations would make me an even larger part of the problem. Because I am now aware that 5G could put a halt to the environmental progress you and others have made, I feel an urge to inform citizens around the world what I have learned, and to help find legal ways to limit the use of 5G to where it is truly required.

Greta, every bit of data that travels the Internet consumes energy. The more data used, the more energy consumed. While 5G will use less energy than 4G to transmit the same data (and so we can call 5G more energy efficient), 5G will consume about three times more electricity than 4G. 5G will use much shorter waves to transmit data faster. These waves do not travel far. So, they require millions of new radiation-emitting small antennas, located much closer to homes, schools and offices. Constructing millions of new antennas and billions of 5G compatible devices will require a long series of energy intensive processes, ranging from ore extraction to manufacturing of devices and infrastructure. Building a new, international network that operates in every city and rural area will create unimaginable amounts of greenhouse gases, toxic emissions, radiation and electronic waste.

In spite of the industry’s claims, 5G will not help to reduce climate change. It will speed it up. I will elaborate on this in future letters.

I’m an engineer, yes. Still, I want technology to respect wildlife, public health and the realities of climate change. I hope that as users of technology, we will learn the impacts of our digital purchases and usage so that we can take responsibility and reduce our digital footprint. I hope that governments and regulatory bodies will create ambitious policies that protect our environment and our health. This would be true progress for our society and next generations.

Miguel Coma is an engineer in telecommunications and an Information Technology architect. After a decade in telecommunications (with two mobile operators and an equipment manufacturer), he now works as an enterprise architect in the bank-insurance sector. He believes in technology’s potential to create sustainable progress.

Katie Singer writes about technology and nature. "An Electronic Silent Spring" is her most recent book. In 2018, she spoke about the Internet’s footprint at the United Nations. She dreams that every smartphone user knows the supply chain of one substance (of 1000+) in every smartphone.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Wall Street International Magazine, Katie Singer & Miguel Coma, 23 Oct 2020

5G International Legal Action Network
USA Created: 8 Oct 2020
We are a professional network of lawyers and relevant experts, dedicated to redirecting the 5G Juggernaut toward balance and wisdom. Our species is rushing toward a future that feeds our addiction to speed, instant gratification, energy consumption, and disconnection from Earth. By creatively working together, we have a chance to cause a shift.

We are accomplishing our goal through concerted and effective legal action and education. We offer an opportunity for Human-Centered Lawyering on an international scale, based on the principle of Paying Forward, or passing the fruits of our discoveries on to others, thereby accelerating the process of new learning and practical application.

We invite you to join us:
Click here to view the source article.
Source: 5G International Legal Action Network

5G Waveforms: We Need To Know More
USA Created: 29 Sep 2020
There's been a lot of talk about the frequencies used in 5G wireless signals - But very little about what the waveforms of this radiation look like.

Or, to put it another way: How fast are 5G pulses? And how powerful are they?

Behind the scenes, there's been a contentious dispute with some of the best known researchers in the field on opposing sides.

Just last week, the wireless industry was lobbying the U.S. FCC to shelve some proposed rules to tighten the existing limits for these short bursts of radiation.

Check out the details in our latest post:
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Microwave News, Louis Slesin PhD, 25 Sep 2020

Cancer Survivors Await Outcome of Cell-Phone Warnings Lawsuit
USA Created: 27 Aug 2020
Cancer survivors are speaking out as they await the outcome of several lawsuits concerning radiation and cell phones.

The suits challenge the Federal Communication Commission's radiation guidelines, the radio-frequency or 'RF' levels from cell phones, and safety notices required by the City of Berkeley.

Courtney Kelley, a young mother who has beaten back breast cancer twice, said she used to keep her phone tucked into her bra - but not anymore.

"I use headphones when I talk, or speaker phone," said Kelley. "I don't sleep with my cell phone near me. I never put my cell phone in a pocket or in my bra. I'm even uncomfortable with it in my purse next to my body, I try to keep it far away."

The cellular industry insists its products are safe, although a 2018 study by the National Toxicology Program concluded cell-phone radiation causes brain tumors in rats.

Orange County surgeon Dr. John West, who wrote a book on breast cancer called "Prevent, Survive, Thrive," said he's seen multiple patients -- with no family history or genetic predisposition -- develop tumors near where they usually kept their phone.

55-year-old Cally Pivano had a fast-growing, softball-sized tumor removed from her left leg. Now, it has metastasized to her lungs, back, right leg and her heart. A doctor told her it might have been caused by exposure to radiation.

"And then I had an epiphany," said Pivano. "My laptop! I put that on my left leg, almost every day, for hours. And then, when I searched for the owner's manual for my laptop, there it was in black and white: 'Must be kept a minimum of eight inches away from your body.'"

And 49-year-old Paul Griffiths, a father of two from San Jose, is fighting a brain tumor above the ear where he said he used to squeeze his phone while taking notes on work calls.

"First thing I thought of is, 'I bet you this thing is right above my ear on my right side,' where I always feared," said Griffiths. "And lo and behold, that's exactly where it was."
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Public News Service, 21 Aug 2020

Landmark Medical Conference to Examine Health Risks of Electromagnetic Fields
USA Created: 20 Aug 2020
With mounting scientific evidence confirming health risks associated with electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure, expert physicians and scientists from across the globe will convene for the Electromagnetic Fields Medical Conference on January 28-31, 2021. Connecting EMF scientists with health practitioners and EMF assessment professionals, this novel online event will present the latest EMF science and train health care practitioners in preventing, diagnosing, and treating EMF-associated illness.

"In order for health professionals to provide optimal patient care, it is important that we are informed about the latest scientific developments in this critical area," said Hillel Baldwin, MD, Arizona neurosurgeon and co-chair of the Electromagnetic Fields Medical Conference. "I have personally seen the toll that EMF exposure is taking on patients, families, and communities, and I look forward to joining my colleagues as we discuss the peer-reviewed medical science and the clinical findings that will improve patient outcomes."

The conference is being convened by the Electromagnetic Safety Alliance (ESA), an international non-profit advocacy organization that works to raise awareness of the risks of EMF exposure. This conference has been designated for 16.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

"The importance of raising global awareness about adverse health effects of EMF exposure is vital," said Elizabeth Kelley, MA, executive producer of the conference and ESA executive director. "While this conference will bring together experts to teach and learn, we hope it serves the broader purpose of informing the public about the dangers of EMF exposure so they can take steps to reduce their exposure should they choose to," she concluded.

More than 30 speakers will address topics ranging from wireless technology and brain health, to microwave radiation and oxidative stress, to electromagnetic hypersensitivity. A public policy panel will also be convened to explore the public health implications of EMF exposure.

A Pre-Conference Course, entitled Electrosmog and Electrotherapeutics 101, will be offered, taught by Magda Havas, PhD, an internationally known EMF expert, on October 23 and 24, 2020. The Pre-Conference Course is designed to prepare and equip conference registrants in advance and offers 4 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

For additional information, including details for registration for both the Conference and the Pre-Conference Course, please visit

About the Electromagnetic Safety Alliance, Inc.
Based in Tucson, Arizona USA, the Electromagnetic Safety Alliance (ESA) is a non-profit organization that seeks to "make the invisible, visible." ESA and its advisors have decades of experience working on public health issues, advising both the public and elected leaders of the potential hazards of non-ionizing radiation. ESA's executive director, Elizabeth Kelley, also manages the International Commission on Electromagnetic Safety, a membership organization of scientists worldwide "that promotes research to protect public health from electromagnetic fields and develops the scientific basis and strategies for assessment, prevention, management and communication of risk, based on the precautionary principle." In addition, Ms. Kelley manages the International EMF Scientist Appeal to the United Nations. For more information, please visit

Matt Russell
Russell Public Communications
(520) 232-9840

SOURCE Electromagnetic Safety Alliance, Inc.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Electromagnetic Safety Alliance, 19 Aug 2020

US consumers fail to register 5G buzz – analyst
USA Created: 12 Aug 2020
Despite there being aggressive marketing campaigns to drive awareness of 5G, Canalys suggests uptake of the devices has been modest best.

While Apple stormed into the number one spot for smartphone shipments across the second quarter of 2020, Samsung struggled to shift its flagship devices, as 5G failed to blossom in a market dominated by COVID-19.

“As the coronavirus pandemic forced consumers to stay at home, 5G adoption in the US failed to take off,” said Analyst Vincent Thielke.

“Store closures and virus fears limited interaction with demonstration models, tight consumer budgets further constrained spending power, and with scarce 5G network coverage in American suburbia, consumers saw plenty of reasons to buy a 4G device instead.”

The impact of COVID-19 is certainly an interesting one for the telecoms industry to contemplate. Firstly, pressure on consumer spending will be heightened over the coming months, perhaps forcing a delay on any big ticket spend. Secondly, societal lockdown certainly slowed down 5G deployment in the US, a market which has always struggle to evenly distribute connectivity on the same trajectory.

Both of these elements add up to a weakened business case for 5G-compatible devices. 2020 was supposed to be the year of 5G, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify the vast expenditure of upgrading. The average selling price of devices during this quarter declined by almost 10%.

According to the estimates, Samsung shipped 59% fewer Galaxy S20 5G series handsets than S10 series models in the same period of 2019. It does appear the case to upgrade is not there just yet, though Samsung’s woes in this market are amplified when put next to the success of Apple. The iPhone SE has proved immensely popular during this period, though it remains to be seen whether this dampens demand for an Apple 5G device which could potentially be launched in September or October.
Click here to view the source article.
Source:, Jamie Davies, 12 Aug 2020

Chip in 40% of smartphones has at least 400 exploitable vulnerabilities
USA Created: 11 Aug 2020
Over 400 vulnerabilities on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chip threaten mobile phones’ usability worldwide.

With over 3 billion users globally, smartphones are an integral, almost inseparable part of our day-to-day lives.

As the mobile market continues to grow, vendors race to provide new features, new capabilities and better technological innovations in their latest devices. To support this relentless drive for innovation, vendors often rely on third parties to provide the required hardware and software for phones. One of the most common third-party solutions is the Digital Signal Processor unit, commonly known as DSP chips.

In this research dubbed “Achilles” we performed an extensive security review of a DSP chip from one of the leading manufacturers: Qualcomm Technologies. Qualcomm provides a wide variety of chips that are embedded into devices that make up over 40% of the mobile phone market, including high-end phones from Google, Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, OnePlus and more.

More than 400 vulnerable pieces of code were found within the DSP chip we tested, and these vulnerabilities could have the following impact on users of phones with the affected chip:

- Attackers can turn the phone into a perfect spying tool, without any user interaction required – The information that can be exfiltrated from the phone include photos, videos, call-recording, real-time microphone data, GPS and location data, etc.

- Attackers may be able to render the mobile phone constantly unresponsive – Making all the information stored on this phone permanently unavailable – including photos, videos, contact details, etc – in other words, a targeted denial-of-service attack.

- Malware and other malicious code can completely hide their activities and become un-removable.

We disclosed these findings with Qualcomm, who acknowledged them, notified the relevant device vendors and assigned them with the following CVE’s : CVE-2020-11201, CVE-2020-11202, CVE-2020-11206, CVE-2020-11207, CVE-2020-11208 and CVE-2020-11209.

Important note

Check Point Research decided not to publish the full technical details of these vulnerabilities until mobile vendors have a comprehensive solution to mitigate the possible risks described.

However, we decided to publish this blog to raise the awareness to these issues. We have also updated relevant government officials, and relevant mobile vendors we have collaborated with on this research to assist them in making their handsets safer. The full research details were revealed to these stakeholders.

Check Point Research is committed to making technology and products around the world safer and will cooperate with any security vendor that requests for a collaboration. In a proactive move, we have also offered organizations that could have been affected by these risks 20 free SandBlast Mobile licenses for their management mobile devices to protect and prevent any potential damage in the upcoming 6 months from the publication of this research.

What is a DSP anyway?

A DSP (Digital Signal Processor) is a system on a chip that has hardware and software designed to optimize and enable each area of use on the device itself, including:

- Charging abilities (such as “quick charge” features)

- Multimedia experiences e.g. video, HD Capture, advanced AR abilities

- Various Audio features

Simply put, a DSP is a complete computer on a single chip – and almost any modern phone includes at least one of these chips.

A single SoC (Software on Chip) may include features to enable daily mobile usage such as image processing, computer vision, neural network-related calculations, camera streaming, audio and voice data. Additionally vendors can optionally use these “mini computers” to insert their own functionality that will run as dedicated applications on top of the existing framework.
A new attack vector

While DSP chips provide a relatively economical solution that allows mobile phones to provide end users with more functionality and enable innovative features– they do come with a cost. These chips introduce new attack surface and weak points to these mobile devices. DSP chips are much more vulnerable to risks as they are being managed as “Black Boxes” since it can be very complex for anyone other than their manufacturer to review their design, functionality or code.
What did we do?

Check Point Research believes such an ecosystem may be a fertile ground for critical vulnerabilities that might have severe impact on millions of people around the world, and that fixing them requires a long chain of communication between many vendors, manufacturers and resellers. For this reason, we decided to review and perform a deep dive on the security posture of one of the most common chips available today – Qualcomm’s Snapdragon.

Due to the “Black Box” nature of the DSP chips it is very challenging for the mobile vendors to fix these issues, as they need to be first addressed by the chip manufacturer. Using our research methodologies and state-of-the-art fuzz testing technologies, we were able to overcome these issues – gaining us with a rare insight into the internals of the tested DSP chip. This allowed us to effectively review the chip’s security controls and identify its weak points.

We hope this research will help build a better and more secure environments for the DSP chip ecosystem, as well as provide the necessary knowledge and tools for the security community to preform regular security reviews for these chips in order to strengthen the security of mobile devices.

To learn more about this research watch our presentation at the DEFCON virtual conference.

We strongly recommend organizations protect their corporate data on their mobile devices by using mobile security solutions. SandBlast Mobile provides real-time threat intelligence and visibility into the mobile threats that could affect businesses, and provides complete protection against the risks detailed in this blog, associated with the Quallcomm vulnerabilities.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Check Point, 06 Aug 2020

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