VICTORY: Google Releases “disable 2g” Feature for New Android Smartphones

VICTORY: Google Releases “disable 2g” Feature for New Android Smartphones

Past yr Google quietly pushed a new feature to its Android working procedure letting end users to optionally disable 2G at the modem amount in their telephones. This is a excellent function that will offer some defense from cell web page simulators, an invasive law enforcement surveillance technological innovation employed all over the region. We applaud Google for implementing this a great deal desired characteristic. Now Apple desires to put into action this characteristic as effectively, for the security of their consumers. 

What is 2G and why is it vulnerable?
2G is the 2nd technology of cell communications, developed in 1991. It’s an outdated technology from a time when specifications bodies did not account for specified danger eventualities this sort of as rogue cell towers and the will need for powerful encryption. As decades have absent by, many vulnerabilities have been learned in 2G.

There are two key problems with 2G. First, it makes use of weak encryption between the tower and unit that can be cracked in real time by an attacker to intercept calls or textual content messages. In actuality, the attacker can do this passively devoid of ever transmitting a one packet. The second difficulty with 2G is that there is no authentication of the tower to the cellphone, which usually means that any person can seamlessly impersonate a genuine 2G tower and a cellphone working with the 2G protocol will under no circumstances be the wiser. 

Cell-website simulators occasionally perform this way. They can exploit security flaws in 2G in get to intercept your communications. Even even though a lot of of the protection flaws in 2G have been preset in 4G, a lot more state-of-the-art cell-web-site simulators can downgrade your link to 2G, making your phone susceptible to the earlier mentioned assaults. This would make every single consumer vulnerable—from journalists and activists to healthcare gurus, federal government officers, and even law enforcement.

What you can do to guard you now
If you have a newer Android cellular phone (these types of as a Pixel, or newer Samsung phone) you can disable 2G ideal now by heading to Options > Network & World-wide-web > SIMs > Let 2G and turning that placing off. 

In this article by default 2G is enabled. 

Now 2G is disabled
If you have an more mature Android telephone, these ways may well or may well not perform. Sad to say thanks to constraints of aged hardware, Google was only capable to put into action this feature on newer telephones. If you have a newer Samsung telephone you may well also be capable to shut off 2G support the same way, unfortunately this is not supported on all networks or all Samsung phones. For Apple iphone proprietors regretably Apple does not assistance this element, but you can tweet at them to demand it!

Get motion

Tell apple: Allow us change off 2G!

We are incredibly happy with the steps that Google has taken below to secure users from vulnerabilities in 2G, and however there is a whole lot far more operate to be carried out this will guarantee that a lot of individuals can eventually receive a essential stage of security. We strongly persuade Google, Apple, and Samsung to spend far more resources into radio safety so they can much better secure smartphone house owners.