Many OEMs today are using Unisoc SoCs to power their entry-level smartphones. For instance, Realme is using Unisoc processors in its C-series phones, Infinix is using it in Hot series models, and Motorola and Micromax are also using it in some of their phones. This is largely due to the chips’ availability. When the chip shortage doomed the entire phone market, Unisoc remained very little affected. And so, major OEMs relied on them for entry-level phones. However, a new report has revealed that these Unisoc SoCs have security vulnerabilities.
Security issue was first discovered on Motorola Moto G20
As per Check Point Research, there’s a major security flaw in the modem firmware of both 4G and 5G Unisoc chipsets. It is identified as CVE-2022-20210 and was discovered when scanning Non-Access Stratum (NAS) message handles. This issue could allow a hacker or a military unit to disrupt the radio communication of a device.
Notably, the issue was first detected in the Unisoc T700 that powers the Motorola Moto G20. At the time of checking, the phone was on January 2022 security patch. However, it was learned that the issue isn’t with just this Motorola phone, but it is with the Unisoc chipset’s modem. As per the report, the vulnerability was found in 11% of built-in modems of Unisoc chipsets.
“We found a vulnerability in the Unisoc modem built-in 11 percent of smartphones, stated Slava Makkaveev of Check Point Research. “An attacker could have used a radio station to send a malformed packet that would reset the modem, depriving the user of the possibility of communication. Left unpatched, cellular communication can be blocked by an attacker.”
The research firm immediately informed this issue to Unisoc in May. The China-based company then acknowledged it and issued a patch. However, the patch is yet to reach users. Google will also be publishing the given patch in the upcoming Security bulletin, as reported by the research firm.
Over the years, Unisoc has seen healthy growth in the market. The chip maker grew to 47% in Q1 2022 as compared to a 20% market share in Q1 2021.