Intensely promoted in the last year, 5G technology has not yet shown many advantages, the coverage of mobile networks remaining for the time being below the expectations of many. Turning directly to disadvantages, phones with 5G connectivity tend to have a noticeably lower battery life than strictly 4G ones. Bonus, even the security offered by the current 5G implementations does not seem to be at the desired level.
Device manufacturers and telecom operators have strongly promoted 5G technology, the latest pandemic having minimal effects on plans already on the calendar. Confirming the expectations of skeptics, even one of the essential hardware elements for facilitating 5G connections is called into question. The 5G modem provided by Qualcomm on a huge number of devices has been targeted by an easily exploitable vulnerability on Android, likely to expose the data of millions of users.
First reported by Check Point Research experts, the vulnerability stemmed from an existing technology from 1990 that somehow Qualcomm engineers went unnoticed. Thus, user communications were potentially vulnerable to both 4G LTE and 5G connectivity. This means that almost every phone that uses a Qualcomm 5G compatible chipset has been potentially vulnerable.
The good news is that Check Point Research experts reported the issue directly to the Qualcomm developer, leaving a reasonable time window to fix it. However, even though Qualcomm has provided a software fix since the end of last year, there could be millions of devices still out of date, with the provision of a new firmware version far from being guaranteed.
Robert J. Smith is still early into his career as tech reporter but has already had his work published in many major publications including JoyStiq and Android Authority. In regards to academics, Robert earned a degree in business from Fordham University. Robert has passion for emerging technology and covers upcoming products and breakthroughs in science and tech.