Samsung Nexus/Galaxy Modem RFS Command backdoor

CVSS Meta Temp Score
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CTI Interest Score
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A vulnerability was found in Samsung Nexus and Galaxy (Smartphone Operating System). It has been declared as very critical. Affected by this vulnerability is some unknown processing of the file of the component Modem. The manipulation as part of a RFS Command leads to a privilege escalation vulnerability. The CWE definition for the vulnerability is CWE-912. As an impact it is known to affect confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

The weakness was released 03/12/2014 by Paul Kocialkowski as Replicant developers find and close Samsung Galaxy backdoor as not defined posting (Blog). It is possible to read the advisory at The vendor was not involved in the public release. The attack can be launched remotely. The exploitation doesn't need any form of authentication. Technical details of the vulnerability are known, but there is no available exploit. The pricing for an exploit might be around USD $25k-$100k at the moment (estimation calculated on 03/31/2019). Due to its background and reception, this vulnerability has a historic impact. The advisory points out:

While working on Replicant, a fully free/libre version of Android, we discovered that the proprietary program running on the applications processor in charge of handling the communication protocol with the modem actually implements a backdoor that lets the modem perform remote file I/O operations on the file system. This program is shipped with the Samsung Galaxy devices and makes it possible for the modem to read, write, and delete files on the phone's storage.

We expect the 0-day to have been worth approximately $100k and more.

Applying the patch 0001-modem_if-Inject-and-intercept-RFS-I-O-messages-to-pe.patch is able to eliminate this problem. The bugfix is ready for download at A possible mitigation has been published immediately after the disclosure of the vulnerability.

Additional details are provided at


  • Samsung Nexus S I902x
  • Samsung Galaxy S I9000
  • Samsung Galaxy S 2 I9100
  • Samsung Galaxy Note N7000
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus I9250
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 P31xx
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 P51xx
  • Samsung Galaxy S 3 I9300
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 2 N7100





CPE 2.3infoedit

CPE 2.2infoedit


VulDB Meta Base Score: 9.8
VulDB Meta Temp Score: 9.2

VulDB Base Score: 9.8
VulDB Temp Score: 9.2
VulDB Vector: 🔍
VulDB Reliability: 🔍



VulDB Base Score: 🔍
VulDB Temp Score: 🔍
VulDB Reliability: 🔍


Class: Privilege escalation
CWE: CWE-912
ATT&CK: Unknown

Local: No
Remote: Yes

Availability: 🔍
Status: Not defined

Price Prediction: 🔍
Current Price Estimation: 🔍


Threat Intelligenceinfoedit

Threat: 🔍
Adversaries: 🔍
Geopolitics: 🔍
Economy: 🔍
Predictions: 🔍
Remediation: 🔍


Recommended: Patch
Status: 🔍

Reaction Time: 🔍
0-Day Time: 🔍
Exposure Time: 🔍

Patch: 0001-modem_if-Inject-and-intercept-RFS-I-O-messages-to-pe.patch


03/12/2014 🔍
03/12/2014 +0 days 🔍
03/13/2014 +1 days 🔍
03/31/2019 +1844 days 🔍



Advisory: Replicant developers find and close Samsung Galaxy backdoor
Researcher: Paul Kocialkowski
Status: Not defined
Misc.: 🔍


Created: 03/13/2014 12:31 PM
Updated: 03/31/2019 02:59 PM
Changes: (2) software_type vulnerability_cwe
Complete: 🔍


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