Android 12 was released by Google in October 2021 with several new features, but some hidden functions are still being discovered by experts, such as Mishaal Rahman, who found a new option to disable 2G modems on cell phones that still have this type of hardware.
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The option is available within Settings > Network & Internet > SIMs > Allow 2G on Android 12 devices and basically disables support for this connection, which has weak encryption with several security flaws, which allows hackers to intercept calls and messages text easily.
In addition, it has already been shown that attackers can switch your smartphone’s network from 4G to 2G to perform the above attacks on devices that are still using the second-generation connection, so disabling the modem can be a nice addition to security.
However, it is necessary to remember that 2G and 3G connections are still responsible for the communication of millions of people around the world, especially in isolated places, where 4G has not yet arrived or has an unstable signal. So it is advisable to assess which ones are available in your area to avoid problems during emergencies.
It is interesting to mention that the option to disable the 2G connection requires an update of the smartphone’s HAL Radio, so many devices should not have this function available due to this restriction. On the other hand, some newer Samsung and Google devices have these updates implemented, which will allow them to disable 2G, the same goes for devices with Android 12 out of the box.
Now, if you want to get rid of the 2G vulnerability, you can check if your device has an option to only use 4G network, which is much safer.
Also, there are dial codes on some models like *#*#4636#*#* where you can select Phone info 1 and choose your preferred network type as LTE Only, but remember this setting is reset every time you turn off your cell phone.