Mobile Network Vulnerability Means Hackers Could Listen in to Calls
Ashley Allen / 3 years ago
A vulnerability in mobile networks has been discovered that allows hackers to monitor phone calls and track user locations. The weakness, part of the SS7 global mobile network, has been around for a long time, built in as part of a function that keeps calls connected when a phone is on the move, switching between different mobile towers, and researchers don’t know how much it has been exploited.
SS7 was built into mobile networks as a key component during the Eighties, so no amount of security updates or encryptions can remove it, and since the weakness exists worldwide, hackers don’t need to be near a mobile phone to be able crack into it.
“I doubt we are the first ones in the world who realize how open the SS7 network is,” said Tobias Engel, a German researcher who helped find the vulnerability.
A hacking conference in Hamburg will openly discuss the flaw later in December. As long as SS7 remains in use, security experts recommend no sharing any private or sensitive information over a mobile voice call.
Source: The Independent