April 29, 2016

"For three days in April that year [2014], location data for about a dozen unidentified mobile phone customers in Ukraine got mysteriously sent to a Russian telecom using SS7 vulnerabilities."

wired: Text messages and phone calls of some of those customers also got diverted to Russia, where someone could have eavesdropped on the conversations and recorded them. by Kim Zetter

'The telecom industry has known for years that SS7 is vulnerable to spying, but did little about it because many assumed the risks were theoretical. This changed in the wake of the Ukrainian incidents, says Cathal McDaid, head of the threat intelligence unit for AdaptiveMobile, a mobile telecom security firm. His company and others devised ways to detect SS7 attacks, and since then they have discovered suspicious activity in the networks of multiple telecom customers, suggesting that SS7 attacks are very much real—and ongoing. AdaptiveMobile released a report in February highlighting some of those attacks.

'SS7 is just now getting more public attention because of a 60 Minutes piece last week, which showed two German researchers using SS7 to spy on US Congressman Ted Lieu, with his permission. Lieu has called for a congressional hearing to look into SS7 vulnerabilities, and the Federal Communications Commission has plans to examine it, too.'

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