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Privacy flaw in mobile phone networks

Recently, hackers have hit it big in the news. They have attacked people’s personal information, even leaking documents, photos, and emails. Much of this has been through mobile phone networks, too.

It has shown that there is almost no mobile network privacy. A hacker can access your information on your mobile phone without you realizing it. Two German researchers have actually found a major flaw in these networks that makes it easier for hackers to get direct access to your information, too. This flaw allows them to read information, listen to your calls, and grab anything they need from your phone while staying a safe distance away.

The flaw is in Signal System 7, SS7. SS7 allows carriers to keep everything connected and on the right path to the call or message’s recipient. The flaw in the system lies in the function that keeps calls connected.

While many of the average citizens can do nothing about this flaw, there is the fear that government agencies can. There is the risk of them using this flaw to their advantage to take any information they need. It is a global problem, too. Those who understand this system can find a person in the middle of Ohio as easily as they can find someone in Tokyo, Japan.

The risk comes in two forms. If individuals wanted to listen in on a phone call, they just have to change the route for the call. By first sending the call to themselves and then getting it back on its original path, hackers can eavesdrop on calls immediately. This will allow them to hear and record conversations.

Another problem is the towers. Calls and texts move through towers to get to their destination. Hackers can actually grab these calls and texts if they are moving through their area. They can then have access to a large amount of information that they can use at a later point.

There is very little in the way of mobile network privacy. It is not that difficult to use this flaw to one’s advantage if you understand the system, which many hackers do. Grabbing and decrypting the calls and messages can happen in little time, too.

It is an outdated system from the 80’s that modern technology and understanding cannot defeat easily. Any call you place or text that you send is at risk due to these broken systems. Without a major change, this is going to stay that way.

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