It was revealed in a recent letter sent from the Department of Homeland Security to Senator Ron Wyden that global cellular networks are being exploited to target Americans. By tapping into these networks, anyone including criminals and intelligence agencies could spy on someone’s texts, calls, and location. The global network being taken into question is Signaling System 7 (SS7).
What Is SS7?
SS7 was created so telecommunication carriers could exchange information as they routed phone calls. Today, it’s commonly used as a way for users to move from network to network across the world without losing connection and missing calls.
For surveillance, SS7 was initially used to track cell phone locations. However, in recent years, it has been used to intercept data, text messages, and phone calls. So, any person using this system could eavesdrop on anyone at any time, including you.
With everyone being a potential target, what’s being done about global cellular network vulnerability? Right now, not much. In the case of SS7, the FCC has been studying the system’s vulnerability for two years and hasn’t taken any action.
What Can Be Done About This In The Future?
The most logical solution to SS7 and other global cellular network vulnerabilities is Government action. As said above, the FCC is aware of the flaws and has done nothing about it. Now might be the right time for them to get involved and resolve the issues.
In a recent Washington Post article, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel quoted,
“The FCC has been studying SS7 vulnerabilities for nearly two years. It’s time for the agency to get serious and come up with a real plan to make sure that our networks are safe and secure.”
Clearly, some officials like Rosenworcel believe these vulnerabilities should be made a priority.
Cell Phone Carriers Could Adopt New Protections
Even though cell phone carriers have installed firewalls and taken other security precautions, SS7 users have still been able to track cell phones. These precautions focus on protecting carrier customers, not people roaming different networks. In the future, cell phone carriers need to focus on protecting all people using global cellular networks.
Hopefully, action will be taken in the near-future to resolve network vulnerabilities. As a cell phone user, there isn’t much you can do to resolve SS7 issues. However, you can take some cell phone security measures to protect your data.
Check out our other blogs on Best Cell Phone Spy Apps to learn more about cell phone spying and security.