SS7 flaws enable listening to cell phone calls and reading texts

SC Magazine is reporting that a flaw signaling System 7, the telephone industry standard for setting up, managing and tearing down phone calls allows anyone to listen in on cell phone calls, read texts and locate a user.

Two separate researchers have identified the flaw and are going to demonstrate it at a hackers conference in Hamburg.

SS7, a protocol built in the 1970s by the major phone companies and now an international standard was built long before security was a concern.

The Washington Post reported that countries were buying systems to exploit these weaknesses and use it to locate cell phone users.

One should assume that every major spy organization knows about this and has been using it forever.

This “hack” was tested on 20 carrier’s networks around the globe with 100 percent success.

The logical conclusion would be that you should assume that cell phone conversations, absent an extra layer of security are guaranteed compromised.

An additional fun fact is that the conversations can be recorded and decrypted later.