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The Critical Hole at the Heart of Our Cell Phone Networks

28
Apr
2016
The Critical Hole at the Heart of Our Cell Phone Networks

The Critical Hole at the Heart of Our Cell Phone Networks

IN FEBRUARY 2014, the US ambassador to Ukraine suffered an embarrassing leak. A secret conversation between him and US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland got posted to YouTube, in which Nuland spoke disparagingly about the European Union.

The conversation occurred over unencrypted phones, and US officials told reporters they suspected the call was intercepted in Ukraine, but didn’t say how. Some people believe it occurred using vulnerabilities in a mobile data network known as SS7, which is part of the backbone infrastructure of telecoms around the world to communicate between themselves about how to route calls and text messages.

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