Is someone trying to hack your phone? The answer to this question is most likely “yes” – regardless of whether you are a person of particular interest to hackers or not. The average Joe may not be the CEO of a petroleum or pharmaceutical company, but there is still money to be made in hacking their device and extracting data. Here is how attackers do that.
If you were an intelligence agency, your dream would be to monitor anyone, anywhere in the world, right? The inherent vulnerabilities of SS7, a protocol used by network operators around the globe, make this dream a reality. Cybercriminals have also exploited these flaws to drain bank accounts. Here is what you need to know about SS7 and how to keep your data safe.
IMSI-catchers are devices that are presumably used by government agencies to wiretap the mobile phones of people under surveillance. Then why should regular, law-abiding citizens be worried about them? Well, because it is not just governments that have a monopoly on using IMSI-catchers anymore. There are, however, measures one can take to counter them.
Mobile devices are no longer the future – they are the reigning kings of the present. October 2016 marked the tipping point, at which mobile devices accounted for a bigger share of Internet usage than desktop computers. Close to 2 billion people use mobile devices to access the Internet. Google has already reported mobile searches surpassing desktop ones by some 10 percentage points – and that its search algorithm will start favoring mobile sites. Not to mention that marketing and ad spending is already shifted towards mobile. But what does this brave new world mean for mobile security?
Nowadays, IMSI-catchers are pretty much vanilla surveillance. Such devices have been used by law enforcement and not-so-lawful adversaries alike to seize phone data for over a decade. Now, researchers have demonstrated how the same can be done over Wi-Fi. And it is also relatively easy.