A recent security report by Karsten Nohl in CBS 60 Minutes unveiled that how simple it is to hack anyone’s mobile phone, without their knowledge. A US congressman Ted Lieu agreed to participate in an experiment to prove SS7 vulnerabilities. By just knowing the phone number of Ted, Nohl was able to track Ted’s movements down to districts within Los Angeles, read his private messages, and record private voice calls between Ted and his staff.
The SS7 attack is what CBS 60 min demonstrated – hackers can do it – not just gov agencies. This defeats your secure text msgs.
— Charles R. Smith (@softwarnet) May 11, 2016
‘Signaling System No. 7’ commonly known as SS7 in the US and ‘Common Channel Interfere Signalling 7’ (CCIS7) in the UK, is a widely adopted network protocol. It has been routinely exploited by law enforcement agencies such as NSA and GCHQ for unauthorized surveillance purposes. Similarly, hackers have now gained SS7 access to exploit netizens data privacy and snoop on targets.
To protect users sensitive data, personal conversations, voice calls, e-mails and location information, we have listed simple ways to safeguard yourself against the SS7 hack.
Ways to Protect Yourself From SS7 Hack
The modern age digital gadgets, wireless networks and internet are always under threat from rising cyber crimes. Various state-sponsored agencies, data sniffers, identity thieves, intruders, hackers and cyber criminals are unearthing ways to eavesdrop on netizens confidential information.
Considering the threats to users data privacy, here’re the most suitable ways to deliver enterprise-grade security and protection against sophisticated SS7 attack:
- Use a VPN
- Use Messaging Apps With End-to-End Encryption (WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram etc.)
- Avoid Carrier Network for Personal Conversation
The methods mentioned above will provide a reliable protection to user’s private conversation and confidential information. However, The rule of thumb is always to make sure that your data is encrypted before it hits the wireless network.
Best Way to Protect Yourself From SS7 Hack
According to security researchers and data privacy experts, a VPN is the most suitable and cost-effective solution for protection against the SS7 hack. With a diverse range of tunneling protocols, a VPN passes your data through encrypted tunnels, ensuring that the data remains unreadable to any unauthorized person on earth if it gets leaked.
Editorial reviews and individual testing suggest the following VPN services for protection against SS7 attacks. These VPNs offer a range of tunneling protocols with 128 to 256-bit encryption keys for military grade protection.
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Security breaches in SS7 were initially discovered by security expert Karsten Nohl and announced in 2014 at Chaos hacker conference in Hamburg. However, it has been identified that both government and cyber criminals are repeatedly exploiting SS7 to target on mobile networks and snoop on users.
Similarly, SS7 functions in an excellent manner as a straight communications system, but unfortunately, from a privacy standpoint, it’s an outdated protocol that poses countless threats to netizens privacy. If you don’t want anyone to snoop into your text messages and listen to your private calls, then get a VPN to encrypt all your network traffic and stay protected from unauthorized SS7 access.
Make sure to check out the recent CBS’s 60 Minutes special “Hacking Your Phone” explaining how your phone can be accessed from anywhere without your knowledge: