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Beaware : Do not share your personal Contact numbers with Strangers : you may be tracked

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Hackers can Track your Calls and Location, What they need is : Access to your contact number. If you are a High Profile Dignitary, your moment is at Risk. Hackers have proved this on the famous show ” 60 Minutes “.

The famous ‘60 Minutes’ television show shocked some viewers Sunday evening when a team of German hackers demonstrated how they spied on an iPhone used by U.S. Congressman, then recorded his phone calls and tracked his movement through Los Angeles.

Hackers leverage a security flaw in SS7 (Signalling System Seven) protocol that allows hackers to track phone locations, listen in on calls and text messages.

First Let’s have a look what is SS7 ( Signalling System 7 )

You might have seen in lot of Movies / Shows, Cops and Operators can track your location : what time and which location. Signalling System Seven, nick named as, SS7 , is a protocol suite used by most telecommunications operators throughout the world to communicate with one another when directing calls, texts and Internet data.

SS7 allows cell phone carriers to collect location information from cell phone towers and share it with each other. This means a Carrier / Mobile Operator will find its customer, no matter to which country of location the customer travels.
Since, SS7 is a common Protocol used by every carrier, In other words, Hackers can track you down any where. Think of a scenario, When a high level official is visiting, How much danger is he facing !!! You can not even imagine the Risk.
What Hackers did this time : Spied on Congressman Ted Lieu ( yes, with his permission ) , Tracked all his calls and moments. This is not only scary, dangerous, but you can understand yourself if some one is stalking your privacy.
Ted Lieu : “Last year, the President of the United States called me on my phone, and we discussed some issues, So if hackers were listening in, they’d know that phone conversation, and that is immensely troubling.”
It all started in 2014, Though some flaws have been patched, but SS7 is still open to attacks. Now comes the dangerous part, What  if any one of the telecom operators is hacked or employs a rogue admin by anti-social elements , a large scale of information, including voice calls, text messages, billing information, relaying metadata and subscriber data, is wide open to interception.
Now, as this is an issue from Carrier side, So all the operating systems are affected, whether iOS, Android or Windows.
Key Question : How to avoid this Attack
The key word which I can use is ” End to End Encryption”. Does it remind you of something, Yes, Whatsapp !! Recently introduced End to End Encryption. Though Criminals can also use this end to end Encryption, but what to do ??

but Do we have any option !!

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Rakesh Bhatia

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