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Radio News: Congressperson's phone hacked for report, to show known flaw

Apr 18, 2016 11:06 pm
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Last week a "60 Minutes" report had a security expert hack a Congressperson's cell phone by just using his public ten-digit phone number. Karsten Nohl of Germany-based Security Research Labs was able to record audio of calls made to or from the California Rep. Ted Lieu's phone. The "60 Minutes" report with the Congressman's cooperation was meant to show that hackers could use the same well-known Signalling System No. 7 flaw to access anyone's phone through their phone number. SS7 allows different networks to communicate, and Lieu complains that security officials have long known that if any one of the 820 or so telcos have been hacked, then all are vulnerable to this sort of attack. Security officials, he says, let the flaw go as they also sometimes use it to track suspects. "The people who knew about this flaw should be fired," he said. "You cannot have 300 and some million Americans, and really the global citizenry, be at risk of having their phone conversations intercepted with a known flaw simply because some intelligence agencies might get some data. That is not acceptable."
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