If you own a mobile phone, “you can be bugged, tracked and hacked from anywhere in the world”. That was the throughline of a particularly problematic story on the 60 Minutes program last night. It’s now being hailed as “the end of privacy” for all Australians, but let me assure you, that moment passed a long time ago. “How it has been done, has never been shown before”, claimed the 20-minute report which demonstrated how a vulnerability in a global forwarding network can be “hijacked” to listen in on a user’s calls and text messages in real time. After a lot of teasing and set-up, the report eventually took us to a basement in Germany, where security researcher Luca Melette demonstrated how he could intercept a phone call between the reporter and Australian Senator Nick Xenophon. Luca was able to intercept the call (if we’re to believe that there wasn’t any camera trickery going on), as well as a text message sent between the pair. Big drums. The hack has been reveeeeeeealed. Luca was able to do that by jacking into a vulnerability in the SS7 signalling system. SS7 is used for a whole bunch of things, including cell tower handover […]
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