Outdated Version Of SS7 Increases its Vulnerability

ss7 intercept

Hacking became more common with the invention of new technologies. The most prominent example is the introduction of the SS7 protocol in the mobile network era. One of the TV news segments surprised the people about the hacking information.

The segment shows how German ‘Chaos Computer Club’ members, access all the call information of the target user. They even gripped over identifying the location of the user, when the GPS was turned off. Further investigations were carried by Ted Lieu for its confirmation. It was confirmed that SS7 can be successfully used in hacking.

The CCC members gave the demonstration of hacking with manipulation of SS7 on TV. The reason behind this demonstration was to make people realize, their sensitive information is not secure. Although, this protocol was not invented with this intention. But, it can be effectively used in hacking. The protocol is used by the all world’s largest telecoms. They all are standing at risk of being hacked.

This protocol was designed in 1975. It was designed to connect mobile devices for successful communications. The mobile network of every person is based on this protocol. It means that the sensitive information that is our gadgets is no more secure.

All the phone calls over the globe are controlled by this protocol. There are special control signals that help in effective communication, either wireless or wired. It is providing major assistance in the communication of people. All the phone calls and text messages are run under SS7. Hackers can get all the information in messages and phone calls.

SS7 is also been exploited positively. As it is used by intelligence agencies in conducting important investigations. Banks can use it to locate the exact location of its customer for approval of charges. In this way, banks are building trustful relations with their customers. Hence, SS7 offers advantages and disadvantages both to its users.

Hackers are widely using ‘spoofing’ to get access to the personal information of telephone users. First, they proceed towards the phone call control channel. After accessing, they can retrieve further information. All this process is conducted without being in the knowledge of mobile service providers.

To keep your conversations secures, its best to use ‘end-to-end encryption apps’. Installation of these apps keeps your calls secure. Even if a hacker tried to hack this, the voice will not be clear to him. As in the case of secure encryptions, hackers can intercept these to gain access to information.

SS7 is used not only to get access to messages and phone calls. But, also to other important information such as passwords of bank accounts. They can even withdraw money from accounts. Even bank transaction message is retrieved by these criminals.

In short, communication with the SS7 protocol is not secure. It is marking a negative impact on the privacy of mobile phone users. There is hope that these things might be better in near future. SS7 was invented for building effective communication over the globe. Its main flaw is that it does not move towards an updated version.