U.S. Carriers unusually quiet after 60 Minutes' piece on hacking

U.S. Carriers unusually quiet after 60 Minutes' piece on hacking
The other day, we told you about a segment on smartphone hacking that aired on CBS' 60 Minutes news magazine. Part of the segment showed how researchers in Germany were able to hack into an Apple iPhone in California, that was given to a U.S. congressman by CBS. Using a vulnerability in the SS7, or Signaling System Seven protocol, the congressman's phone was quickly broken into allowing the researchers to record his phone calls, track his whereabouts, and read text messages.

The congressman, U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), is now calling for an investigation into SS7, which is used to help different networks exchange information. It employs the use of a separate digital channel for sending information that allows different carriers to connect calls around the world.

The CTIA, the industry trade group that represents top carriers in the U.S., pointed out that for the 60 Minutes segment, the researchers "were given extraordinary access to a German operator's network to demonstrate the vulnerability." According to John Marinho, CTIA's vice president of cybersecurity and technology, "U.S. wireless providers remain vigilant to protect their networks and their customers." The problem with the CTIA's statement is that the congressman was using a U.S. carrier when his phone was hacked into.

Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint are refusing to comment on the television footage. Verizon and AT&T referred to the CTIA's statement while the other two carriers had no response.

source: FierceWireless



1. 2.5GHz

Posts: 270; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

Nothing is safe in the USA!

7. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Nothing is safe anywhere.

2. Subie

Posts: 2442; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Ok, now lets try that with a Blackberry running BB10!

3. bencozzy

Posts: 24; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Even easier they will give you a how to booklet to do it... lets talk windows phone?!

4. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Yeah. It'll be interesting to see that since their whole business model revolves around security.

5. kevv2288

Posts: 318; Member since: Jul 30, 2015

They didn't technically hack into the iPhone, they hacked the network meaning they could only read sms and listen in on phone calls. This is a carrier problem, nothing to do with smartphones or the software on them. They even said if you're using a third party messaging app those messages couldn't be read as they are encrypted. So yeah the iPhone had nothing to do with this hack, all on the carrier's.

8. TheMan

Posts: 494; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

True, although "only" read text and listen to conversation (plus get the phone number of the other party) is hardly trivial. Imagine the network of lobbyists, government officials, and business leaders one could tap into over time by just entering a phone number.

9. Mxyzptlk unregistered

That's the problem. People are pointing fingers at Apple because they used the iPhone, but no one thought to look at the network. It's the same thing that happened when the supposed iCloud Hack happened. It wasn't a hack, it was users not knowing how to use a complex password or how to "properly secure" your data.

12. aegislash

Posts: 1536; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Of course fingers are pointed at Apple. You know how things go these days.

10. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

They also got credit card info on a iphone , I think it was in the first part of the show. So it is not just text and phone calls hackers can get.

11. 2.5GHz

Posts: 270; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

Which means iOS isn't any safer than Android!

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