Hackers on new ‘secure’ phone networks can bill your account for their roaming charges

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I have good news! The infamous SS7 networks used by mobile operators to interoperate, e.g.
when you’re roaming — which were built on trust, essentially devoid of security, and permitted rampant fraud, SMS hijacking, eavesdropping, password theft, etc. — are being replaced. Slowly. But I have bad news, too! Which is: the new systems still have gaping holes.

One such was described at the Def Con hacking convention today by Dr. Silke Holtmanns of Nokia Bell Labs. She gave a fascinating-to-geeks-like me summary of how the IPX network, which connected five Scandinavian phone systems in 1991, using the SS7 protocol suite secured entirely by mutual trust, has grown into a massive global “private internet” connecting more than 2,000 companies and other


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