Mobile Users at Risk from Network Hacks
GLOBAL – National Public Radio’s Laura Sydell has uncovered a network hack that could pose dangers to many mobile phone users.
The reporter met Tom Ritter, security consultant for iSEC Partners, a firm specializing in information security, who showed Sydell how he is able to listen her conversations on the phone.
Ritter said he hacked into her phone the moment she entered the room through a femtocell, a wireless network extender that acts like a cellphone tower, and is about the size of a wireless router. This makes it possible for hackers to pick up all signals within forty feet. Even text messages with photos and online banking information can be intercepted.
The expert says that the femtocell he used is made by Samsung for Verizon Wireless, and is available to anyone for $250. Hackers and organizers at security conference Def Con asserted Ritter’s claim with a belief spanning over a couple of years now that such devices “mimicking” a cell tower are point of vulnerability for any network.