I’ve previously written about the serious vulnerabilities in the SS7 phone routing system. Basically, the system doesn’t authenticate messages. Now, criminals are using it to hack smartphone-based two-factor authentication systems:
In short, the issue with SS7 is that the network believes whatever you tell it. SS7 is especially used for data-roaming: when a phone user goes outside their own provider’s coverage, messages still need to get routed to them. But anyone with SS7 access, which can be purchased for around 1000 Euros according to The Süddeutsche Zeitung, can send a routing request, and the network may not authenticate where the message is coming from.
That allows the attacker to direct a target’s text messages to another device, and, in the case of the bank accounts, steal any codes needed to login or greenlight money transfers (after the hackers obtained victim passwords).
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