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Flaws in 4G, 5G Allow Snooping on Calls, Pinpointing Device Location

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Listening in on calls.

Security flaws in the 4G and 5G cellular networks can be exploited to spy on phone calls, researchers say.


An academic research team has found security flaws in the 4G and 5G cellular networks that can be exploited to spy on phone calls and localize mobile devices.

5G is expected to dramatically speed up mobile devices and give them low latency, as well as upgrading security.

The Torpedo attack leverages a flaw in the standards' paging protocol used to alert phones to incoming calls or text messages; multiple calls made in a short duration could permit a nearby attacker to pinpoint the device, transmit fake texts, and launch a denial-of-service attack.

The researchers added that Torpedo clears a path for two more exploits, one of which allows a hacker to access a victim device's International Mobile Subscriber Identity (ISMI) via a brute-force attack.

A third exploit, Piercer, couples the ISMI with the target's phone number to facilitate user location tracking.

From CNet
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