Are Foreign Hackers Controlling Cell Tower Emissions Around D.C.?


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Cyber security played an unprecedented role in the 2016 presidential election, as allegations of Russian hacking dominated news coverage in the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. While that election ended last November, the specter of foreign interference and hacking isn’t leaving the headlines anytime soon, as increases in suspicious cell phone activity within the Washington D.C. area have some officials concerned foreign hackers are monitoring individuals within the federal government, reports

A spike in SS7-based attacks have been seen across the nation, according to the Washington Free Beacon, which also speculated the same party was responsible for these hacks. The responsible party could have control of “entire cell phone towers in the area,” according to the article

Signaling System (SS7)-based attacks are capable of intercepting text messages, wiretap user’s cell phone calls and disrupt communication between individuals. According to a white paper released by security firm Positive Technologies, SS7 can be manipulated using a software kit available for public use.

No single party or nation was identified as the culprit in those documents, but the Beacon noted that the “sophistication and amount of time indicates it could be a foreign nation,” according to the article published last week. Suspicious activity was uncovered as the result of a pilot program conducted by the Department of Homeland Security. The Beacon is claiming it obtained documents that showed spikes in SS7 hacking near the White House and Pentagon.

March 21, 2017   

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