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Unveiling the SS7 and Diameter Vulnerabilities: A Looming Threat to Wireless Security

Unveiling the SS7 and Diameter Vulnerabilities: A Looming Threat to Wireless Security
Unveiling the SS7 and Diameter Vulnerabilities: A Looming Threat to Wireless Security

SS7 and Diameter Vulnerabilities: A Threat to Wireless Security

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is finally taking steps to address longstanding vulnerabilities in the Signaling System Number 7 (SS7) and Diameter protocols, which are crucial to the functioning of telecommunications networks.

SS7, developed in the 1970s, and Diameter, developed in the late 1990s, facilitate communication between fixed and mobile networks. However, these protocols contain security weaknesses that make them susceptible to exploitation.

Exploitation of SS7

SS7 vulnerabilities allow attackers to:

  • Track phone locations
  • Redirect calls and text messages
  • Intercept communications
  • Spy on users

Exploitation of Diameter

Diameter does not encrypt originating IP addresses, making it easier for attackers to spoof networks and carry out malicious activities.

FCC Response

In response to the growing threat posed by SS7 and Diameter vulnerabilities, the FCC has:

  • Asked telecommunications providers to detail their measures to prevent exploitation
  • Requested information on any incidents of exploitation since 2018, including details on vulnerabilities used, location tracking, and attacker identity
  • Set a deadline of April 26 for comments from interested parties

Senator Wyden's Call for Action

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has been a vocal advocate for addressing SS7 vulnerabilities. He has repeatedly emphasized the threat posed by these flaws to national security, human rights, and the safety of journalists. Wyden has urged the FCC to implement mandatory cybersecurity standards to enhance network security.

Significance of 2018 CSRIC Recommendations

The FCC's request for information covers incidents occurring since 2018. This is significant because in 2018, the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) issued guidelines to prevent network intrusions and location tracking.

Conclusion

The FCC's efforts to secure SS7 and Diameter networks are a positive step towards mitigating the risks posed by these vulnerabilities. The information gathe

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