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SS7 vulnerability is leaving your mobile open to hackers

Some German researchers have discovered that any text message or phone call you make is available to hackers anywhere in the world, even today, with the most advanced encryption available.

The culprit lies in a piece of 1980s technology that is still in use today, and the evidence should be reported at a hacking conference in Hamburg, Germany, later this month, Washington Post writes.

The group claim that the SS7 network allows hackers (or spy agencies, or anyone else for that matter), to read your texts and listen to your phone calls.

German researches have uncovered this issue and demonstrated how an African or Asian network can easily hack into a UK or US-based mobile, using SS7.

The SS7 (Signalling System No. 7) is a set of telephony signalling protocols which are being used to set up most of the world's public switched telephone network (PSTN) telephone calls.

It basically means it keeps your signal alive while you’re moving.

Researchers have found out that these calls, even encrypted, can be recorded, only to later be accessed remotely.

At the time of growing concern for privacy, especially after the Wikileaks and Edward Snowden incidents, many carriers are trying their best to improve their security and prevent unauthorised eavesdropping.

Still, they must communicate over SS7, which leaves them vulnerable.

“It’s like you secure the front door of the house, but the back door is wide open,” said Tobias Engel, one of the German researchers.