Spy agency tar­gets 4G net­work flaws

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Margi Mur­phy

THE UK spy agency is work­ing with phone net­works to patch flaws that have left com­mu­ni­ca­tion lines open to in­tru­sion from hos­tile na­tion states.

The Na­tional Cy­ber Se­cu­rity Cen­tre (NCSC), an arm of the Gov­ern­ment Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Head­quar­ters (GCHQ), said it would work closely with com­pa­nies such as BT and Voda­fone to en­sure that a flaw in the soft­ware used to ser­vice 4G net­works will be patched in the com­ing months.

Paul Chich­ester, NCSC op­er­a­tions chief, said: “We as­sume that ev­ery piece of equip­ment in the tele­coms net­works has vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties.” Cur­rently, mo­bile net­works al­low some­one to con­nect us­ing an­other per­son’s iden­tity, in­ter­cept and even send mes­sages on be­half of that user.

At­tack­ers could spoof the lo­ca­tion of a mo­bile de­vice, make it look like they made a call at a dif­fer­ent time and even force other de­vices to dis­con­nect from a mo­bile net­work. This could be used to con­duct fraud, by mak­ing texts and phone calls ap­pear as if they are com­ing from a trusted source such as a bank, for ex­am­ple.

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