Two hackers recently detailed a way that other hackers can easily employ to track Verizon Wireless customers, Reuters said Monday. The security experts were able to tap into Verizon Wireless femotcell units, modules that are sold that allow customers to boost their signal in areas where wireless data and connectivity is sparse.
Verizon Wireless has reportedly already issued a patch to fix the security flaw, though the hackers told Reuters that anyone with enough know-how can still find a workaround. “The Verizon Wireless Network Extender remains a very secure and effective solution for our customers,” a Verizon Wireless spokesperson argued, noting that the company’s customers have not been affected by the flaw.
The researchers will discuss how the attack can be initiated during the Black Hat and Def Con conferences this summer in an effort to make others aware of the problem. Verizon’s femtocells aren’t the only units with a problem – they were just used to show the technique – and hackers can use several models sold by 30 carriers around the world, Reuters said. Most large U.S. carriers offer similar products, though it’s unclear how vulnerable those are at this time.
The hackers were able to track and see photos, text messages and even phone calls, that were placed by Android and iOS devices. It’s a concern not only for consumers, but for businesses that might otherwise want company strategies kept secret from prying eyes.