Cell Phone Hack Catches Washington DC Area By Surprise

By Earnest Jones, The Goldwater · 03-17-2017
Photo credit: Songquan Deng | Dreamstime

There has been a high amount of suspicious cellphone activity in the Washington, D.C. area. The unusual activity has led to fears that an unknown entity is surveying the communications of many people.

The entity might also be surveying the U.S. government officials and foreign diplomats. The sudden increase in suspicious activity on one of the main U.S. cellular carriers has raised red flags.

The Department of Homeland Security is concerned. Maybe the cellphones in Washington D.C. are being tracked.

The activity could allow malicious people to clone devices and other mobile equipment that are used by civilians and government insiders.

It’s is not yet clear who is behind the attacks. However, the complexity and the amount of time shows that it could be a foreign nation.

It appears that mass amounts of location data was collected by a third party that may have control of entire cell phone towers in the area.

The information was gathered by a program that monitors cell towers for any strange behaviors. The program is supported by DHS and ESD America. The program is known as ESD Overwatch.

The cell phone information gathered by the program shows strange activities in the D.C. area. This shows that a third-party is tracking a large number of cellphones.

Such activities could be used to clone phones, introduce malware to enable spying, and track government phones that are used by officials in D.C.

The attack is said to have started in D.C. then it later spread to other sensors across the USA. A sensor close to the White House and the Pentagon have been part of those that have seen the tracking.

The ESD Overwatch program shows that the U.S. cell carrier has experienced unlawful access to the network for the purpose of large scale tracking.

The program also shows a lot of efforts in trying to identify and track cellphones. The third-party hacker appears to be identifying phones as they connect with local cellphone towers and recording the information.

The activity could allow hackers to track an individual’s cellphone and pinpoint phones that may be of importance.

The cellular network involved in the attack is being abused so that hackers can track phones that are subscribed to the carrier.

The DHS’s Office of Public Affairs confirmed that the ESD Overwatch program has been in place since Jan 18th. The program is under a 90-day pilot program.

The federal government did not have a method to detect such intrusions before the surveillance program was initiated.

Congress has been concerned by the issue of cellphone vulnerabilities. Cyber security experts have warned that the U.S. cellular communications networks are vulnerable o surveillance by foreign governments and hackers.

The Signaling System 7 is used by cellular phones and text messaging applications.

A letter by Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Ted Lieu said that U.S. cellular phones can be tracked, tapped, and hacked by enemies who are thousands of miles away through the SS7-enabled surveillance.

The lawmakers said that they are concerned that the security of America’s telecommunication infrastructure is not getting enough attention.


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