Vulnerability could assist hackers to snoop into private information of Verizon Wireless mobile phone users.
Security experts have exposed vulnerability in a device sold by Verizon, which they claim could assist hackers to snoop into private information of Verizon Wireless mobile phone users.
Security firm iSEC Partners senior consultants Tom Ritter and Doug DePerry managed to snoop on Verizon users’ calls, photos, text messages and emails by hacking into the carrier’s signal-boosting devices known as femtocells or network extenders.
The finding comes amidst the intense global debate over privacy issues following NSA leaks by Edward Snowden in June 2013.
Tom Ritter was cited by Reuters as saying that the move is not about how the NSA would attack ordinary people.
"This is about how ordinary people would attack ordinary people," Ritter said.
However, Verizon reported that it has updated the software on its femtocells or network extenders, which would avoid hackers from copying the skills used by the two experts.
Verizon spokesman David Samberg said that the company has released a Linux software update in March that avoids its network extenders from being compromised in the manner reported by Ritter and DePerry.
"The Verizon Wireless Network Extender remains a very secure and effective solution for our customers," Samberg said.
Experts also reveal that the hackers can still work on other tricks to hack the femtocells of Verizon, in addition to devices offered by about 30 global carriers to their customers.
Femtocells are used to improve Wi-Fi and mobile signals within the buildings, while common software installed in several devices has a major security issue that enables all traffic to be recorded and analysed.