POLITICO Morning Tech
By ALEX BYERS and KATE TUMMARELLO
FCC TELLS SECURITY TASK FORCE TO LOOK AT SS7 FLAW — The FCC wants its Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council to examine the mobile network flaw highlighted in Sunday’s “60 Minutes” report that can be used by hackers to listen in on phone calls. The report studied previously disclosed vulnerabilities in what’s known as SS7 — an older protocol that allows mobile networks connect with one another — that allowed hackers to surveil a cell phone via its phone number.
Asked if the FCC was responding to the flaw, FCC Public Safety Bureau Chief Admiral David Simpson said in a statement to MT that “the ‘60 Minutes’ report highlights the inherent risk encountered when an end-of-life technology is incrementally replaced by a new one. The demonstration shown in the segment underscores the importance of vigilance by our nation’s communications providers as they phase out SS7 and transition to IP-based networks.” Wireless carriers should proactively assess and address security issues, Simpson said, adding that the FCC “will task the CSRIC to examine the end-of-life transition of SS7 to IP-based technologies.”
Rep. Ted Lieu, who participated in the “60 Minutes” report, has called on the House Oversight Committee to study the same issue.