Mobile networks around the world have got attacked by the hackers to gain access over specific users as per the information of a report. They gained such high levels of access that they could have shut it down if they had wanted to. Cybereason, US-Israeli security firm, stated with a high level of certainty and conviction that the hackers were operating from China and probably functioning under their government.
The attack-dubbed Operation Softcell began in 2017. Cybereason succeed to find the attacks in and helped a telecom provider with next four more attacks in the next six consecutive months. Now a dozen others have got a briefing.
According to the report, the hackers have accumulated call records data as well as geo-location data of various people around the world. Specifically, no firms or people have come out as victims but most affected countries are from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The security firm has noticed changes in the pattern of attacks and new activities are observed every three and four months. The hackers have exploited a flaw in a web server product.
Cybereason stated that it has observed the tools or techniques used are having hallmarks of Chinese hacking group APT10 which operates for the Chinese government. Prof. Alan Woodward, a security expert at the University of Surrey, has wondered looking at the scale and audacity and said the attack was breath-taking.
“The hackers used phishing attacks to get privileged access to networks and could potentially have closed them down. They could see who called whom, when and also seen to have been able to track people’s movements,” said Prof. Woodward.
Prof. Woodward has also said that US network doesn’t seem to be affected by these attacks; they were still vulnerable to the attacks. There is no evidence suggesting any involvement of any Chinese firm in this hacking mischief but still, it will fuel the politics which urges to distance the mobile operators to distance themselves from firms like Huawei.