Phone Hacking – Vodafone Sure Signal Hacked

July 14, 2011

There’s been a lot of news in the press about phone hacking recently. Enough to bring down News of the World, a 168 year old institution. But things are about to get a whole lot scarier.

The Sure Signal Hack published by “The Hacker’s Choice” has published  a technique effectively turns a Vodafone Sure Signal device (Femto)  into a fully fledged mobile phone cell. This means that anyone in range can connect to the unit and have their calls intercepted.

Whilst you could argue that the limited range of such devices does not pose a real threat, the bigger issue is how simple it was to get the special passwords required to use the service.

It’s also interesting the given the device utilises the internet it is possible to use it anywhere. As THC site states “you can take it to Paris and operate a UK Vodafone network on the eifel tower.”

Also well as capturing phone calls it is possible to make calls or send text message on somebody elses SIM card. You simple capture the capture the target phone and let it register with the network. You then block the phone from connecting to the Femto cell and use the security details captured to place further calls.

How big is this problem

Given the techniques required it’s not the sort of thing that anyone it going to attempt because it requires a fairly high level of technical know-how.

But as is often the case, these initial complicated procedures get simplified very quickly.

What is a femto cell?

This is a small device that solves the problem of a weak mobile signal by connecting to your home broadband and utilising the internet to connect directly for Vodafone’s network.

It effectively creates a small 3G network in your own home.