Signaling System 7 is a telecommunication standard defining how the network in a PSTN exchanges the information over a signaling network. It was developed in 1975. SS7 holds some dedicated channel signal known as signaling links. SS7 is used for services like setting up the calling connection, tearing down of call when it is completed, billing, call forwarding and some other functions.
The SS7 attack takes advantage of the weakness in the SS7 design system. It enables data theft, eavesdropping, and location tracking. The SS7 network system has relied on trust. But, the operated the system opened the network for the third party to access and this resulted in the data theft and other such things. SS7 attacks enable many potential threats like facebook hacking, tracing someone within 50 meters.
As the SS7 network system was operated only by a line of operators their security was not on the priority list. But as the network is not isolated it is prone to more attacks and flaws.
The SS7 flaw is used by hackers in many ways. The SS7 protocol is used by a lot of telecommunication companies to ensure that the messages are sent to other countries and ensures uninterrupted phone calls. But the weakness in the protocol came since 2014 when criminals hacked the system and formed a bypass in the network. They used this information to trace the calls and drain the money from the account. This attack can even happen when you follow all the security practices. Many of the bank accounts were hacked by the attackers and the message which was supposed to be sent to the respective owner was redirected through this bypass to the attackers.
Systems like SS7 are becoming part of our daily lives, as they help in exchange of data. This technology helps the travelers who love to travel from one road to another, to be connected to their banks and their loved ones. The flaw in such a network system can cause a lot of trouble, but as this vulnerability is known from 2014 several preventive measures and impactful technology is used to prevent SS7 attack again in future. A system which is important for the exchange of data between countries should focus on the security and maintaining the privacy of the system. The security of the system should be the first priority even if there are only a life of operators operating it.