Simjacker: Hackers have been using for more than 2 years SMS to spy on you
Date: 17 – September – 2019
AdaptiveMobile Security a telecommunications security company based in Dublin, informed that hackers have been using for at least two years a technique nicknamed “Simjacker” to track cell phone locations via SIM cards, some of the reported cases are from Mexico, Peru, and Colombia but the number of phones vulnerable to this hack is in the hundreds of millions across countries in South America, Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
The hackers exploit an old software that mobile operators used to send billing information or special offers to their customers, the hackers send secret text messages to the SIM card, which then sends back information including the phone’s location also they can force the cellphone to make calls or send text messages.
About who developed this exploit, Adaptive Mobile Security informed in their post that quote: “We are quite confident that this exploit has been developed by a specific private company that works with governments to monitor individuals.” and about the number of daily cases of the use of this exploit they informed that: “In one country we are seeing roughly 100-150 specific individual phone numbers being targeted per day via Simjacker attacks, although we have witnessed bursts of up to 300 phone numbers attempting to be tracked in a day, the distribution of tracking attempts varies. ”
Finally, they said that the information they made public is just a scratch on the surface of the capabilities of this exploit and they will provide more details about “Simjacker” on their presentation at Virus Bulletin Conference, London, on the 3rd of October 2019.
We will follow the development of new information about this exploit, especially because the use of SMS is the usual “alternative method” for granting access to many internet services like email accounts, social media pages or even some bank accounts.