GSM cell phone networks leak sufficient amount of location information to give different third-parties easy access to cell phone users’ location, according to the recent University of Minnesota research.
“We have demonstrated that there’s sufficient amount of data leaking from the various lower layers of common GSM communication stack and that enables the attacker to do location tests right on the cell phone of the victim. We have also demonstrated that those performed tests might be did quietly without cell phone owner being aware by instantly aborting PSTN calls just before they be completed,” written by authors of the paper with the title “Location Leaks on the GSM Air Interface” (pdf), who are from the College of Science and Engineering.
Publication of this paper was presented at the 19th Annual Network and Distributed System Security Symposium that was held in San Diego. It comes at the time when different carriers, cell phone manufacturers and software developers are under nearly constant fire concerning user’s privacy. Reports appeared Friday about Google and other companies supposedly put code on lots of iPhones that let various companies track activities of the users without them being aware of it. Apple itself swore earlier this week that it will purge those apps from its App Store which sneakily seized contact lists of the users. The software developer called Carrier IQ was definitely at the central spot of the controversy of late months concerning whether many carriers used its modern technology to track all users in hangdog ways.
The scientists describe that cell phone towers of wireless service providers must track their subscribers to register the previous path through their network and successfully connect all phone calls. Access to cell phone tracking data in addition has to be made absolutely available for law enforcement agencies with security purposes.
The scientists demonstrated how easily any cell phone can be tracked within the area of 10 blocks of Minneapolis utilizing T-Mobile G1 smartphone together with open source technologies. They have not contacted cell phone service provider during their test.
As it is clearly seen from the facts above, Minnesota scientists have proved once more that cell phones may be very dangerous gadgets giving away vital information to unknown bad guys. Thus you need to prevent your cell phone from leaking data that allows them to track your location when you are not even aware of their deeds.
Keep yourself safe and don’t forget to leave your comments regarding this topic of high priority!