FCC to take look at mobile network's security

The Federal Communications Commission will examine a mobile network with a reported security flaw that is said to allow hackers to listen to customers' phone calls.
 
David Simpson, the chief of the FCC's public safety bureau, said that the agency's Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council would be asked to examine the challenges posed by a flaw in the network, called SS7. The network helps connect calls, among other functions.
 
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A Sunday segment on "60 Minutes" highlighted a vulnerability in the network that allowed hackers to access someone's phone calls simply by knowing their phone number.

“The ‘60 Minutes’ report highlights the inherent risk encountered when an end-of-life technology is incrementally replaced by a new one," said Simpson in a statement. "The demonstration shown in the segment underscores the importance of vigilance by our nation’s communications providers as they phase out SS7 and transition to IP-based networks."

"We will task the CSRIC to examine the end-of-life transition of SS7 to IP-based technologies."
 
The statement was first obtained by Politico.
 
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), who appeared in the "60 Minutes" piece, has said that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee should look at the issue. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) has said he believes his panel has jurisdiction on the topic.
 
But he's also said it's possible the "issue of deep concern" will be best dealt with in a private briefing, not an open hearing.
 
“We’ll get briefed up on it first and then see where we go,” he said this week, later saying, "Some of these issues are better dealt with maybe even in a classified setting."