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Privacy Wireless Networking Your Rights Online

Leaky Cellphone Nets Can Give Attackers Your Location 67

alphadogg writes "GSM cellular networks leak enough location data to give third-parties secret access to cellphone users' whereabouts, according to new University of Minnesota research. 'We have shown that there is enough information leaking from the lower layers of the GSM communication stack to enable an attacker to perform location tests on a victim's device. We have shown that those tests can be performed silently without a user being aware by aborting PSTN calls before they complete,' write the authors, from the College of Science and Engineering, in a paper titled 'Location Leaks on the GSM Air Interface' (Pdf). The researchers are working with carriers and equipment makers, including AT&T and Nokia, to address the security issues."
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Leaky Cellphone Nets Can Give Attackers Your Location

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  • by NoKaOi (1415755) on Monday February 20, 2012 @12:54AM (#39097247)

    I'm trying to think of one thing someone could do to me armed with knowldege of my current location.

    1. Determine that you're far away from home while they burglarize your house.
    2. Determine that you were in the vicinity of a burglarized house and throw you behind bars without a warrant for 48 hours while they try to find evidence.
    3. Determine you were someplace "unsavory" and use it as blackmail, or to deny you future employment, etc.

  • by multiben (1916126) on Monday February 20, 2012 @01:21AM (#39097311)

    1. Determine that you're far away from home while they burglarize your house.

    a. I have an alarm system
    b. I have a dog
    c. I have insurance
    d. The same thing could be achieved by simply watching me go to work in the morning without the complexity of tracking my position
    e. Just because I am away from home, doesn't mean no-one is there.

    2. Determine that you were in the vicinity of a burglarized house and throw you behind bars without a warrant for 48 hours while they try to find evidence.

    a. You watch too much TV.
    b. I have no prior convictions of any such nature
    c. Police don't lock people up because they were *near* a crime unless there is another reason to suspect them.

    3. Determine you were someplace "unsavory" and use it as blackmail, or to deny you future employment, etc.

    a. My life is already a pretty open book to those who know me. I have nothing to hide from those I don't know which could not be obtained much more simply.
    b. I am not important enough to blackmail.

    Like I said in my original post, it probably does matter to some people, but I'm not personally that bothered.

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