Researchers Hack Verizon Femtocell, Snoop On User Calls and Texts

Two security researchers from iSEC, Tom Ritter and Doug DePerry, have demonstrated the ability to hack into Verizon Wireless’ femtocells and spy on Verizon users with a simple wireless antenna. They say that they can intercept people’s phone calls, text messages, picture messages, and even data.

The team used a software vulnerability in the femtocells (which are readily available from Verizon) to perform the hack, although they have opted not to reveal how exactly how they did to prevent others from exploiting the same vulnerability.

However, they will demonstrate the process at the Black Hat conference and Def Con conference in Las Vegas soon.

For its part, Verizon says that it has already patched that particular vulnerability in March and stated that they have not heard of any reports of users being hacked in this way. Ritter and DePerry disagree, saying that the hack is still possible.

It’s unsettling that there’s yet another thing to worry about regarding how we could be spied upon, but at least there are security researchers that are finding exploits and helping resolve the issues.