Two Democratic lawmakers are asking the Federal Communications Commission to act on a cybersecurity vulnerability potentially impacting telecommunications providers and millions of Americans due to a flaw in a global telephony routing system that leaves consumers open to spying by foreign governments and hackers.
“Cybersecurity has not traditionally been a regulatory priority for the FCC. Left, for the most part, to police itself, the cellular industry has neither adequately addressed these serious cybersecurity vulnerabilities nor warned its customers about the risks they face,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) said in a March 28 letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
The main vulnerability involves Signaling System No. 7, or SS7, a global telephony routing protocol for phone calls and texts exchanged between different carriers. The FCC opened an investigation into the SS7 vulnerability in 2016.
Wyden and Lieu, both outspoken on cybersecurity matters, asked the FCC to take action to “force cellular carriers to take action” on these issues, warn consumers about potential hacking and surveillance threats to their phones and promote end-to-end encryption applications.
They also called for the new Republican FCC chairman to reconvene the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC). The group’s charter expired March 18, just three days after it released a report noting serious vulnerabilities in both wireless and landline phone networks caused by SS7.
“There is reported evidence of attacks being launched against U.S. carriers by exploiting the available signaling functionality and trusted interconnection that the U.S. telecommunications infrastructure is built on,” the report said.
The FCC “should do their job to address all major cybersecurity vulnerabilities, including this one,” Wyden spokesman Keith Chu told Bloomberg BNA. “The CSRIC report noted that wireline and 5G systems may be vulnerable to similar exploits as the SS7 network, so the FCC should continue to investigate and fix these vulnerabilities with the urgency they require,” he added.
The FCC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)