Telecoms companies around the world are so heavily infiltrated, they haven’t noticed that Chinese hackers have been spying on phone calls for years.
They reportedly hadn’t realised that security hackers had even set up Virtual Private Network (VPN) points in the infrastructure of their companies. The VPNs would give the thieves faster and more direct access to records.
According to The Register, at least ten telecoms companies have been hacked across the globe.
It is thought the reason for the organised surveillance operation is to spy on VIPs location and call records. Targets include politicians, diplomats, and foreign agents.
Telecoms companies lack of security
Ilia Kolochenko, founder and CEO of web security company ImmuniWeb, has commented: “In my experience, many large telecoms today struggle to maintain a decent level of cybersecurity due to tough competition and limited budgets.”
He continued: “Consequently, some don’t even have any form of up2date asset inventory, privilege segregation or internal security monitoring. Given the volume of valuable data of their clients, telcos are an attractive low-hanging fruit for cybercriminals.”
Kolochenko spoke of how discovering this sort of high-level hacking is not a surprise for telecommunication security as these types of companies do not have complex means to prevent this.
Continuing on his point, Kolonchenko said: “The report and its findings are unfortunately not surprising, a thorough investigation will likely detect a sophisticated and undetected intrusion into any virtually any large telco in the world. There is nothing their clients can do about this but presume that all communication channels are insecure and encrypt all their traffic. This will however not save from such things as unwarranted tracking by a breached telco.”