Home - - Website that Leaked Customer Real-Time Location Info Being Investigated by FCC

Website that Leaked Customer Real-Time Location Info Being Investigated by FCC

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The wireless industry in the country is currently facing a PR disaster that's the same scale as what political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, experienced. The issue follows after the website of location-as-a-service company was hacked into.

As a result of the hack, anyone was able to obtain real-time location information gathered by LocationSmart from mobile device users under AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint.

ZDNet security researcher, Brian Krebs, reported the problem as an "elementary bug" found on LocationSmart's website that gave people a chance to exploit the data. And since this poses a major security problem for the wireless industry, the hack is no simple matter.

It is important to note that today's issue is loosely connected to a recently reported location security breach. Just this month, it was revealed that Securus Technologies was either giving away or selling location data to a Mississippi County sheriff's office. And while this was the case, the company was doing so without any authorization or even a court order.

Even though today's hack poses a threat to anyone with a mobile device (aka everyone), it isn't something that the wireless industry is dealing with for the very first time. As a matter of fact, a similar issue was reported by Fierce Wireless back in 2013, when AirSage sold real-time location information it had collected from users of wireless carriers. Yet despite this, the issue still persists. There is a real threat to having users' real-time location getting into the wrong hands.

But the big issue is: how are wireless operators responding to this new hack? Both T-Mobile and Verizon have revealed that they are already taking necessary steps to block Securus from obtaining their customer's location information. Since customer privacy is a priority for both companies, they have ensured that they will be doing what it takes to protect their customers' information.

With such an important threat to user privacy, it's no longer a surprise that lawmakers have started to take notice of the issue. Just recently, Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., penned a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about the issue. The senator talked about how lax companies value the security of Americans, especially since the leak occurred only days apart.

In response to his letter, the FCC earlier announced that it will be launching an investigation on LocationSmart. The government agency has tapped the enforcement bureau to take over the investigations.



Source: FierceWireless, PhoneScoop

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13 comments:

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  1. all thoe posters on this site who threw shade at huawei, zte, and blu can rest assured that the chinese could not possibly care less about whom you call, text, or visit their web sites. the REAL danger to you involves police, fbi, nsa, and other bad actors right here in your country.

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    1. I'll second that!

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    2. Spies among us.

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    3. So none of you are concerned about the your banking account links through your smartphone, gmail, etc using these phones from Chinese companies? Everything's connected.

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  2. Thanks for the article. How is a non user of Location Smart or non- sharer of real time location at risk?

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    1. From reading elsewhere, it's my understanding that Securus used cell tower triangulation to get location data, which means if a phone's pinging a tower, it could have been caught up in this. No app would have been necessary; location services off on the phone wouldn't have made a difference either.

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    2. There is no user of anything here. Your location is automatically captured and record in real time by your cell provider triangulating you in real time, kinda like gps. That info then was sold, or slipped to this bastard company that then resell that real time location of yours without your approval to the cops, fbi, etc... again ALL WITHOUT YOUR KNOWING OR CONSENT.

      If you are currently using a smartphone connected to any cel provider, you are being at risk regardless.

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    3. It’s not limited to smartphones.

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  3. Simple solution: ban big data and jail anyone who keeps, sells or gives away records containing customer information.

    If they can showvote over net neutrality, then surely our hyper competent and oh so benevolent political class can get this analytics problem taken care of ASAP.

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    Replies
    1. Our punishment system's set up to reward bad behavior at big ___ levels:

      -Make money
      -If caught, pay back a small percentage in fines, admit no guilt
      -Wait a few years until the dust settles/public outrage-driven legislation expires
      -Repeat.

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  4. It is creepy how much information they want from us like our every second whereabouts but come find me... I have nothing to hide.

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  5. https://www.wirelessweek.com/news/2018/05/phone-data-leak-company-no-record-location-data-abuse

    ReplyDelete
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