The Lazy Genius

Security News & Brain Dumps from Xavier Ashe, a Bit9 Client Partner

Text Hackers Could Jam Cellphones, a Paper Says

Posted by Xavier Ashe on October 6, 2005

Malicious hackers could take down cellular networks in large cities by
inundating their popular text-messaging services with the equivalent of
spam, said computer security researchers, who will announce the
findings of their research today.

Such an attack is possible, the researchers say, because cellphone
companies provide the text-messaging service to their networks in a way
that could allow an attacker who jams the message system to disable the
voice network as well.

The paper, to be posted online at,
also offers suggestions for heading off the problem. The most direct
solution, simply disconnecting the short messaging services from the
Internet gateways, is not practical, Professor McDaniel said. But
technologies to limit the messages being inserted into the network
could provide some protection. Among the other recommendations is
separating the voice and data in the next generation of cellphone
technology so data jams cannot affect voice calls.

Read the full article on New York Times.


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