Experts: Cell phone SIM cards can be vulnerable to hacking

July 22, 2013 8:35:13 PM PDT
The SIM card in your cell phone is probably something you don't think about too often. But we're learning it could be a gateway for thieves to steal your personal information.

Cell phones do so much more than make than calls.

"Banking accounts, checking accounts, emails and all that," cell phone user Alicia Fuertes said.

Fuertes and her sister Edith have much of their lives on their phones, but they had no idea cell phones could be the target of hackers.

"It's kind of scary. I mean it's invading your privacy so yeah, it is definitely something to think about," Edith Fuertes said.

The problem? The cell phone SIM card. Researchers say older phones use cards that can be hacked. And there are millions of potentially vulnerable older phones still on the streets.

"It allows hackers to listen in on phone calls, not necessarily make phone calls, but they could listen in on your private conversations, as well as use your phone to send premium SMS or text messages," said Jay Lee, host of local radio show Technology Bytes.

Lee says the hack was discovered by researchers and has yet to hit the streets, but believes it is just a matter of time before scammers find the same flaw and use it.

"They anticipate within the next six months that we could start to see this," Lee said.

The good news according to Lee, cell providers have time to prevent problems.

"The various telecoms and mobile providers are working on a fix and it might be something as simple as updating the SIM card in your phone," Lee said.

Lee suggests checking our providers websites for updates on SIM cards and contacting them directly if you think there has been a problem.

Find Jeff on Facebook at ABC13JeffEhling or on Twitter at @jeffehlingabc13


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