A growing number of companies offering phone surveillance services around the world

Aug 31, 2017 | 4:29 pm

Published by | Chandan Singh

Tracking phones around the world is gradually becoming an attractive niche for doing business that promises big profits.

In this regard, recently the number of companies offering technologies for remote surveillance ofmobile devices despite the state borders is growing rapidly.

Once the tracking object turns on its smartphone, its location is immediately fixed without having to crack the device itself. Wherever the victim has gone, her movements will be continuously monitored even for tens of thousands of kilometers in another country. A large number of private firms offer similar services to law enforcement agencies and special services.

As reported by The Daily Beast, spyware exploits vulnerabilities in cellular networks – a standard service offered by special services to private companies. This is a vulnerability in the set of protocols SS-7 (SS7), which allows anyone who has access to it to replace messages. OKS-7 “believes” everything that is told to it, and does not check the source of the message.

OCS-7 is a set of signaling telephone protocols used to configure most telephone exchanges around the world based on time-division channel networks. The basis of ACS-7 is the use of analog or digital channels for data transmission and associated control information.

The Daily Beast published an overview of a number of private firms offering spy technologies for tracking mobile operators’ subscribers. For example, the German company Wolf Intelligence offers software for hacking smartphones, electronic suppression and secure phones. Among its services is also indicated the possibility of “tracking the location of a specific phone anywhere in the world within the range of the nearest antenna”.

A similar instrument called Observer is offered by Almenta Group, whose offices are in Hong Kong and Bulgaria. The product is presented on the Milipol website – a permanent exhibition and sale of military and spy technologies. According to the company, Observer is able to identify and point to Google Maps the location of the victim by one phone number only.

The Israeli company Picsix offers a P6-GEO product, “allowing operatives to virtually locate, track and secretly manipulate GSM and UMTS subscribers around the world, including roaming.”

Most of the companies that the Daily Beast journalists tried to contact did not answer. According to the information on their websites, firms provide their services only to law enforcement agencies to catch terrorists, drug traffickers and other dangerous criminals. If you believe the Israeli company Rayzone Group, its technology is intended for use exclusively by government services and only under the license of the Ministry of Defense.

Among other companies offering surveillance over the subscribers of telecom operators around the world, the publication also notes Circles (Bulgaria), Cleversig, Proximus (Ukraine), Intercept Monitoring Systems (Russia) and Trovicor (Pakistan).