US House of Reps Subcommittee SS7 Briefing Agenda 19 May 2016

Image source: US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee

The US House of Representatives Communications and Technology Subcommittee (of the Energy and Commerce Committee) has announced its 19 May 2016 Briefing on Signaling System 7 (SS7).

But don't expect an invite to attend unless you're one of the six network CTOs required to brief the sub committee on SS7 vulnerabilities. Committee Chair Fred Upton and Subcomittee Chair Greg Walden have acknowledged "Anyone with a phone is exposed to possible security breaches. The briefing will provide a better understanding of the role of SS7 in our global communications networks and any security flaws in the SS7 protocol. Identifying these flaws is a critical component to protecting the privacy and security of folks back home."

The session is closed, which is disappointing considering the SS7 vulnerabilities impact every American and indeed every global citizen who have and use mobile phones. And these vulnerabilites have been around for decades.

Why should Aussies, Kiwis and our Melanesian/Polynesian neighbours care that our American friends are meeting on this matter: because the Americans are discussing it, mostly in public within the machinery of their government system when our region's governments aren't.

Back on our side of the world, none of our governments mention these vulnerabilities' criticality or national significance in their publicly disclosed cyber security strategies (where those strategies exist). Yet cellular networks underpin the backbone of private and economic activities of individuals and households, small, large and corporate businesses and government activities across our countries.

Isn't open democracy great, except when inconveniently blocked by closed doors?

ARC Solutions is an information security and risk management consultancy. ARC Solutions is also ESD America's authorised reseller of ESD Oversight (SS7 vulnerability mitigation), ESD Overwatch (IMSI catcher solution) and ESD/GSMK Cryptophone (encrypted phone solution) in New Zealand, Fiji and Solomon Islands.

Contact ARC Solutions anytime to arrange a private, confidential, encrypted and secure conversation about how we can help you have and use secure mobile telecommunications.

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