How To Steal A Phone Number (And Everything Linked To It)

18 July 2017

Someone impersonating you to an AT&T or Verizon employee isn’t the only thing you need to worry about. Meet Signaling System 7, a hacker’s best friend.

Last spring, Dena Haritos Tsamitis left a work meeting to discover she was unable to get a signal on her cellphone. Even after rebooting the device, she couldn’t get service, leaving her unable to contact her college student daughter, who usually communicated with her throughout the day.

“She was frantic, worrying about me, because she had tried to reach me several times,” Tsamitis says she learned when she got home. “She said she called her friend to pick her up to look for me, because she was worried about me.”

Tsamitis called her phone company for help with the issue, only to discover she had been the victim of fraud.

“You look for signatures, if you’re seeing certain patterns you proactively either stop them or you notify [security officials] so they’re not happening again,” says Pardeep Kohli, CEO of Dallas-area telecom software company Mavenir.