China has used mobile networks in the Caribbean to intercept phone calls from American subscribers. This is evidenced by the results of a study by the former chief of the Washington State Mobile Security Service, Gary Miller, published on Tuesday, December 15, by The Guardian.
He was convinced that Chinese spies could obtain the data of telephone calls from tens of thousands of Americans.
вЂњGovernment agencies and Congress have been aware of the vulnerability of public mobile networks for years. The security recommendations made by our government have not been implemented and are not sufficient to stop the attackers, вЂќ said Miller.
After analyzing the data for three years, the expert concluded that China, using mobile operators, sends signals to American subscribers, as a rule, when they travel abroad.
Signaling messages are commands that are sent by telecom operators over the global network without the knowledge of the mobile phone user. They allow operators to track mobile phones, connect mobile phone users to each other, and estimate roaming costs. However, some signaling messages can be used for illegal purposes such as tracking, monitoring, or intercepting messages.
Miller's research focused on messages that looked suspicious. The expert used two criteria to select them. These signals were either not sanctioned by the GSMA, the international standard-setting body for the telecommunications industry, or were sent from a location that did not match the traveler's geolocation.
As a result, the researcher found that in 2018, the largest number of cases of alleged spying by China on American mobile subscribers via 3G and 4G networks was recorded. Miller said the vast majority of these attacks were directed through China's state-owned telecom operator China Unicom. It is not possible to establish for certain whether the operator was involved in spy actions.
China is actively involved in espionage activities in the United States. Chinese agents are ubiquitous in universities and companies and are also distributing smartphones, computer programs, and equipment of their own production among Americans in order to obtain classified information.
Earlier, Reuters reported that the Trump administration is close to announcing that 89 Chinese aerospace and other companies have ties to China's military-industrial complex, which prevents them from buying a number of American goods and technologies.
The list of Chinese communist weapons companies was approved by the relevant law in 1999. It requires the Pentagon to draw up a list of companies owned or controlled by the People's Liberation Army of China, but the US Department of Defense only did so in 2020. Chinese defense giants such as Hikvision, China Telecom, and China Mobile were added earlier this year.