Saudi Arabia spies on its citizens in the United States
The cell phones of the Saudi users in United States they received a monthly average of 2.3 million of requests for monitoring per month.
According to reports from The GuardianL’Saudi Arabia exploited the weaknesses of the global network of mobile telecommunications to keep track of movements of its citizens while they traveled to the United States.
A newspaper employee spoke to a informant which presented millions of alleged secret location requests which seem to show a systematic espionage campaign led by the kingdom.
According to the data, millions of secret requests of tracking came fromSaudi Arabia over a four-month period that began in November last year. These requests, which they tried to establish the locations of Saudi phones registered in United Statesappear to come from the three largest mobile phone operators in the country.
In a statement a The GuardianL’informant explained that they could not find legitimate reasons for thehigh volume of requests of information on position, saying, “There is no other explanation, no other technical reason to do it. Saudi Arabia is arming mobile technologies ”.
SS7 global messaging system
The data shows the demands on the location of the mobile phone that were routed through the old global messaging system SS7 which allows mobile operators to connect users of Worldwide. When someone tries to call another person in another country, the SS7 network is used to link them together.
However, the SS7 system also allows you to keep trace of cell phones. When a mobile operator in the United States receives a message Provide Subscriber Information (PSI) SS7 from a mobile operator in another country, is essentially receiving a request for tracking. These requests are used to help foreign operators a register roaming tariffs but if abusedcan also be used for the location detection.
The data of theinformant they seem to show prompts for PSI from Saudi Arabia who have sent a ping to one of the leading telecommunications companies of the Americans. Between November 2019 and March 2020, the three largest Saudi mobile operators, Saudi Telecom, Mobily And Zainhave sent to the mobile operator American a combined average of 2.3 million monitoring requests per month.
Based on this, the data seem to suggest that i Saudi cell phones they were monitored as they moved in United States give her two to thirteen times an hour. This high frequency of PSI requests suggests that i Saudis in the United States they could have been traced to a city on a map with an accuracy of hundreds of meters.