On November 12, 2018, a small ISP in Nigeria made a mistake while updating its network infrastructure that highlights a critical flaw in the fabric of the Internet. The mistake effectively brought down Google — one of the largest tech companies in the world — for 74 minutes.
This should come as no surprise, but it still sucks big-time: thousands of people who downloaded a random, very popular app called WiFi Finder found that it got handsy with users’ own home Wi-Fi, uploading their network passwords to a database full of 2 million passwords that was found exposed and unprotected online.
A group of academics from South Korea have identified 36 new vulnerabilities in the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) standard used by thousands of mobile networks and hundreds of millions of users across the world.
Over the past 18 months, revelations about wireless carriers selling smartphone location data to third parties have forced telecoms to promise reform. Worryingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, these user protections have been slow to actually materialize. Even if carriers shape up, though, an attacker can still track a smartphone's location and snoop on phone calls thanks to newly discovered flaws in 4G and even 5G protocols.