Cell phone text messages: hackers' weapon

October 5, 2005

Computer security researchers are reportedly warning that hackers could take down cellular networks by attacking text-messaging services.

And an attacker who jams text message systems might be able to disable voice networks as well, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Cellular telephone networks are susceptible to denial-of-service attacks since their text messaging services are accessible through the Internet.

Patrick McDaniel, a Pennsylvania State University computer science professor, is the lead researcher of a study that found by pushing 165 spam messages a second into a text-messaging network, "you can congest all of Manhattan."

The findings were to be released Wednesday at Pennsylvania State University, and then as a formal research paper during a computer security conference next month, the Times said.

Cellular companies admit such attacks are possible, but say they've developed technologies to protect their networks.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Hacking incidents prompt universities to rethink balance of openness, security

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