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Tracking down someone's cell phone number can be difficult, if not impossible. After all, one of the reasons that people purchase a mobile phone is so they can have some measure of anonymity.

In addition, phone books do not (usually) carry listings of cell phone numbers, so there's no paper trail to follow, and cell phone numbers are unlisted – meaning that even if the number comes through on your phone screen, the person attached to it is still a mystery for the most part. 

However, that doesn't mean that finding a cell phone number listing is an impossible task. While mobile phone numbers are notoriously tricky to look up, there are a couple of tricks you can try. In this article, we're going to look at five different ways you can use the internet to potentially track down a cell phone number. 

 

Note: While the Web is a vast treasury of resources, not everything can be found online. Use these tips for entertainment purposes only. 

1-Try Using a Search Engine to Find That Cell Phone Number

 Search engines instantly expand your search. Google

Try a search engine. If you know the mobile phone number already, try entering it into your favorite search engine and see what comes up. If the cell phone number you are looking for has ever been entered somewhere on the Web – a blog, a public job profile – it will show up and you'll be able to track to whom it belongs to.

  • How to Pick a Search Engine: There's no set rule in place that says you have to use the same search engine every time you look for something. In fact, most search industry experts would advise you to do the exact opposite in order to get the most well-rounded results. Every search engine serves up different results, sometimes drastically so.
  • Top Ten Google Search Tricks: While Google is definitely the search engine of choice for most people, there's a lot more to it than just tracking down Wikipedia articles and finding cute cat pics. Learn how you can make your Google searches more powerful than you ever thought you could.
  • Top 10 Web Search Tricks: Do you use the same basic Web search technique every time you look for something? If you do, you're not alone...most people are "stuck in a rut" when it comes to their search habits. With a few simple tweaks, you can make your Web searches more targeted and therefore much more effective.

2-Use Social Media to Find a Cell Phone Number

 Social media sites can yield clues. filo/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty

Try social networking sites. There are literally hundreds of millions of people who are active on various social networking sites all over the world. Many people use these social networking sites to share information with each other, and yes, that does include phone numbers. Simply type the person's name into the site's search function and see what comes back.

In addition, one of the most popular social networking sites is Facebook, which boasts at the time of this writing more than 500 million members. It's a great source for tracking people down and, while most of the ways you can find people here are somewhat obvious, there are other informational sources within Facebook that might not be quite as easy to use. Read How to Use Facebook to Find People to learn more about how you can use Facebook to find cell phone numbers and (potentially) much, much more.

Usernames can be tracked. alengo/E+/Getty

Try searching via username. Usernames, individual identification codes/names for people accessing a computer, network, or website, are also good jumping-off points for tracking down a cell phone number. Since many people keep the same username across multiple sites, you can sometimes hit pay dirt simply by typing that username into your favorite search engine and waiting for the results. If the person has entered in their phone number somewhere on the Web underneath their username, it will come up in a search engine query.

 

 Quote marks can help narrow searches down. bubaone/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty

Try a niche search engine. There are a wide variety of search engines on the Web, and all of them serve up unique results. While general search engines are quite useful in most search situations, sometimes niche search engines – tools that fulfill a specific search purpose – can come in handy. People search engines can be extraordinarily useful in this regard since they search and retrieve only people-related information, which includes cell phone numbers. Type in the person's name ( use quotation marks around the name to make the search even more focused), or type in the phone number itself to find related information.

5-Finding Cell Phone Numbers Online - Not Always Guaranteed

Don't pay when you can get information free. JoKMedia/E+/Getty

You should not pay for this information. The sites that charge for the service have access to the same information you do on the Web – if you can't find it, they probably can't either.

Unfortunately, failing to find the phone number you're looking for is going to be the norm and not the exception. Mobile phone numbers are kept very private by most people and, since they are not in any kind of published directory (yet), they are next to impossible to track down. However, don't give up! Try the tips mentioned in this article, and you just might get lucky.

 Source: This article was published lifewire.com By Jerri Collins

Categorized in Search Engine

60 Minutes showed how hackers only needed a congressman's phone number to record his calls and track his location. The congressman said people at intelligence agencies, who are aware of the SS7 flaw and abuse it, should be fired.

You might know that if a hacker has nothing more than your phone number, then he or she can listen into and record your calls, read your texts, or track your location, but does your grandma know it? That’s what I liked about a 60 Minutes phone hacking segment; it can reach non-security minded audiences who may have thought such a hack could only happen in movies.

If you use a mobile phone, then you use Signaling System Seven, or SS7; “Every person with a cellphone needs SS7 to call or text each other,” 60 Minutes explained. “The SS7 network is the heart of the worldwide mobile phone system. Phone companies use SS7 to exchange billing information. Billions of calls and text messages travel through its arteries daily. It is also the network that allows phones to roam.”

 

Security researchers have been warning about SS7 protocol flaws for years. Granted, most people would not be targeted by this type of attack. Then again, some companies sell “the ability to track your phone number wherever you go with a precision of up to 50 meters” as researcher Tobias Engel pointed out during the 2014 Chaos Communication Congress presentation “SS7: Locate. Track. Manipulate.” Karsten Nohl of SRLabs also presented that year before releasing “SnoopSnitch.” You may remember other times when Nohl revealed vulnerabilities which affected millions of phones.

Some people believe the SS7 flaw has never been fixed “because the location tracking and call bugging capacity has been widely exploited by intelligence services for espionage.” Yet if intelligence agencies don’t want the flaw fixed because they can abuse it for spying, to glean valuable intel from targets, then Congressman Ted Lieu said those people should absolutely “be fired.”

Congressman Lieu agreed to use an iPhone supplied by 60 Minutes even though he knew it would be hacked. He’s no technical illiterate either; he has a computer science degree from Stanford and serves on the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Information Technology. The congressman didn’t have to fall for social engineering or accept a text with an attachment; all Nohl and his team needed was the phone number of the iPhone Lieu was using.

Although “some US carriers are easier to access through SS7 than others,” and the cellular phone trade association told 60 Minutes that “all US cellphone networks were secure,” the hackers were able to intercept and record the congressman’s calls, read his texts, view his contacts and track his location even if GPS location services were turned off.

Nohl explained, “Any choices that a congressman could've made, choosing a phone, choosing a pin number, installing or not installing certain apps, have no influence over what we are showing because this is targeting the mobile network.”

When 60 Minutes played a sample of Congressman Lieu’s recorded conversation back for him, it included his colleague saying, “I sent you some revisions on the letter to the N.S.A., regarding the data collection.” Lieu was both angered and creeped out. He said attackers abusing the SS7 vulnerability “could hear any call of pretty much anyone who has a smartphone. It could be stock trades you want someone to execute. It could be calls with a bank.” He has received a call from President Obama before when he was using a cellphone and if hackers were using SS7 to listen in, then they would know what was said.

If the SS7 vulnerability has not been fixed because it is a favorite spying tool for intelligence agencies, then the people aware of the flaw should be fired, Lieu said. He added, “You cannot have 300-some million Americans – and really, right, the global citizenry be at risk of having their phone conversations intercepted with a known flaw, simply because some intelligence agencies might get some data. That is not acceptable.”

Ironically, Australia’s 60 Minutes aired a similar phone hacking segment last year detailing how the SS7 flaw could allow “remote bugging of any mobile phone user’s calls” and included examples of firms which sell such an ability; one example was the US company Verint, which sells SkyLock to “Locate. Track. Manipulate.” The US version did not include a similar list of companies or get the congressman’s opinion on those companies.

Nohl explained that there is “no global policing of SS7” and it’s up to each mobile network to protect their customers. “And that is hard.”

 

John Hering, cofounder of mobile security firm Lookout, told 60 Minutes there are only two types of people . . . those who know they’ve been hacked and those who are unaware they were hacked. “We live in a world where we cannot trust the technology that we use.”

So when will the vulnerability in SS7 be fixed? It’s a question that has been asked for years; beyond false assurances that US networks are secure, all we get in reply are crickets chirping in otherwise silence. If that is because intelligence agencies don’t want it fixed, then let the firing begin.

Source : http://www.computerworld.com/

Categorized in Science & Tech

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