Doug Bedell — May 21, 2018, 3:21 pm

Tracking People Via the Location of Their Cell Phones


Anybody looking for you? Got a cellphone? Lisa Vaas on Naked Security reports how it’s now possible easily to “find the real-time location of nearly any US (cell)phone to as close as a few hundred yards.”

Security blogger Brian Krebs broke this news earlier this month and it’s now being elaborated on somewhat.

Krebs wrote that “LocationSmart, a U.S. based company that acts as an aggregator of real-time data about the precise location of mobile phone devices, has been leaking this information to anyone via a buggy component of its Web site — without the need for any password or other form of authentication or authorization — KrebsOnSecurity has learned. The company took the vulnerable service offline early this afternoon after being contacted by KrebsOnSecurity, which verified that it could be used to reveal the location of any AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon phone in the United States to an accuracy of within a few hundred yards.”

Back to Naked Security: “Securus, which provides and monitors calls to inmates, was the subject of a 10 May article from the New York Times, about how its location service – typically used by marketers who offer deals to people based on their location – can easily be used to find the real-time location of nearly any US phone to as close as a few hundred yards.

We’ll likely be hearing more about this developing story on a personal threat to digital privacy.

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