CNET: “Hackers have quietly infiltrated more than a dozen around the world, gaining complete control of networks behind the companies’ backs. The attackers have been using that access over the last seven years to steal sensitive data, but have so much control they could shut down communications at a moment’s notice, according to Cybereason, a security company based in Boston. On Tuesday, Cybereason said it’s been investigating the campaign, dubbed Operation Soft Cell, through which hackers targeted phone providers in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The hackers infected multiple mobile carriers since 2012, gaining control and siphoning off hundreds of gigabytes of data on people.
It constitutes a potentially massive— with more fallout still to come — as companies across different industries struggle with how to protect their customers’ data. The hackers also had highly privileged access to do more than steal information. “They have all the usernames and passwords, and created a bunch of domain privileges for themselves, with more than one user,” said Amit Serper, Cybereason’s head of security research. “They can do whatever they want. Since they have such access, they could shut down the network tomorrow if they wanted to.” ..