Swiss company Mitto AG that helps tech giants such as Google, WhatsApp, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Telegram with OTP-based services is grabbing the limelight, but for all the wrong reasons. As per the latest report, Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Mitto is involved in the spying business and this puts millions of smartphone users’ data at risk. Also Read - How to record and download Twitter Spaces in simple steps
It is a private firm and has partnerships with over 100 telecom operators around the world. Tech giants such as Google, Twitter, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, and Telegram use SMS-based services for user verification, password retrievals, and security checks. Companies like Mitto makes hosting infrastructure for the global user base easier and affordable. Also Read - Step up for diversity: Gaming companies are hiring more women, expanding their user base
Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp users at risk
As per the latest report by a London-based nonprofit organization, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ), co-founder and chief operating officer of Mitto, Ilja Gorelik, provided services to surveillance companies. These services reportedly involved “selling access to Mitto’s networks to secretly locate people via their mobile phones.” Also Read - Google’s foldable phone is likely to be cheaper than Samsung Galaxy Fold: Here's why
The same report also states that, as per the company’s employees and whistleblowers, Mitto’s own networks were used for the surveillance work. It further reveals that the surveillance companies working with Mitto in the spying business were contracted to work with government agencies. However, specific details related to the same have not been revealed as yet.
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The report suggests that Mitto used mobile phone networks to locate people and also intercept messages with the help of SS7 protocol. It should be noted that the SS7 infrastructure is used by telecom networks to communicate while calls and text messages are routed from one network to another. In fact, the report reveals an incident wherein an official of the US State Department was targeted with a swirl of signaling using Mitto’s network to locate the device’s location.
Expressing extreme shock and displeasure on the incident, the company said in an official statement “we are shocked by the assertions against Ilja Gorelik and our company.”
“To be clear, Mitto does not, has not, and will not organize and operate a separate business, division, or entity that provides surveillance companies access to telecom infrastructure to secretly locate people via their mobile phones, or other illegal acts. Mitto also does not condone, support, and enable the exploitation of telecom networks with whom the company partners to deliver service to its global customers”, Mitto further states in an official statement.