Web offers many sites where you can allegedly track any phone number – just type it in and its location will be displayed on a map. Be careful, as in all cases this is simply a money swindle! But is there a legit way of tracking a phone number?

There surely is, but it is used only by security forces, the police, governments and other similar authorities. Access to this kind of tool for an average man has never been easy and many people want to take advantage of others’ naivety.

The Internet is full of pages promising to give you an exact location of a phone number, all you have to do is type it in. In fact these pages do not work. The entered number is stored in a database and then its owner receives chargeable and often very expensive text messages. Let’s be honest, there is no simple and easy way for an ordinary user to track phone numbers.

The company described below does it for real and works mainly for governments.

SkyLock

The Washington Post journalists have come into possession of a Verint company marketing brochure, which is a global leader in Actionable Intelligence solutions for customer engagement optimization, security intelligence, and fraud, risk and compliance. Today, Verint has over 10 000 customers in more than 180 countries.

In the brochure they offer their customers SkyLock service, which enables tracking of any phone number all over the world. It is stated that more than several dozen countries have already used it. The procedure is really simple, one types in the number on the website prepared by Verint. The localization is approximate as it depends on the base station to which a phone is connected. The accuracy could be a few hundred meters in a city and even several kilometres outside of it.

To track number SkyLock uses the unprotected SS7 protocol, which is a kind of a global GSM network. The information on phone location is acquired from an operator database. The tool sends an inquiry to localize BTS (base transceiver station) to which the subscriber is logged.

Phone tracking is common

Although the method described above is not available for everybody, we need to have in mind that tracking services are activated in majority of smartphones.  

In order to work properly applications that help us find the nearest restaurant, cash machine, etc. need to acquire data concerning our location. Many people use tracking apps to know where their kids are at a given moment. The difference between SkyLock and these apps lies in the fact that we are in control of the latter, but we have nothing to say when it comes to actions of the authorities tracking our movements.

Verint Inc. may install its system in willing to cooperate mobile networks, especially the ones in favour of the government. The company also owns private SS7 hubs located in various places all over the world. Unfortunately, the brochure provides no info on the price of such service.

SkyLock is not 100% reliable, Verint states that its success rate is 70%. It all depends on operators – if they have made their subscribers tracking info and other needed data available