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Femtocells used to give consumers and small businesses better 3G mobile connectivity by utilising existing broadband connections could be open to hacking, it has been reported.

Security researchers have discovered further problems in femtocell - the device used to connect homes and small businesses to a service provider's network via broadband – technology after security shortcomings were established in Vodafone's femtocell signal booster system, reports the Register.

The Vodafone problem – now fixed – related to vulnerabilities in technology that could potentially turn a femtocell into an interception device. It meant femtocells offered a possible way for hackers to intercept or make calls at the expense of victims.

And researchers believe femtocell susceptibilities are not limited merely to Vodafone.

Base station technology supplied by SFR, France's second mobile carrier, is also vulnerable, according to research presented at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas last weekend, the news provider said.

Researchers discovered that a bug recovery system applied by SFR to faulty base stations is flawed, meaning a hacker can push their own configuration and firmware.

The security shortcoming means a network of rogue femtocells could be created. This, in turn, opens the door to a range of attacks capable of targeting end-users being logged into a femtocell.

Base station owners as well as network operators could be at risk.

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