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$1500 System That Can Intercept Cell phone Calls Even Encrypted Calls

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posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 10:45 PM
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A security researcher created a cell phone base station that tricks cell phones into routing their outbound calls through his device, allowing someone to intercept even encrypted calls in the clear.

The device tricks the phones into disabling encryption and records call details and content before they’re routed on their proper way through voice-over-IP.

The low-cost, home-brewed device, developed by researcher Chris Paget, mimics more expensive devices already used by intelligence and law enforcement agencies – called IMSI catchers – that can capture phone ID data and content. The devices essentially spoof a legitimate GSM tower and entice cell phones to send them data by emitting a signal that’s stronger than legitimate towers in the area.

“If you have the ability to deliver a reasonably strong signal, then those around are owned,” Paget said.

Paget’s system costs only about $1,500, as opposed to several hundreds of thousands for professional products. Most of the price is for the laptop he used to operate the system.

Doing this kind of interception “used to be a million dollars, now you can do it with a thousand times less cost,” Paget said during a press conference after his attack. “If it’s $1,500, it’s just beyond the range that people can start buying them for themselves and listening in on their neighbors.”

www.impactlab.net...

Well this is an interesting piece of news.

It seems that as we progress with our technological intelligence that we are leaving ourselves open to having our personal lives exposed for all to see.

It is pretty amazing that a $1500 device can deliver the product of devices that previously cost hundreds of thousands if not a million dollars.

Better watch out your neighbors may be listening in on you sooner than later




[edit on 2-8-2010 by TV_Nation]




posted on Aug, 3 2010 @ 01:12 AM
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Interesting.

Years ago when cell phones were still 1G (1st generation) you could buy scanners that intercepted cell phone frequencies and eavesdrop on calls, but you often couldn't hear the whole call because they changed frequencies during the call. Then they stopped selling scanners that could pick up those frequencies. Then they started encrypting the calls, and I thought that would be the end of eavesdropping on people's cell phone calls.

I guess I was wrong, I'm pretty impressed this guy was able to put together $100,000 worth of technology for $1500. But I'm not sure it's legal, it sounds like it might be an FCC violation. Not that that will stop everyone but if you're running a transmitter, your transmitter can be located.



posted on Aug, 3 2010 @ 02:56 AM
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Technologically, this is quite impressive. I'd also say it's almost certainly illegal :p Cellphone jamming is illegal, partially because it denies 911 services to people, and a case could probably be made that since you are diverting calls, you are doing this. This guy definitely has the power to do that if he wanted to.



posted on Aug, 3 2010 @ 06:24 AM
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This is really alarming, since now we need to get a way to verify the service provider. Just how willing do you think they are to develop something that allows to use multiple networks but notifies, if you are not connected to an authentic tower.

Most probably if something is done to this, it is going to include the encryption key of your isp into the sim card, and preventing usage on anything, but a network that has the same key. That again would mean less freedom, more control.

[edit on 8/3/2010 by above]



posted on Aug, 3 2010 @ 07:40 AM
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Cell phones are nothing more than a fancy radios. What this guy has built is nothing more than a base station connected to the telephone network. Its a passive system that lets cell phones think they made a legitimate connection.

There has always been specialty receivers that could intercept cell phone calls. These are very pricey and very illegal.

The legalities of this are interesting. If you release information as a third party to intercepted phone calls, that is a crime. This usually applies to radiotelephone calls you can hear with ship to shore communications. Satellite communication is not used by everyone, yet.

To build a passive base station instead of a cell phone receiver is a fine distinction within the law and regulations of the FCC. I will find it interesting what they decide about this.



posted on Aug, 3 2010 @ 09:40 AM
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Originally posted by hinky
Cell phones are nothing more than a fancy radios. What this guy has built is nothing more than a base station connected to the telephone network. Its a passive system that lets cell phones think they made a legitimate connection. ...

To build a passive base station instead of a cell phone receiver is a fine distinction within the law and regulations of the FCC. I will find it interesting what they decide about this.
Passive?

Does this sound passive to you?


Originally posted by TV_Nation

The devices essentially spoof a legitimate GSM tower and entice cell phones to send them data by emitting a signal that’s stronger than legitimate towers in the area.
He's sending out a stronger signal than the legitimate GSM tower! Sending out a strong signal is not passive in my book. (Is it passive in anybody's book?)

The old scanners they sold that intercepted 1G cell phone calls were perfectly legal when they were manufactured until they made them stop manufacturing scanners that would pick up cell phone frequencies, and it was completely passive, as it was a receiver only and had no transmitter. The technology discussed in the OP is NOT passive.

[edit on 3-8-2010 by Arbitrageur]



posted on Aug, 3 2010 @ 10:43 AM
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The old scanners they sold that intercepted 1G cell phone calls were perfectly legal when they were manufactured until they made them stop manufacturing scanners that would pick up cell phone frequencies, and it was completely passive, as it was a receiver only and had no transmitter.



yeah, it WAS legal, now it is illegal under fcc rules to sell a product in the US that is capable of recieving cell phone frequencies, except designated cell phone companies, so these radio frequences are floating in the air through our homes and even our own bodies, and yet we are not permitted to listen to them? doesnt sound like freedom to me.

anyone who thinks of radio frequencies as private and something that should be gaurded is stupid, your talking about trying to stop the blowing of wind, or stop the sun from rising, give up on the futile and realise that it just simply is not by any means private to broadcast your words across great distances.

all they've done with these laws is to limit the ability of the little guy to monitor radio waves while makeing it a monopoly for anyone with permision, like governemnt, fbi, etc etc etc,

or france.

it seems if you buy a radio scanner in france it will still be able to monitor cell phones, it is just the us that it isnt allowed, so i guess youd have to smuggle one over if you wanted the device,

looks like the cheapest one i found which covers cell phone frequencies is over $930 - www.scannermaster.com...

and you have to somehow be sure you buy the france version, i suppose by simply shipping it to an address in france,

looking through that site you'll notice there are scanners for consumers and also scanners that are government version only, these ones can only be purchased by someone with some particular info that verifys their government approval,

like i said monopoly of radio waves by the government.

how can a people govern themselves if their goverment wont let them hear their conversations. and the people have no choice but to allow the government to hear theirs.




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