- How they work
- Cellphone spy tower
- 2. Mobile Signal Tracking — Cell Site Simulator
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In my understanding of technology and mind you, I am not an expert on mobile and cell phone technology, I am just good at spotting the elephant in the room , a 0. Unless of course, someone is really out there trying to interfere and listen in on my phone calls. So let us consider the IMSI-catcher tech too.
With that number, you are able to listen in on voice calls where that SIM-card is being used. Unless you are just picking random numbers to listen in on, identifying the right person to wire-tap may be a challenge. Of course, if you hack into the databases of each of the telcos here, you can just look it up yourself. But if you hack your way into the telcos, why not just do the wiretap directly?
And get access to SMS, data and location? Or why not just create a secure communication app, which you have people register to use, and then you just listen in on everything they do? Or, why not do like Huawei did when they successfully replace the backbone of the two major telcos in Norway a few years ago?
If you want to own me, own my network core! Only, there is no wolf. In the story, the kid got away with it a few times, before people started to ignore his calls. The same may become the issue here: what if there are no IMSI-catchers, and there are no foreign entity spying on our parliament and the embassies and hotels and what not. All there is so far, are speculations without clear analytics, no proof, a lot of crying, and the usual panic of pretending to do something while we have no clue what is really going on and what we should really be doing.
How they work
I may be too quick to dismiss this event as nothing but a trick to sell papers. Perhaps the journalists and the editor printed the story out of good will. I still would like them, and their readers, to ask the question. The answer is pretty clear: the paper, the secure cell-phone maker, the FUDers out there, and very few others. Or was it more important to sell papers and create havoc? Sign in. Get started.
Cellphone spy tower
Volunteers scoured Westminster looking for Jessica Ridgeway. Local police took a clandestine tack. They got a court order for data about every cellphone that connected to five providers' towers on the girl's route. Later, they asked for 15 more cellphone site data dumps.
2. Mobile Signal Tracking — Cell Site Simulator
Colorado authorities won't divulge how many people's data they obtained, but testimony in other cases indicates it was at least several thousand people's phones. The court orders in the Colorado case show police got "cellular telephone numbers, including the date, time and duration of any calls," as well as numbers and location data for all phones that connected to the towers searched, whether calls were being made or not. The tower dump data helped police choose about people who were asked to submit DNA samples.
The broad cell-data sweep and DNA samples didn't solve the crime, though the information aided in the prosecution. A year-old man's mother tipped off the cops, and the man confessed to kidnapping and dismembering the girl, hiding some of her remains in a crawl space in his mother's house.
He pleaded guilty and last month was sentenced to more than years in prison. Richland County S. C Sheriff Leon Lott ordered four cell-data dumps from two towers in a investigation into a rash of car break-ins near Columbia, including the theft of collection of guns and rifles from his police-issued SUV, parked at his home.
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Law-enforcement records show police can use initial data from a tower dump to ask for another court order for more information, including addresses, billing records and logs of calls, texts and locations. Cellphone data sweeps fit into a broadening effort by police to collect and mine information about people's activities and movements.
Police can harvest data about motorists by mining toll-road payments, red-light cameras and license-plate readers. Cities are installing cameras in public areas, some with facial-recognition capabilities, as well as Wi-Fi networks that can record the location and other details about any connecting device. Local and state police, from Florida to Alaska, are buying Stingrays with federal grants aimed at protecting cities from terror attacks, but using them for far broader police work. With the mobile Stingray, police can get a court order to grab some of the same data available via a tower dump with two added benefits.
The Stingray can grab some data from cellphones in real time and without going through the wireless service providers involved. Neither tactic — tower dumps or the Stingray devices — captures the content of calls or other communication, according to police. Typically used to hunt a single phone's location, the system intercepts data from all phones within a mile, or farther, depending on terrain and antennas.
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The latest upgrade, code-named "Hailstorm," is spurring a wave of upgrade requests. Initially developed for military and spy agencies, the Stingrays remain a guarded secret by law enforcement and the manufacturer, Harris Corp. The company would not answer questions about the systems, referring reporters to police agencies. Most police aren't talking, either, partly because Harris requires buyers to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Under court order, the FBI released thousands of pages, though most of the text is blacked out. Crump and other privacy advocates pose questions such as "Is data about people who are not police targets saved or shared with other government agencies? When Miami-Dade police bought their Stingray device, they told the City Council the agency needed to monitor protesters at an upcoming world trade conference, according to purchasing records. Most of the police agencies that would talk about the tactics said they're not being used for intelligence gathering, only in search of specific targets.