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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Monday, 02 August 2010 09:08

Hacker shows how to built your own mobile phone base

Written by Nick Farell


Intercept everyone's calls
Insecurity expert Chris Paget built a cheap mobile cell and proceeded to have every AT&T phone in the area patched through his system.

Using only several thousand dollars worth of gear, Paget was able to intercept mobile-phone data on the GSM networks used by AT&T and T-Mobile. He built a home-made system he calls an IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) catcher. Within minutes of activating his IMSI catcher in test mode, Paget had 30 phones connected to the system. Then, with a few keystrokes, he quickly configured the device to spoof an AT&T mobile phone tower.

As far as the phones were concerned they were talking to an AT&T mobile tower and automatically connected to it. Such phone interception is illegal in the US. He got around the legal problems involved by setting his device to operate in the 900MHz band
used by Ham radio devices. But not all GSM devices will connect to Paget's IMSI catcher, however.

Quad band phones will connect, but US phones that do not support this 900MHz band will not. However it would be a doddle to change the frequency. Even as it is, he can't stop iPhones connecting to his bogus tower. He  said Jobs' Mobs' phones connect too easily and he can't “keep the damned iPhones away."

Paget didn't record or play back any calls, but he said he could have. His IMSI catcher can get around mobile phone encryption by simply telling the connecting phones to drop encryption.
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Comments  

 
+1 #1 Boslink 2010-08-02 13:43
WOW.

This is serious!!!

When he can do it so easily imagine what "other interested parties" could do with it.

(government, Mafia, terrorists to name a few)
 
 
+2 #2 nECrO 2010-08-02 17:55
Quoting Boslink:
WOW.

This is serious!!!

When he can do it so easily imagine what "other interested parties" could do with it.

(government, Mafia, terrorists to name a few)


What makes you think they haven't already? :)
 
 
0 #3 snowboarder8156 2010-08-02 18:50
the government already taps into your phone. Pres. Bush passed the law about wire tapping all phones.
 
 
0 #4 Bl0bb3r 2010-08-02 20:01
Not really that amazing.

And who is dumb enough to lean on built-in encryption?!?!
"Die-hard spies" use in-house encryption, not the carrier's one.
 
 
0 #5 Boslink 2010-08-02 20:36
Quoting Bl0bb3r:
Not reall that amazing.

And who is dumb enough to lean on built-in encryption?!?!
Die-hard spies use in-house encryption, not the carrier's one.


ha ha ha. It's not a problem of die-hard spies. The problem is us regular folks. I think that i'm not that much interesting to any agency or underground to listen to my phone conversation but imagine directors of big companies, people in important position etc compromising their self over the phone.

People take freedom for granted and this just show how "freedom" is easily broken.
 
 
0 #6 Bl0bb3r 2010-08-02 22:02
It was something foreseeable. Every signal can be intercepted, no matter if it's through air or cable. (WiFi spoofing anyone?) The problem lies in its structure, is it plain or obfuscated?

I see your point, but it's their choice to talk over the phone important stuff that might get them in that situation in the first place.

I'm an activist for moving-forward technology so I try to take advantage of it as much as I can, the only downside are exactly these people that insist to talk over the phone because it is faster, in the process dragging everyone down by compromising the very freedom you speak of.

In such situations, I just say it plainly "can we meet and talk face to face?". Nothing else I can do about it.
 
 
+1 #7 LuxZg 2010-08-04 09:20
Quoting Bl0bb3r:
In such situations, I just say it plainly "can we meet and talk face to face?". Nothing else I can do about it.


Not even that will help you, with directional microphones and such.. Not even walls will keep those people "safe" ;) It's all about being paranoid. I don't care, as I've got nothing important to hide :)
 

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