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Old 09-07-2014, 08:40 AM
 
Location: State of Denial
111 posts, read 109,580 times
Reputation: 166
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/myste...162645809.html

REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Seventeen fake cellphone towers were discovered across the U.S. last week, according to a report in Popular Science.
Rather than offering you cellphone service, the towers appear to be connecting to nearby phones, bypassing their encryption, and either tapping calls or reading texts.

Les Goldsmith, the CEO of ESD America, used ESD's CryptoPhone 500 to detect 17 bogus cellphone towers. ESD is a leading American defense and law enforcement technology provider based in Las Vegas.

With most phones, these fake communication towers are undetectable. But not for the CryptoPhone 500, a customized Android device that is disguised as a Samsung Galaxy S III but has highly advanced encryption.

Goldsmith told Popular Science: " Interceptor use in the U.S. is much higher than people had anticipated. One of our customers took a road trip from Florida to North Carolina and he found eight different interceptors on that trip. We even found one at South Point Casino in Las Vegas.”

The towers were found in July, but the report implied that there may have been more out there.

Although it is unclear who owns the towers, ESD found that several of them were located near U.S. military bases.

"Whose interceptor is it? Who are they, that's listening to calls around military bases? Is it just the U.S. military, or are they foreign governments doing it? The point is: we don't really know whose they are," Goldsmith said to Popular Science.

It's probably not the NSA — that agency can tap all it wants without the need for bogus towers, VentureBeat reported:

Not the NSA, cloud security firm SilverSky CTO/SVP Andrew Jaquith told us. “The NSA doesn’t need a fake tower,” he said. “They can just go to the carrier” to tap your line.

ComputerWorld points out that the fake towers give themselves away by crushing down the performance of your phone from 4G to 2G while the intercept is taking place. So if you see your phone operating on a slow download signal while you're near a military base ... maybe make that call from somewhere else.

In an amazing coincidence, police departments in a handful of U.S. cities have been operating "Stingray" or "Hailstorm" towers, which — you guessed it — conduct surveillance on mobile phone activity. They do that by jamming mobile phone signals, forcing phones to drop down from 4G and 3G network bands to the older, more insecure 2G band.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:46 AM
 
2,180 posts, read 3,624,675 times
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Old 09-07-2014, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Sunrise
10,869 posts, read 13,635,351 times
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:39 AM
 
9,951 posts, read 8,438,330 times
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^
Are you suggesting this isn't happening?
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:52 AM
 
2,026 posts, read 813,168 times
Reputation: 1787
It's not an actual cell phone tower, I dont know why people keep buying into sensationalist news stories.
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Sunrise
10,869 posts, read 13,635,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBMW View Post
^
Are you suggesting this isn't happening?
I'm suggesting that some people are very, very gullible.
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:24 PM
 
26,881 posts, read 38,123,724 times
Reputation: 34817
Interesting comment I found here:

17 Fake Cellphone Towers Found in U.S. | Drudge Retort

Quote:
If we're talking about software on a laptop connected to a coat hanger...well that may be....but you can't simply erect a tower and place a communication device on it willy nilly. The property where it's erected is owned by someone, the tower requires a long list of permits, requires power, requires cooper/fiber etc.
Even if someone used an existing tower, they would have to have access to the hut below the tower, use their power and copper/fiber and need a T1 or other high density circuit to access and move traffic. Techs know whats in their huts. There isn't any unknown strange equipment laying around...not even in CoLo's.
That doesn't even take into account the fact that they would need access to UHF RF bands that TELCOs hold and monitor like gold.
IF these exist, they aren't hackers. It's TELCO or Gov't
.
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
12,671 posts, read 9,420,097 times
Reputation: 14922
I heard an interview with the CEO of the company that discovered the fake towers.

He says these "towers" are the size of a briefcase and are highly mobile.

He says they intercept the sign from the cell phone and the. Hand it off to the real cell phone tower.

This is a man-in-the-middle type of security breach.

There is some speculation that these are part of an effort to snoop on cell phone traffic near armed forces bases.
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:47 AM
 
26,881 posts, read 38,123,724 times
Reputation: 34817
Makes more sense. Perhaps that CEO should have refrained from describing them as "towers" originally.
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Old 09-08-2014, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Sunrise
10,869 posts, read 13,635,351 times
Reputation: 8987
The Drudge Report is only accurate in the same way that "a room with an infinite number of monkeys with typewriters" is accurate.

That's whack-a-doodle land. I don't believe a thing that comes out of that intellectual vacuum.
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