6 years, 1 month ago SpacejunkParticipant
The FBI has created a mobile cellphone tower relay device that is used to intercept cell phone transmissions.
The StingRay is an IMSI-catcher (International Mobile Subscriber Identity), a controversial cellular phone surveillance device, manufactured by the Harris Corporation. Initially developed for the military and intelligence community, the StingRay and similar Harris devices are in widespread use by local and state law enforcement agencies across the United States
The StingRay has both passive (digital analyzer) and active (cell site simulator) capabilities. When operating in active mode, the device mimics a wireless carrier cell tower in order to force all nearby mobile phones and other cellular data devices to connect to it.
The StingRay family of devices can be mounted in vehicles, on airplanes, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as carried by hand.
Stingray Active Mode Operations
1. Extracting stored data such as International Mobile Subscriber Identity (“IMSI”) numbers and Electronic Serial Number (“ESN”),
2. Writing cellular protocol metadata to internal storage
3. Forcing an increase in signal transmission power,
4. Forcing an abundance of radio signals to be transmitted
5. Interception of communications content
6. Tracking and locating the cellular device user,
7. Conducting a denial of service attack
8. Encryption key extraction.
Stingray Passive Mode Operations
1. conducting base station surveys, which is the process of using over-the-air signals to identify legitimate cell sites and precisely map their coverage areas
2. radio jamming for either general denial of service purposes or to aid in active mode protocol rollback attacks
The StingRay’s active (cell site simulator) capabilities
In active mode, the StingRay will force each compatible cellular device in a given area to disconnect from its service provider cell site (i.e., operated by Verizon, AT&T, etc.) and establish a new connection with the StingRay. In most cases, this is accomplished by having the StingRay broadcast a pilot signal that is either stronger than, or made to appear stronger than, the pilot signals being broadcast by legitimate cell sites operating in the area. A common function of all cellular communications protocols is to have the cellular device connect to the cell site offering the strongest signal. StingRays exploit this function as a means to force temporary connections with cellular devices within a limited area.
- This topic was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by Spacejunk.
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