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View Full Version : Defcon Hacker Eavesdrops on GSM-based Cell Conversations


DakotaGuy
Aug 1, 2010, 07:32 PM
With but $1,500 worth of equipment and some ingenuity, security researcher Chris Paget can create his own cell phone tower.
Here's the catch, however: The tower itself isn't real. It's a fake recreation of a GSM base station that allows Paget to overpower the actual signals from real-life base stations. The end result? Cell phones connect to PagetNet—or whatever name he's assigned his creation—thinking that they're accessing an actual cell phone tower.
When that happens, Paget can listen in to the conversations and/or record them at his leisure. His device—an International Mobile Identity Subscriber catcher—bounces the call to an actual cell phone tower and the user is none the wiser, save for the fact that all inbound calls now go directly to said user's voicemail as the carrier considers the actual phone off-network.

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http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2367247,00.asp

Rodimus Prime
Aug 1, 2010, 07:57 PM
I love the part in the video on him saying stuff about the iPhone. Mostly bitching about how they iPhone would connect the easiest to his network and it has really been trouble for him keeping the thing off of it.

GFLPraxis
Aug 2, 2010, 07:50 PM
Wow.
I wonder if you could hack a 3G microcell to do this entirely in software.

DakotaGuy
Aug 2, 2010, 09:44 PM
Wow.
I wonder if you could hack a 3G microcell to do this entirely in software.

I don't know it could be possible. I know there are a lot more GSM fans on this message board, but that is one advantage of the CDMA network. It is much more secure when it comes to things like hacking. I do believe the newer WCDMA 3G (UMTS) is secure as well, but if you can throw in noise to bump the network back to 2G EDGE then it appears you can hack in without any issues.