Cops Use a Secret Government Phone Tracker - Stingray

Discussion in 'Smartphones and Tablets' started by hmscott, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    How a Hacker Proved Cops Used a Secret Government Phone Tracker to Find Him
    And how it might change what cops can do with our smartphones.
    By CYRUS FARIVAR June 03, 2018

    Evidence of cell phone eavesdropping devices found near White House, other 'sensitive' DC sites by Homeland Security
    The Department of Homeland Security found evidence of cellphone tracking devices around the White House and other "potentially sensitive" areas in Washington, D.C., last year.
    Such devices are known to be used by foreign spy agencies, and, Local Law Enforcement.

    Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., called on phone companies and the Federal Communications Commission to strengthen cell phone security.
    Dan Mangan | @_DanMangan
    Published 4:12 PM ET Fri, 1 June 2018 Updated 7:32 PM ET Fri, 1 June 2018

    Stingray phone stalker tech used near White House, SS7 abused to steal US citizens' data – just Friday things
    Second worst stingray attack in history (RIP Steve Irwin)
    By Shaun Nichols in San Francisco 1 Jun 2018 at 20:38

    FBI would rather prosecutors drop cases than disclose stingray details
    New documents released by NYCLU shed light on Erie County's use of spying tool.
    CYRUS FARIVAR - 4/7/2015, 2:35 PM

    The Secret Stingray Case You Need To Know About
    The Big Picture RT
    Published on Apr 22, 2015
    Shahid Buttar, Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) joins Thom. All across America - law enforcement agencies are using a special technology to collect information from your cell phones. What is Stingray technology - how is it used - and why is everyone trying to keep it a secret?
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
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  2. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Fake Cell Towers aka StingRay IMSI Catchers in Your Neighborhood
    Published on May 23, 2018
    An investigative report by WRC-TV in Washington, D.C., has found dozens of spy towers and devices around the nation’s capital — and even more troubling is the fact nobody is entirely sure what they are doing or how they got there.
    There are countless cell phone towers all around us. Just take a look at any major phone company’s coverage map: Almost every populated area of America is blanketed with towers, which allow us to stay connected while roaming or even driving across the country.

    But not every cell tower is there to help us. Spying devices commonly known as “StingRays” can mimic legitimate parts of the network, but track you in alarming ways.

    “The technology can be as small as a suitcase, placed anywhere at any time, and it’s used to track cell phones and intercept calls,” explained the news outlet.

    Western Journal reports: The trick is that your phone is always searching for a strong tower. When it finds one, it connects automatically. This happens constantly without the user ever realizing it. By mimicking or “spoofing” a real cell tower, the StingRays — a brand name for one variant of the device — connect to your phone and gather important data, including its unique identification number.

    This means that once a group knows what your phone looks like on the network, a cluster of StingRays can detect when you enter or leave an area. With enough of the spy devices, your location can be tracked with surprising accuracy.
    It may also be possible for the devices to listen in on phone calls. By acting as a “man in the middle,” StingRays can intercept your traffic while forwarding calls to their intended destination. You would probably never know something was amiss.

    Cell Spy Catcher (Anti Spy) will Help you in Detecting "IMSI Catchers" (also called "Fake Cell Towers" or "Stingrays").

    Free on Google Play:

    Link to article:

    Potential Spy Devices Which Track Cellphones Found All Over D C , Md , Va
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  3. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Haven't tried it, heads up...

    Cell Spy Catcher (Anti Spy)

    "This App will Help you in Detecting "IMSI Catchers" (also called "Fake Cell Towers" or "Stingrays").

    For several years the FBI and Local Police have been listening to our Calls and Reading our Text Messages, using so-called "IMSI-catchers". One Example of such a "Fake Cell Tower" is the "Stingray", which is produced in the USA.

    "Stingrays" are Mobile Devices that simulate Cell Phone Towers, forcing nearby Phones to Connect to them. They can Identify your Phone, and possibly listen to your Calls. Without having to put a Spy app in your Phone!

    These "Cell Spy" Devices can capture Information from All Cell Phones within Range, including IMSI Identity, Location, SMS Messages, Call Logs and Call content.
    (IMSI stands for "International Mobile Subscriber Identity", which will Identify your Phone).

    It is known that at least 53 Agencies in 21 States own "Stingrays".

    Law Enforcement Agencies, Foreign Powers - and possibly Criminals - are using such "Cell Site Simulators" for Surveillance Purposes - without our knowledge.

    "Cell Spy" Devices can be Hand-carried, or be mounted in Vehicles, Airplanes, Helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

    During a Self Learning Process, the App will "learn" all Networks (Cell Towers, Base Stations) that are used by your Phone.

    After the Self Learning Process - if this App should happen to Detect one of these "Cell Spies", you will be Warned by an Optional Sound and/or an Optional RED Screen. The simplest way to avoid being Listened In On, is then to turn off your Phone for a while, or at least to keep silent.

    When the App Detects a Network that is not included in its Internal Database, it will Consult an External Database of Networks. If the Network is not Found there, it is assumed to be UNKNOWN.


    - Very Easy to Use
    - Self Learning Process
    - Periodic Checks for Networks
    - Selectable Network Checking Period
    - Logging of All Events
    - Internal (Self Learned) Database
    - Integration with External Database (OpenCellId)
    - Optional Detection, Logging and Warning of "Unknown" Networks
    - Even Attacks only lasting for a few seconds can be Detected
    - Measurement of Duration of Attacks
    - List of All Identified Networks
    - Export of CSV File
    - Analysis of Current and Historical Network Data
    - Warning Level Assessment
    - Support for GSM, UMTS/WCDMA, CDMA and LTE
    - Battery Saving Design
    - Using a "Passive" GPS Location Technique, to save power
    - Internet Access is RECOMMENDED, but NOT necessarily Required
    - Internet Access WILL Improve the Detection Quality of Unknown Networks
    - Always Running in the Background, even when Phone "sleeps"
    - Auto Restart at Boot Time
    - Rooted Phone NOT Required
    - No Special Phone/Hardware Required
    - Also works on Tablets with SIM Card
    - Lots of Answers to FAQs
    - Info about "Fake Cell Towers", "Stingray", etc

    How To Use:

    After you have Opened the App the First Time, you should Start the Self Learning Process (which may take a few Days), and have the Phone with you at All Times - where ever you may be - in order for the App to LEARN about ALL Local Networks.

    If you move to another place, you should Restart the Self Learning Process.

    By using this App, you participate in the large collaborative community project "OpenCellID" - which collects the Locations of Mobile/Cellular Phone Towers, which now is a Database that contains almost 7 million unique Mobile/Cellular Phone Tower IDs. Use of this Database will increase the Probability of Detecting REAL UNKNOWN Cell Towers - and thus to Find "IMSI-Catchers" - and you can be an Active Part if it!

    If you should NEVER Detect a "Fake Cell Tower" - you should consider yourself LUCKY - and NOT BLAME us!

    Many problems seem to be caused by simple Misunderstandings. So if you have a problem - that cannot be answered by the FAQs Section of the App - please send us an Email - before you consider making a Bad Rating. Maybe we can help you. "

    Google Play App Comments:
    December 30, 2017
    "Love this app! I live on bordertown with alot of feds and 3 border patrol stations. It doesn't go a couple days without red flagging a changed LAC. Would easily pay a few bucks for this if you could BLACKLIST by DEFAULT, and VIEW WHITELISTED CONNECTIONS. Also, in future perhaps a database of known towers with credentials, and a chart to reference location codes to their real-time general location. Thanks"

    Nick B
    January 29, 2018
    "GR8 privacy tool! Works as advertised to help ensure secured data connection 4 voice/video calls, text/chat/MMS msgs, keyed-in UN/PW/financial info, etc. initiated by all apps on device. Verifies ur data isn't being hijacked or monitored by others ️ using "spoof" or "Stingray" type, fake network connections- esp helpful when used w other InfoSec apps & more u use it, more effective it is. Alerted me of several shady networks so far w lean background memory/processor usage. Be if it had known good/bad connections list or in-app LAC search, but happy w it."

    A Google user
    April 5, 2018
    "It works it's not a fake and it has kept me out of the hot areas of my town who knew the people paid to protect you also just tune in to your private life"

    Wessley Jauron
    November 4, 2017
    "Everyone who is concerned About creeping eyes and ears of big brother. Should know this app does 100% what it claims todo. Read the faq "s carefully. Begin the learning process, then let it do its thing. This detects stingrays ( fake towers that mimic regular towers) it also detects all of the portable fake hand held or vehicle mounted. That intercepts texts and listens to your conversations. There is a list of the large fake tower arrays . what state and city uses them. But the portables there is no such list. I believe that every OIC.or shift supervisor has one. In every city and state. They can also jam your signal and deny data with this device. They do not want this known because it is a violation of your privacy and it used often. My suggestion is download the app because anything you say or do will be used against you in court of law guaranteed. The police have been using this technology for sometime now. You wont hear any mention of this in a court of law as it is illegal and a violation of your privacy. They need a warrant to listen in or read your texts, this just proves that those who have sworn to uphold the constitution and the bill of rights, have been compromised. Circumventing the laws that they swore to uphold. Welcome to the the Orwellian state."

    November 20, 2017
    "Learn how to use this effectively and you have a helluva useful tool I your hand that can make or break your privacy and security, as well as go after and catch in the act, with real data to help convict those that wish to cause damage, leech or steal from you , cuz that's what scumbag cochroaches do."

    Cell Spy Catcher (Anti Spy) - Alternatives
    This App will Help you in Detecting "IMSI Catchers" (also called "Fake Cell... Created by SkibApps

    Android IMSI-Catcher Detector
    Detect attacks of fake base stations such as IMSI-Catcher and StingRay on your GSM/UMTS network. Look for silent SMS used by police and intelligence services.

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    GSM Spy Finder
    Detect IMSI/IMEI/TMSI catchers and interception of voice and data over GSM networks.

    Cell Spy Catcher (Anti Spy)
    This App will Help you in Detecting "IMSI Catchers" (also called "Fake Cell Towers" or "Stingrays").

    The GSM Security Map at compares the protection capabilities of mobile networks. This app collects data and adds it to GSM Map. This application currently...

    Monitor GSM/CDMA/LTE network: current and neighboring cell infos, signal strength. Multi SIM support (when possible). Use GPS/geolocation. Generate database with custom...

    Network Cell Info
    Network Cell Info is a cell network monitor and measurements log tool (4G+, LTE, CDMA, WCDMA, GSM). It provides also WiFi info (beta). Main features: Almost...

    SnoopSnitch xLite
    SnoopSnitch xLite is a light weight and not funded, extended support version of the original SnoopSnitch from Security Research Labs. SnoopSnitch analyses the mobile...
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  4. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    The "useless" in the title seems a bit extreme, as each app tested detected attacks, just not all of them, and this was last year, so hopefully the app developers read it too - and improved their apps.

    Those 'stingray' detector apps are basically useless, say researchers
    Researchers found at least one major flaw in the five leading stingray surveillance trackers for Android.
    By Zack Whittaker for Zero Day | August 14, 2017 -- 14:43 GMT (07:43 PDT)

    "There's almost a one-hundred percent chance that during the time you've owned a cell phone, it has at some point connected to a "stingray" phone tracker, a controversial surveillance tool used often by local law enforcement to capture the communications of anyone within its range.

    There's also a good chance that the Android app you may have installed that was meant to detect this sneak surveillance attack did nothing to warn you.

    Academic researchers at Oxford University and the Technical University of Berlin found that several leading Android apps designed to detect when a phone connects to a fake cell site, known as a "stingray," can be easily bypassed, allowing the stingray owner to eavesdrop on calls, intercept messages, and track the precise location of a phone.

    The researchers found that the top five stingray detection apps in the Google Play app store -- SnoopSnitch, Cell Spy Catcher, GSM Spy Finder, Darshak, and AIMSICD -- failed on at least one count to alert the phone owner when their device has connected to a fake cell site.

    By setting up their own "white stingray" tool -- a computer hooked up to a software-defined cellular radio -- the researchers could test each app for various known exploits.

    On the plus side, all of the apps were able to detect some kind of surveillance, such as when a cell connection was forcibly downgraded, and when a "silent" text message was received to geolocate a phone.

    But all of the apps could still be tricked -- simply by switching to another attack method instead.

    Two of the attacks could not be detected by any app, the researchers said. "Surprisingly, none of the apps consider whether the [phone] has received a special type of silent call or not." The paper also noted that none of the apps were able to detect an authentication token replay

    The paper found that the effectiveness of the apps was largely limited by constraints put in place by the Android operating system. Several of the apps did not have root access, required to access some of the programming interfaces needed for detecting some of the attacks.

    Ravishankar Borgaonkar, co-author of the paper, told ZDNet prior to the paper's publication that, "due to the limitation of Android APIs, it's difficult for developers to build an effective detection app."

    The paper was released Monday ahead of a presentation at the Usenix Woot conference in Vancouver, Canada.

    Got a tip?

    You can send tips securely over Signal and WhatsApp at 646-755–8849. You can also send PGP email with the fingerprint: 4D0E 92F2 E36A EC51 DAAE 5D97 CB8C 15FA EB6C EEA5."

    Those Free Stingray-Detector Apps? Yeah, Spies could outsmart them
    AUTHOR: ANDY GREENBERG, 08.14.17 07:00 AM
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  5. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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