EFF publishes an indispensable, plain-language guide to "cell-site simulators": the surveillance devices that track you via your phone

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/07/08/pocket-snitch.html

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I remember seeing five years ago a report on the Chinese wiki Baidu about how in some Chinese cities criminals were driving fake cell towers around on the backs of trucks to harvest smartphone data. I wonder if US criminals do the same?
Creative minds at work: Chinese fake cell phone transmitter stations interfere with regular cell phone tower signals to send advertisements to and capture information from nearby cell phones.

For details, see the article 伪基站 in the Baidu online Chinese language encyclopedia http://baike.baidu.com/view/8940201.htm?fromTaglist

These fake base stations can even be carried in a car or truck going under 60 km/hr. They generally operate for 10 – 12 seconds at a time, sending ads or taking information, making calls to cell phones within the zone pretending to be coming from any number even police emergency numbers. According to the encyclopedia article, there are gangs doing this stuff in 20 Chinese cities.

CDMA users, including China Telecom users, are not affected since this equipment cannot connect to CDMA cell phones.

A nice cartoon I saw on Baidu. In the cartoon, the fake base station has sent a message to nearby cell phones. People are reading the message “Please send xx tens of thousands of RMB to bank account number xxx”


Some people thank God.

I, however, say thank the EFF.

Donate to them please, I am, right now. Noone else has the balls to research and publish this stuff guys.


No phone. No problem.

It is possible, folks.


Less and less so in a country where Ajit “Verizon puppet” Pai keeps lying about the digital divide, while fewer and fewer low-income folk have access to digital job-markets. Among many, many other critical elements of life in the One-And-Twenty…


Guess I’ve made do with VoiP.

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Pretty sure VoIP is going to have its own nasty security problems. Tin cans and string can work locally tho.


There is no escape anymore. The Panopticon is up and running.


Gah where was this guide a few years ago? It is much better than the guide a few of us put together for local activists about the topic and would have required much less work from me.

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