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identify if IMSI catchers were used with field test?

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By Justme2k, Junior Member on 8th March 2008, 09:11 PM
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Hello all
I've been reading this forum for some months now and i like the windows'es and informations i've found here on my Hermes device
But now i have some questions on using the often integrated tool field test.
I've found out that with the IMSI-catcher (german wikipedia as one of the sources), that are more and more often used semi-legal by the police(here in europe there are a lot of 'GA-90' devices sold to the police and other institutions), it is possible to listen to phone calls(man in the middle attack), by just 'emulating' the strongest phone-cell in the area, to which the device connects instead of connecting to the provider's cell.
I also read that it would be possible to find out if there was an imsi-catcher device active in the area near you or not. The only thing needed is a special monitor software (field test?) that observes the MNC(Mobile Network Codes) behavior(appearently you need 2 handy's from the same provider with the monitoring software running).
But they didn't explain exactly on which behavior you should pay attention.
Since I could use 2 windows mobile devices to test this out, I am searching for more detailled information on this subject, and the first place that came in my mind was xda-developers
I allready did search this forum for the subject imsi catcher, and the only thing I've found is this.
google result
so one person who tries to change hies imei number, and another one who doesn't seem to know exactly what an imsi catcher can do.
Is here anyone who knows more?
I know that where I live, there are pple who make abuse with IMSI-catchers(catching calls without the permission from a judge or similar, or even one time someone listening to his girlfriends phone calls to see if she's cheating(and she did and that was the reason he left her))And yes this one was a young policeman who told that to his friends and even was proud of it.

I also dislike the fact that the handy, instead of the encrypted one with the provider's cell, has an non encrypted connection to the imsi catcher(if not there would be no possibility for a listening man in the middle attack).
I also read about the cellphones from
Appearently they do allways have encrypted conversations even through an Imsi-catcher. But if that would be true, the other side will need the same handy to decrypt it again. Because it has to encrypt, the allready encrypted data traffic with the provider's cell, if not it can't allow any protection against IMSI -Catcher devices. I also ask myself if, depending on where u want to use it, the 2nd encryption could produce a to huge phone traffic that could result p.ex. in a robot voice...
Anyone who could light me up?
Or is there any software able of reencrypting the encrypted transfer on windows mobile devices?technically it should be possible(2nd phone dialer installed so you choose the normal one for normal calls and 2nd one for calls with pple who also have this software installed on their phones)perhaps not with an 256 bit encryption but perhaps with a 128 or 64 bit encryption...
BTW, if there would be anyone able to programm such a hot piece of software for windows mobile devices I wouldn't have any problem to donate him with paypal, and i suppose other pple would do the sameAnd no I don't wanna replace that by Voip or skype via HTC...
Thanks in advance
10th March 2008, 11:31 PM |#2  
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So no one who knows more about this?
I would be very happy if i could at least test if they're really used that often as they say they are(where i live).
And since i could try it in different major 'cities' over here, i suppose catching a imsi catcher soon or later
I'm quite curios if all the pple, telling that there is a lot of abuse with these machines, are right, or if that's all nonsens...
28th January 2009, 10:45 PM |#3  
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It would be nice if a warning icon could be integrated into Windows Mobile or the dialer to indicate that a call is not being encrypted. Read the Wikipedia entry for IMSI-catcher for more info. I'm guessing CDMA is largely unaffected since the hole seems to rely on the UMTS spec's backward-compatibility with GSM.

I'd also like to note that Skype is the way to go for true endpoint to endpoint call encryption. You know, if you're a gangster or something and need to brush off the popos. It would be interesting to investigate whether the WM6 integrated VOIP stack requires authentication/encryption.
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