Sniffing Out a Stingray

Cultocracy note :

The Stingray device is an IMSI catcher , basically it can act as a ‘fake’ cell tower to intercept & modify cell phone communications . A Stingray or one of it’s variants can imitate multiple network providers & can override multiple legitimate base stations at any given time . The device can also transmit a ‘fake’ signal to a cell phone , make false calls from your phone and record calls and text messages . Other applications include extracting meta data and installing spyware on the phone . Basically it converts your phone into a covert microphone , camera and tracking device .

stingray

More sinister uses of military grade Stingrays include boosting the output of your cell phone and turning it into a tranceiver which can operate on a variety of wavelengths . A Stingray type device can be used to track , monitor and send & receive signals from artifacts such as RFID tags & similar embedded wireless ‘devices’ .

It is used extensively by law enforcement agencies in the US & UK and many other countries to track & trace suspects .

The system can be deployed without a warrant giving the operators zero accountability .

Similar devices are also used extensively by unaccountable private contractors working for the military corporate complex in harassment , torture & soft kill operations .

Similar devices are now available on the black market .

A main unit is small enough to be housed in a suitcase or car , smaller hand held devices are now available .

stingray-2

Signs that your cell phone may be ‘stingrayed’ include a loss in volume , increased ambient microwave signal strength  , dropped calls , intermittent loss of service and echoing of a voice call .

Signs that you might be ‘stingrayed’ include sweating , tingling sensations on the skin , hyperventilation , eye irritation , itching , pricking sensations & anxiety .

The device was originally developed by the Harris Corporation in the US . The Harris corporation is a major US defence contractor specializing in military communications systems & microwave weaponry .




Andy Greenberg – Wired.com

Researchers Use Ridesharing Cars to Sniff Out a Secret Spying Tool

Law enforcement’s use of the surveillance devices known as stingrays, fake cell towers that can intercept communications and track phones, remains as murky as it is controversial, hidden in non-disclosure agreements and cloak-and-dagger secrecy. But a group of Seattle researchers has found a new method to track those trackers: by recruiting ridesharing vehicles as surveillance devices of their own.

For two months last year, researchers at the University of Washington paid drivers of an unidentified ridesharing service to keep custom-made sensors in the trunks of their cars, converting those vehicles into mobile cellular data collectors. They used the results to map out practically every cell tower in the cities of Seattle and Milwaukee—along with at least two anomalous transmitters they believe were likely stingrays, located at the Seattle office of the US Customs and Immigration Service, and the Seattle-Tacoma Airport.

Beyond identifying those two potential surveillance operations, the researchers say their ridesharing data-collection technique could represent a relatively cheap new way to shed more light on the use of stingrays in urban settings around the world. “We wondered, how can we scale this up to cover an entire city?” says Peter Ney, one of the University of Washington researchers who will present the study at the Privacy Enhancing Technology Symposium in July. He says they were inspired in part by the notion of “wardriving,” the old hacker trick of driving around with a laptop to sniff out insecure Wi-Fi networks. “Actually, cars are a really good mechanism to distribute our sensors around and cast a wide net.

Searching for Stingrays

Stingrays, also known as cell-site simulators or IMSI catchers, have become a powerful but little-understood tool for law enforcement surveillance. They work by tricking phones into connecting with the stingray, instead of a real cell tower, enabling them to intercept communications, track a suspect’s location, and even inject malware onto a target phone.

Police and federal agencies have shared as little information as possible about how and when they use them, even dropping cases against criminal suspects to avoid revealing stingray details. And in many states, the tool still remains legal to use without a search warrant.

In the absence of publicly available stingray information, the University of Washington researchers tried a new technique to find out more. Starting in March of 2016, they paid $25 a week to 15 rideshare-service drivers to carry a suitcase-sized device they called SeaGlass. That sensor box contained about $500 worth of gear the team had assembled, including a GPS module, a GSM cellular modem, a Raspberry Pi minicomputer to assemble the data about which cell towers the modem connects to, a cellular hotspot to upload the resulting data to the group’s server, and an Android phone running an older program called SnoopSnitch, designed by German researchers to serve as another source of cell-tower data collection. The sensor boxes drew their power from the cigarette lighter electric sockets in the cars’ dashboards, and were designed to boot up and start collecting data as soon as the car started.

For the next two months, the researchers collected detailed data about every radio transmitter that connected to SeaGlass modems and Android phones as they moved through the two cities. They identified and mapped out roughly 1,400 cell towers in Seattle, and 700 in Milwaukee. They then combed that data for anomalies, like cell towers that seemed to change location, appeared and disappeared, sent localized weaker signals, appeared to impersonate other towers nearby, or broadcast on a wider range of radio frequencies than the typical cellular tower.

Read the full article here at wired.com


Related :

  1. Hacker Lexicon: Stingrays, the Spy Tool the Government Tried, and Failed, to Hide
  2. Sting Ray—The New Scary Technology that Increases the Ability to Spy on You
  3. Stingrays A Secret Catalogue of Government Gear for Spying on Your Cellphone
  4. FBI Says All Public Records Requests For Stingray Documents Must Be Routed Through It
  5. Surveillance State Continues Growing Out of Control Thanks to Stingray

Also related :

stingray-3

  1. City-Wide IMSI-Catcher Detection
  2. This Phone is Tapped
  3. SnoopSnitch
  4. AIMSICD • Fight IMSI-Catcher, StingRay and silent SMS!
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