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GSM security issue, what exactly is the impact of this?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by norsairius, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. norsairius

    norsairius Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I stumbled upon this article yesterday:
    Hacker Spoofs Cell Phone Tower to Intercept Calls | Threat Level | Wired.com

    I didn't see it posted elsewhere here, but sorry if this is a repost.

    I realize that there is a relatively small number of people who would actually try to do such a thing to intercept calls (and potentially data at some point with some tweaks), but assuming that this can easily be done and such, how big of a deal is this really?

    I'm not too well-versed when it comes to cell phone communications technology, so I'm just curious if anyone here can offer any opinions as far as just how vulnerable this leaves those of us on networks that use GSM like AT&T and T-Mobile.

    The article mentions that the hacker was only really able to make it work on 2G. Does that mean we're okay as long as our phones show we're on EDGE or 3G?

    I'm still pretty confused by this, so I hope some of you here can clarify this for me.


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  2. ThreeDog

    ThreeDog Well-Known Member

    in my opinion it's no worse than when we all used to use scanners to listen to phone calls back in the analogue days, does not worry me.
  3. Tre Lawrence

    Tre Lawrence Android Expert

    Yes... I think in practice, GSM users shouldn't be too concerned. For one, IIRC, the device has to be fairly close to the originating caller.
  4. norsairius

    norsairius Newbie
    Thread Starter

    What about in a situation in more crowded areas like apartment complexes, airports, etc.?

    Any ideas as to what this whole 2G/3G stuff means in terms of how this device intercepts calls and such?

    I'm still confused as to what an AT&T/T-Mobile user can do to make sure they aren't vulnerable to this method of attack.

    I'm not particularly concerned, but I'm just curious as to how this whole thing is going to change things, if it will at all.
  5. Demache

    Demache Android Expert

    I think if your running around with a large antenna by an airport is a pretty good idea. You don't look suspicious at all. :p

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