Mobile security experts discovered what appears to be more than 15 IMSI catchers, commonly referred to as Stingrays, throughout the Washington D.C. area this week.
Les Goldsmith and Buzz Burner of ESD America joinedIntegriCell President Aaron Turner Tuesday to travel around the nation’s capitol in an attempt to find evidence of “rogue cell towers” with a CryptoPhone, a mobile device which measures three indicators associated with active IMSI catchers.
These surveillance devices, which are often the size of a suitcase, can trick thousands of user’s phones into divulging private information by mimicking a cell tower. During their test, the group detected more than 40 alerts from 15 seperate interceptors around several of D.C.’s most historic landmarks including the White House, the Capitol and multiple foreign embassies.
“I think there’s even more here,” Goldsmith told theWashington Post. “That was just us driving around for a day and a half.”
Most often used by law enforcement, cell phone interceptors have received increased attention as of late, causing the federal government to distance themselves from the illegal practice of mass surveillance.
Speaking with CBS Chicago earlier this month, former FBI agent and security analyst Ross Rice attempted to deny law enforcement’s active involvement.
“I doubt that they are installed by law enforcement as they require a warrant to intercept conversations or data and since the cell providers are ordered by the court to cooperate with the intercept, there really would be no need for this,” Rice said. “Most likely, they are installed and operated by hackers, trying to steal personal identification and passwords.”
Written by MIKAEL THALEN
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