The devices that pose as cell towers are known in the industry as IMSI catchers, with the IMSI (international mobile subscriber identity) being a unique number tied to a mobile subscriber and stored on a SIM card. IMSI catchers can be used for tracking and in some cases, for intercepting calls, but commercial solutions, such as the Stingray used by the FBI, are expensive.Researchers Piers O'Hanlon and Ravishankar Borgaonkar from the University of Oxford's Department of Computer Science found that, for the purpose of tracking only, Wi-Fi networks can also be used to trick mobile devices into exposing their IMSI numbers.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
For a long time, law enforcement agencies and hackers have been able to track the identity and location of mobile users by setting up fake cellular network towers and tricking their devices to connect to them. Researchers have now found that the same thing can be done much more cheaply with a simple Wi-Fi hotspot.