[IP] Cell phones for eavesdropping

Steve Thompson steve49152 at yahoo.ca
Tue Jan 4 08:27:47 PST 2005

--- "Major Variola (ret)" <mv at cdc.gov> wrote: 
> >From: Gadi Evron <ge at linuxbox.org>
> >Subject: Cell phones for eavesdropping - finally some public "chatter"
> Of course, the low-budget govt snoops go for the basestations
> and landline links.

Oh, I don't know about that.  What would it cost a small to medium sized
'security firm' to hire a couple of decent EEs with decent RF expertise? 
Given five years and a decent budget, I bet that you could mock-up a
system to capture cell-phone calls in progress so long as you were in
range of the target's phone.  I suspect that the protocols for setup and
teardown of cell calls, not to mention the OOB handoff signals, aren't so
complex that one couldn't intercept them in real-time with cheap off the
shelf hardware.  Hell, we all know that encryption, where it exists in the
cell-net as a capability, has gone unused to this day.

> The pending cell phone virus which calls 911 should be a real hoot.

I bet that depends on whether the Java VM in modern phones is secure or
> I wonder if cell virii can carry a voice payload which they can
> inject as well.  Or do we have to wait a few (viral) generations
> for that?

Depends on how much RAM you've got in your phone, I guess.  The ABCs
probably have the complete specifications for most phones, software and
hardware, and so may be able to arbitrarily fuck with any given model to
their heart's content -- given sufficient motivation, however you might
characterise that... 

What's your threat model?



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