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Published on 17 September 2012

Telephone tapping: Governments no longer hold a monopoly

Telephone tapping: Governments no longer hold a monopoly

Forget expensive electronic gear and secretive maneuvers once needed to tap into telephone lines. It's now possible technically - if not exactly legal - to intercept GSM communications with light and inexpensive equipment. Hackers have succeeded in building makeshift antenna relays to capture GSM transmissions and to even hack into Femtocell, a small cellular base station specially designed for home and small businesses. On the supply side, the arrival of Indian and Chinese manufactures has driven down the price of GSM interceptors that can now be ordered easily on the Internet. Intelligence Online outlines the main breakthroughs in the field and ways to protect yourself against them.

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UNITED STATES 19/09/2012

Hackers crack satphone codes 

Hackers have finally gotten round the encryption protocols used by the likes of Thuraya and Inmarsat. [...]

UNITED STATES 04/07/2012

Geolocation of GSM on an industrial scale 

It is now possible to precisely track the whereabouts of a large number of portable telephones simultaneously. [...]

Mass phone-tapping just round corner 

It has never been easier, nor cheaper, to analyse vast quantities of intercepted telephone call data. [...]

UNITED STATES 07/03/2012

U.S. intelligence services also covet the latest smartphone 

Bulky secure mobile phones could soon be a thing of the past for U.S. intelligence agents. [...]

UNITED KINGDOM 23/11/2011

Double SIM cards foil interception 

A few specialist mobile phone distributors now sell high-end telephones with anti-interception capabilities. [...]

FINLAND 09/11/2011

NetHawk invents GSM counter-measure 

The Finnish company NetHawk, a subsidiary of the Exfo group [...]

RUSSIA INDIA CHINA 26/10/2011

GSM interceptors going cheap in BRIC countries 

The Western companies that have dominated the market in telecoms interception for years are facing stiff new competition. [...]

GERMANY 27/07/2011

After GSM, pirates target WiMax and 4G networks 

Hackers are attacking the next generation wireless networks that were only recently considered to be foolproof. [...]

UNITED KINGDOM 13/04/2011

Femtocell, mobile phone hackers’ all-purpose tool 

Hackers can foil the tracing and interception of mobile telephone conversations by using these mini GSM antennae. [...]

UNITED STATES 19/01/2011

Soundminer, automatic mobile phone tapper 

New spy software gathers key information from intercepted telephone calls all by itself. [...]

GERMANY 19/01/2011

Affordable GSM interception for all 

Researchers Karsten Nohl and Sylvain Munaut demonstrated at the Chaos [...]

UNITED STATES EUROPE 25/08/2010

DIY mobile phone tapping 

The interception of mobile telephone calls requires a costly tapping device. Now, however, there is a low-cost alternative. [...]

UNITED STATES 07/07/2010

Private networks for the security-conscious 

Militant groups can now build their own mobile phone networks, thanks to inventive Californian hackers. [...]

UNITED STATES EUROPE 02/09/2009

Pirates and Encryption Aces Focus on Mobile Phone 

Long considered secure, the encryption of mobile telephone networks is by no means perfect. Companies are taking their precautions. [...]

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