Dept. of Homeland Security says it found evidence of rogue cellphone listening devices in D.C.

Dept. of Homeland Security says it found evidence of rogue cellphone listening devices in D.C.
Worried that foreign spies are eavesdropping on the conversations you have on your cellphone? If you live in Washington D.C., you do have a reason to be concerned. Remember, it isn't paranoia if someone is out to get you. The U.S. government today acknowledged that rogue listening devices known as cell-site simulators have been discovered in the nation's capital. These devices work by tricking cellphones into believing that they are real cell towers and the phone locks into the simulator. This allow those spying to see the location of the 'fooled' cellphone. Some versions of the device can trick a phone into using unencrypted 2G service, which can allow the spies to listen in to a conversation. Other versions of the illegal device can install malware on a phone.

In a letter to Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) dated March 26th, the Department of Homeland Security admitted that it had discovered an undisclosed number of cell-site simulators in Washington D.C. The tone of the letter is ominous. It says that The National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) believes that the use of the simulators is a "real and growing risk." In a statement released on Tuesday, Wyden said that "leaving security to the phone companies has proven to be disastrous." He also said that there is "clear evidence that our phone networks are being exploited by foreign governments and hackers."

This new report comes 6 weeks after the U.S. government warned consumers in the states not to buy Huawei handsets because the company is "effectively an arm of the Chinese government." Back in 2012, a report claimed that Huawei and ZTE phones and networking equipment spy on U.S. consumers and corporations. Huawei recently said that this is all "groundless speculation."

The cell-site simulators can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $200,000. They can be as small as a cellphone or the size of a briefcase. They are placed in cars, inside buildings, or inside low-flying aircraft. And they can trick your phone into giving up your privacy.


source: DocumentCloud via AP

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16 Comments

1. PhoenixFirebird

Posts: 125; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

Why you all hate China -,-

9. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

I have no clue why China or Huawei or ZTE are even mentioned in this article. But the use of fake base stations has become quite common in China by criminals. Not the government or OEM's but criminals trying to steal your information. Xiaomi's MIUI 9 even has a setting called "Protection from fake base stations". So it wouldn't be much of a stretch for US criminals to be trying the same thing.

15. GalaxyLeads_iCrapFollows

Posts: 216; Member since: Nov 29, 2017

Although there isn't any solid proof yet that this was done by the chinese, the likelihood that the spying was done by the chinese is higher than anybody else, which is why they were mentioned. That's why huawei, xiaomi, zte, and all of those chinese phones and companies should be banned from the US.

16. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

I agree 100% and let's also ban everything else from China on a selective basis. Oh I forgot, the orange buffoon has that started already and it's going "great".

2. notfair

Posts: 755; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

Nobody said it was china or russia maybe it was the cia and they have no clue about it, maybe it was all a simulation to check out this possibility.

5. mootu

Posts: 1530; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

That letter also says these devices are being used by law enforcement in the US. More proof of government spying on it's own populace.

7. Phantom1031

Posts: 264; Member since: Aug 02, 2014

For years USA has been playing this game, they put such doubts in minds of their people and whole world that all the nations of world are behind USA and want to destroy them. Till now no any state has dared to do such a thing. Just a hoax, in their own Hollywood movies they show they are involved in politics of all regions and countries, they have blood of those people on their hands. Just think who has the most powerful armed forces and the most sophisticated weapons on face of earth, if anyone dared to attack USA they will be dead fools in few minutes. As being student of I.R and political science, I dont think anyone dares to do anything stupid against USA

8. Phantom1031

Posts: 264; Member since: Aug 02, 2014

As a south asian person I don't have any hatred in my heart against USA, if anything is going wrong in our countries, it is because of our own leadership and politicians

10. Not_Amused321

Posts: 65; Member since: Jan 06, 2013

Don't pay your bills online in DC

11. tangbunna

Posts: 485; Member since: Sep 29, 2016

Made in USA. licensed by FCC and UL listed.

13. smoked_2na unregistered

Justice is blind to making everyone play by the same rules. If a government agency doesn't like the rules, they make a provision for themselves making it legal. Bet all these devices are owned by government agencies that won't admit ownership.

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