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