Cell Phone Sniffing

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Cell Phone Sniffing

Postby G-Stress » Sat Apr 08, 2006 6:48 pm

Does anybody know of a method to sniff cell phone conversations via wireless. Or a way to sniff or capture mobile Instant Messaging? I would greatly appreciate any info on this.
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Postby norse » Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:09 pm

There are some gadgets that would sniff cellphone convo but you need a lot of bucks of it. Sure thing NSA got one.
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Postby G-Stress » Sat Apr 08, 2006 8:56 pm

Oh yea kinda like the device that was used in the movie "Takedown" when that celluar fraud division guy captured the conversation and recorded it for tsumo?

I'm thinkin more of a way with just a wifi card. I'm the type that thinks outside the box always. I believe it's possible for the simple fact wi-fi and cell phones both used RF. I'm actually shocked there is not a popular tool out that I know of to sniff already convo, but I would like to sniff mobile Instant Messaging also.
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Postby IceDane » Sat Apr 08, 2006 9:13 pm

Oh yea kinda like the device that was used in the movie "Takedown" when that celluar fraud division guy captured the conversation and recorded it for tsumo?

I'm thinkin more of a way with just a wifi card. I'm the type that thinks outside the box always. I believe it's possible for the simple fact wi-fi and cell phones both used RF. I'm actually shocked there is not a popular tool out that I know of to sniff already convo, but I would like to sniff mobile Instant Messaging also.
You would probably have to have a Wifi card that would listen at custom frequencies, because the IEEE sees to that no devices' frequencies will collide.
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Postby ShamrockMan » Sat Apr 08, 2006 9:17 pm

There are many reasons why you cant do that. Wifi operates on 2.4GHz, cell phones operate on 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and/or 1900 MHz. Because of FCC regulations, the wifi card is built so it cannot operate on any other frequency without modification (which would be illegal if used for transmitting).

You might be able to get some weird harmonics/spillover from the cellphone, but the signal strength would be very small, and would require you to carry around a very large antenna and amplification equipment. Not to mention the crazy math required to sort out the cellphone's signal (and you will only get ½ of the conversation anyway). Also, any wifi/bluetooth devices operating nearby would drown out the signal (so if their phone has bluetooth, you couldnt do it).
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Postby G-Stress » Sat Apr 08, 2006 9:35 pm

k, thanks guys. Very useful information and it makes sense. I guess that answers my question as far as sniffing mobile instant messaging as well.

hmm... I guess I'll look a lil harder and see if I can find any information on this ever being successful.
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Postby norse » Sat Apr 08, 2006 9:41 pm

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1602417,00.asp

This is the device Ive found. But i dont know if this is really sophisticated, government do have more sophisticated gudgets.

I dont think you can really sniff the convo on this gadget it will just tell you that wi-fi spots or active links is within the area. But same concept maybe
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Postby G-Stress » Sat Apr 08, 2006 9:56 pm

Yea I've seen those devices around I believe they only sniff out 802.11 traffic though. Man I'm searching but I really am amazed I haven't ran across anyone else interested in this or that has accomplished this.
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Re:

Postby jimm1909 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:14 am

[quote="G-Stress"]Yea I've seen those devices around I believe they only sniff out 802.11 traffic though. Man I'm searching but I really am amazed I haven't ran across anyone else interested in this or that has accomplished this.

Any update to this? I have been searching for a while now with no luck.

Let me know,

Thanks.

-Jim
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Re: Cell Phone Sniffing

Postby Cool_Fire » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:12 pm

There was a talk on wideband GSM sniffing at the Chaos Computer Conference this year that made some progress, but it's not as straight forward as just picking up the right frequencies (And that's already pretty hard due to frequency hopping.) There's also a layer of encryption over it.
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Re: Cell Phone Sniffing

Postby hack4crack » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:59 pm

These days with everybody having smartphones it would probably be easier to infect your target with malware and listen to their calls that way. Either way, if you're in the US or most other countries you'd be committing some serious charges if you did this on anybody.
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Re: Cell Phone Sniffing

Postby Thor » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:27 pm

Somebody fairly recently uploaded all the presentations from Defcon 18 on YouTube. One of the talks did actually cover this. The way the speaker way doing it was fairly involved. He had a legit Ham license and station. But it was modded to also pick up GSM. Watch the video series, there are four.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXVHPNhs ... re=related
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Re: Cell Phone Sniffing

Postby psilocybin » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:50 pm

I just assumed that there was a layer of encryption over the signal that was directly linked to the SIM chip (like some sort of pre-shared public key crypto scheme) that would be pretty secure against sniffing, aside from just the difficulty of the proper demodulation. of course it's not inconceivable that the engineers didn't properly secure it, hacking would be a lot harder if that were actually the norm. so did paget actually get it working (I'll watch the video later)?
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Re: Cell Phone Sniffing

Postby black7floyd » Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:22 am

There are many different model telephone detectors in the market. You can search according to your needs and what is your prize limit. Find shark for android and sharkreader. That would be also helpful. The YMesenger app can sniff datalines.


Thanks
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Re: Cell Phone Sniffing

Postby Thor » Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:14 am

It's interesting how when this conversation started apps weren't nearly where they are. Smart phones weren't really either. I think my question would be can an app do the same things as a wireless sniffing station? Can cellphones be put into promiscuous mode the same way a 802.11 card can?
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Re: Cell Phone Sniffing

Postby Cool_Fire » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:15 pm

Can cellphones be put into promiscuous mode the same way a 802.11 card can?
In short: No. (I'm assuming you're talking about the cell radio, not the wifi chip. The wifi chip can be usually if you have your phone rooted/have the right tools etc.)

That's however a little too short. It depends on the radio in your phone, the firmware etc. There's certainly nothing stopping you picking up GSM/CDMA/whatever radio waves as long as you have the right antenna and hardware to do so. However a phone is hardly an ideal platform for this. Some fairly cheap software defined radio gear will get you a long way but picking up the radio waves is the easy part. Decoding them into anything meaningful is quite another. The protocol is well documented but it's not a clear text protocol or just raw audio you can decode or anything like that.
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Re: Cell Phone Sniffing

Postby psilocybin » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:03 am

I found this:

http://pro.01net.com/editorial/511353/t ... t-the-gsm/

so it seems that these days there isn't really any way to decrypt GSM directly unless you're the NSA (haha F***). that isn't to say that there aren't viable attacks on most cell phones, just that this one hasn't panned out with the most recent encryption standard.

in unrelated news, I never watched that talk like I said I would. I'm such a disappointment, my parents were right, etc etc.
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Re: Cell Phone Sniffing

Postby rdokoye » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:31 am

A friend of mine would like me to setup a spy phone, so I was looking at ways of doing that. I found some software, but it looks a little sketchy, and I’m not so sure about this approach.
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Re: Cell Phone Sniffing

Postby Cool_Fire » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:51 am

A friend of mine would like me to setup a spy phone [...]
What exactly do you/does he mean by "spy phone"?
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