Cell phone phreaking
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Thread: Cell phone phreaking

  1. #1
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    Cell phone phreaking

    I've read that one of the problems of wireless communication is cell phone security. One of the worries I read about was other people listening into cell phone calls. I have some questions.

    Is this truly possible to do?

    How do I find out if my phone is being listened in on?

    What type of phones can be listened into?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Deeboe's Avatar
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    I don't know much about Cell Phone security, but I do know this. In reality, your cell phone is not that much different than a regular land line. Once the receiving tower has received your phone call transmission, it is transmitted over land lines.

    Therefore, if you can listen in on a land line call, you can listen in on a cell phone call.

    I am not too sure how to determine if you are being listened to. My suggestion is dont say anything you shouldn't.
    If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
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    It's very possible and easy to do. I used to be able to listen to phone calls by using a TV on a certain channel and then a wireless phone. Police scanners pick them up easy too. Cell phones are not to hard to break into and there isn't really a way to tell if you're being listened to. However some phones have security and it can make them hard to listen in on. Of course the main worry shouldn't be that someone is listening to you, but that they may steal your ESN (Electronic Serial Number) which every cell has.

    All phones can be tapped.

  4. #4
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    Hey Hey,

    Work + Life = Bad Today so I came home and polished of a mickey (13oz) in under 30 minutes.. I'm a little drunk... but I think I can still offer some insight.

    Kevin Mitnick was caught by cell phone triangulation wasn't he... so how secure are they... :P... Anyways... watch Operation Takedown for more on that. it just popped in my head so I decided to say it..

    On with why I started this post... It's actually extremely simple to listen in on a cell phone... However, it's slightly more difficult to pick who you listen to...

    Think of it like a cordless phone in a big apartment building.. occasionally you pick up your neighbours calls...

    Certain cell phones (back in the day)... would go into testing mode and they'd let you listen in on phone calls... My roommate still has his old erikson... that's the only reason he ever bought it.. was so he could listen in on other peoples calls... My old nokia... I could have soldered and crossed a few pins in order to turn it into a scanner... so yes it is simple... with my roommates he just had to enter a code...

    It's no type of phone.... it's any cell phone that's in the proximity...

    Peace,
    HT
    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

  5. #5
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    Originally posted here by HTRegz
    Kevin Mitnick was caught by cell phone triangulation wasn't he... so how secure are they... :P... Anyways... watch Operation Takedown for more on that.
    I even think some British students figured out a way to locate a Stealth Bomber by using cellphone tower signal relays about 3-4 years ago.

    Cellphones are a wireless electronic communication device, just as any PC network. Some have security (I know my nextel does), but many don't. Any ameatur techie can access wireless activity with a pringle can, so I assume cellphones are just as easy, if not even easier to compromise.

    I think there was even a case about a year back of someone remotely stealing photos from celebrity cellphone cameras and selling them. So to all of your questions orenishii; yes. However, I'm not sure how to be aware if you're being tapped or not.
    \"Greatness only comes at great risk.\" ~ Personal/Generic

  6. #6
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    i bet the newer digital phones are harder to listen in on

    back in the days of analog you could probably pick up all types of interference

    digital... u need something to translate the signal right?... im assuming its done at the radio tower or switching center... so land line can be tapped... digital lines... not so easy.. but not impossiable


    just as a side note on interference

    my friend can pick up 4 radio stations on her guitar amp with a 20foot patch cord...FM
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  7. #7
    Senior Member kr5kernel's Avatar
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    Most cell phones are nothing more than low level radios. Like what was said above, they fall into a governed frequency spectrum (864-900mhz) or soemwhere in that range. While most commercial scanners are set to block out this band, it is possible to modify a cheap-o $100 ratshack scanner to eavesdrop on cell conversations.
    kr5kernel
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  8. #8
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    Re: Cell phone phreaking

    read that one of the problems of wireless communication is cell phone security. One of the worries I read about was other people listening into cell phone calls. I have some questions.

    Is this truly possible to do?
    yup it's possible.

    How do I find out if my phone is being listened in on?
    But there is no way you would know that someone is listening or receiving an image from
    your cell.

    What type of phones can be listened into? [/B][/QUOTE]
    Cell phones use radio frequency wave to transmit and receive audio and data. So, any phone
    using a frequency can be scanned and listened into.

    You can use radios that operate from 800mhz to 900mhz to scan for cell phone frequency. Some radio scanners pick up cell phone conversation in other parts of the band. This is known as "imaging" and most dual conversion scanners will pick up images 21.7 Mhz above or below the actual frequencies. Lets say you have a cell blocked scanner but your picking up calls at 901.690 MHz (this is the scrambled band). If you minus 21.7 MHz away you would get 879.990 MHz. This is where the real conversation is taking place.
    Listen closely to your enemies. They tell you your faults.

  9. #9
    Gonzo District BOFH westin's Avatar
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    If you have access to 'Freedom Downtime' (2600's DVD) the second dvd has some footage of people intercepting cellphone transmissions. It is kind of comical, and very interesting.

  10. #10
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    I'm with Hexadecimal on this one. IIRC newer phones are digital and you need something to interpret the signals. I also believe that they transmit on a different frequency now. I know the old cell phones, the bricks, would work in the 800-900Mhz range. I'll have to try screwin around with all my obsolete/broken/collected cell phones and see what they really do.

    What I'm more tempted to do, is modify one of my obsolete phones and create one of those cell phone jammers so that no ones phones work within about 10 feet of me.

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