Running head: Cell towers 1
Cell towers 5
Fake Cell Phone Towers
Christopher J. Smyth
Fake Cell Phone Towers
Cell phones first became widely available in the United States in the 1990s, but since then their use has increased dramatically. The widespread use of cell phones has led to cell phone towers being placed in many communities. Cell phones communicate with nearby cell towers mainly through radiofrequency (RF) waves, a form of energy in the electromagnetic spectrum between FM radio waves and microwaves. Like FM radio waves, microwaves, visible light, and heat. Fake cell phone towers are basically the same but are not used by cell phone companies.
“These fake towers, known as “interceptors,” were discovered in July by users of the CryptoPhone500, one of the ultra-secure cell phones released after Edward Snowden’s leaks about NSA snooping[footnoteRef:1].” The CryptoPhone500 is an advanced Samsung Galaxy S3 with a customized high-level encryption. The phone costs about $3,500. Users of the phone were driving around the country plotting where these fake towers were located. They were able to find them as each cell phone tower usually has the cell providers name associated with them like Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T. The towers they plotted where towers that the phone connected to that were nameless that also set off an alert that the phones encryption has been turned off. With the encryption turned off on the phone it allows the user of the cell tower to read the phones text messages. [1: Newsweek]
If a phone connects to a fake tower, who ever operates the tower can listen to the phone calls and intercpet the text messages while sending out fake messages also while in the towers range. The tower also has the ablitly to use the cell signel to track and and monitor the cell phones location. Each tower has a type of interceptor to be able to track or storge the information that it is receiving from the cell phones. There is IMSI cathers which collects cell phone information and stores them for later use. Then there is Active GSM Interceptors that acts as a “middle man” that intercepts cellphone traffic between two devices.
“About 17 “fake” cell towers that have been found across America. The only problem with the story is the cell phone “towers” are not necessarily towers at all[footnoteRef:2].” There are now around 45 towers that have been found around the U.S.. Not all interceptors are actual cell phone towers. A device called a stingray can do many of the same things a fake cell tower can do. There are different types of stingrays which makes it makes it easier for someone to try and track c...