Don’t let yourself be ‘Spoofed’

While scrolling through the latest news (mobile related, of course), I came across an article that literally gave me chills! The article was about International Mobile Subscriber Identity catchers (IMSI) that are used to fool (spoof) cell phones into thinking they’re connecting to a cellphone tower. As the cartoon illustrates below, the IMSI catcher (aka StingRay) directs the cell phone to connect to it and once that occurs any text or phone call can be intercepted. The worst part is that the spoof is almost undetectable (though I’d be curious what tricks the NSA may have up their sleeve). If that weren’t damaging enough the IMSI also reveals the location of the cellphone.

But all hope is not lost! According to the article-

IMSI catchers work in part by getting phones to connect to 2G networks, whose security is notoriously weak. Clancy said wireless carriers that have already decommissioned 2G networks — and most have — should update their policies so that their phones connect only to more secure networks unless they’re roaming. Current iPhones, for example, don’t have this capability, and Androids require users to take special steps to disable 2G.

The article makes it sound like you need an advanced IT degree to disable 2G on your BlackDroid, but it’s actually very simple.

  • Open ‘Settings
  • Under ‘Wireless & networks‘ select ‘… More
  • Select ‘Cellular networks
  • Now select ‘Preferred network type
  • Here is where you select ‘4G LTE&4G/3G

As long as we get routine security patches, avoid 2G and use common sense we can rest assured that BlackBerry has us covered.



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