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Wiretapping of the Mobile (cell) phones


Posted: 20 Sep 2007
Wiretapping of the Mobile (cell) phones

Any cell phone can be wiretapped. The phone can be wiretapped even if you are not talking on it. The microphone of the phone can be compulsory turn on by the individuals in charge of this and then all the talks on the phone could be wiretapped. Similar opportunities have digital phones of the DECT standard.

In case your conversations on the phone are being wiretapped you’ll never be able to notice this, there will be no signs on your mobile phone or with connection. The fact of wiretapping of the mobile phones can not be detected. If in the analog telephone lines it is quite easy to detect a tacit intervention, the digital mobile networks work on another principle, and exclude such a possibility.

It is clear, that it is not possible to wiretap everybody neither technically nor because of the limited human resources that can be brought to fulfill this task. Also, it is difficult to obtain judicial order of the sanction for wiretapping. Although, the wiretapping can be done easily just to get the operation information without the sanction (the results of the phone tapping will never ever be revealed).

The vast majority of the cellular subscribers trust their secret talks to their phones. But the experts advise to discuss on the phone only those issues which can be safely discussed in a crowded lift. It is rather clear as the standard GSM do not provide adequate secrecy. And it is not so easy to protect your talks on the mobile phone.

The disputes about the safety of the cellular GSM standards do not die down since their apparition. "No one in the world has demonstrated the possibility of intercepting of calls on the GSM network. As far as is known, there is no such equipment capable of intercepting of calls”, claimed James Moran in 1999, the director of security consortium of GSM. "A number of companies sell equipment for GSM phone wiretapping. And this director of security, is either lying, or incompetent, or both", retorted expert in the field of communications Peter Gutman from the University of Auckland (New Zealand).

«Three GSM secret algorithms (that are officially closed) make up the principle of the GSM security system. They are said only to those who need it, - equipment suppliers, and communication operators ", information technology expert Kiwi Bird explains the basic principles for the protection in his book «Gigabyte of power ". Despite such protection, calls from the mobile phones can still be wiretapped. Besides, experts in the field of security recognize that the phone is a potential spy, able to reveal secrets to the foreigners even when turned off. To fully protect yourself from the wiretapping is possible only if to draw out the battery from the phone. It is unlawful to do wiretapping. Private detective agencies do not do this. This is a special prerogative of the secret services. Moreover, the expensive technology is needed for this.

Not less expensive and difficult is to defend the phone from wiretapping. The first variant is to use special cryptotelephones, which have built-in means of conversation encryption. It is also possible to protect your talks by means of the programs. They are not many too. Australian company Secure GSM developed one of them by means of natives of Russia. Software (it costs $200) is installed in the communicator working under Windows Mobile. "We do not give ciphers to any agencies and special services under any pressure. But all such software, which will be established in your area, will have a hidden door for special services agencies. Otherwise, they will not be able to receive certification", says in the company.

How to reduce the possibility of mobile phone wiretapping:

  • Avoid or try to minimize the transfer of confidential information such as credit card numbers, financial issues, and passwords.
  • Do not use cell phones for business conversations. Or for that purpose use specially developed mobile phone systems and noise-masking systems.
  • It is more difficult to wiretap a conversation that takes place in a moving car, as the distance between it and wiretapping equipment (if it is not in the car) increases thus fading the signal.
  • Use the communication systems, in which the data are transmitted at a great speed at frequent automatic frequencies changing during the conversation (for example, GPRS).
  • Turn off your mobile phone completely, if you don’t want anyone to know your location.
  • It is not worth repairing your mobile phone in the doubtful repair shops.
VIA Mobile devices
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