How to Protect Your Phone From Wiretapping

How to Protect Your Phone From Wiretapping

Cell phones do not have serious protection against eavesdropping. The radio waves used in cellular networks to transfer your conversations are extremely easy to detect and intercept, it is enough to have a simple set of special equipment at hand.

But this is only half the trouble. Another serious problem is copying your SIM card, which is also quite simple for modern criminals. And even encryption of information and the use of complex codes will not save here. What if someone decides to steal your favorite number or eavesdrop on you?

To begin with, we can reassure you a little – amateur radio amateurs will not get to your “mobile” conversations, since all voice information is encrypted, and this code cannot be split by non-professionals. But there are special devices that crack cryptographic algorithms responsible for encryption, and this is done quite easily. The following devices can be used to protect against such an “attack”: scramblers, speech disguises, crypto phones and special software.

A scrambler is a special encoder that real-time trans codes incoming and outgoing information. Scramblers are different from ordinary “cell” cryptography. Typically, these devices are attached directly to a mobile phone; after activation, they intercept all the signals going into the microphone, encrypt them and, in this form, send them on a further “journey”. Decoding takes place in the same order, only exactly the opposite: the received signal goes to the scrambler and from there to the speaker.

What are the advantages of scramblers?

Of the pluses, one can note almost perfect protection against listening: even your own operator will not be able to find out what you are talking about. But the big disadvantage of the scrambler is the need for this device at both ends of the conversation, that is, the caller and the responded must have compatible scramblers, otherwise an intelligible conversation is unlikely to succeed.

Yes and such confidentiality are not cheap, so the main customers for scramblers are serious businessmen whose words are really valued “worth their weight in gold”. For business people, buying this device is in the order of things. A simple layman, as a rule, has nothing to hide, so he is unlikely to spend big money on a useless trinket. Depending on the reliability and quality of encryption, a scrambler can be purchased in the price range from 500 to 2000 dollars.

The cheaper the device, the simpler the algorithm and the greater the likelihood that you will be eaves dropped. In more expensive devices, the encryption algorithms work out the money paid for them, forcing the bandits to “break their teeth” about practically impregnable signal protection.

But this “nut” can be “cracked”. The most reliable scramblers are rightfully considered devices certified in special institutions. They definitely can’t be hacked by anyone, but for the sake of such a little thing they will have to fork out – from $ 1800 and more.

Crypto phone is a fairly new device in the field of information protection, in its functions extremely similar to the operation of the scrambler: any information received or sent is encoded, and only then it is transmitted to the speaker or broadcaster.

The appearance of these devices painfully resembles the appearance of ordinary smartphones, but the software and method of application are very different from them. Devices of the German company Crypto phone dominate in the Russian market.

This device uses two fish and AES algorithms to encrypt data, providing the owners of crypto phones from Crypto phone an unrivaled level of privacy. It is also necessary to note that the German manufacturer is a purely commercial company, absolutely not associated with any state institution.

Therefore, theoretically, this company produces devices for which no one controls conversations. This fact caused a lot of contradictory statements among the inhabitants of Germany. In the meantime, Crypto phone is selling its devices on the Internet, offering everyone a very “modest” price for a set of two crypto phones – 3,500 euros.

Mastication are devices whose operating principle is fundamentally different from the actions of scramblers and crypto phones. Unlike the above devices, maskers are used in conjunction with ordinary home phones. When turned on, they create noise interference on the line, preventing outsiders from understanding the meaning of your conversation.

Naturally, you yourself do not hear any noise, since the device DE crypts the interference using a special filter. Unfortunately, maskers also do not provide one hundred percent protection from wiretapping, as they work in a one-way mode.

This means that by calling from a mobile phone to a stationary device equipped with a mask, only the person you are calling will hear you. But his answers can easily be intercepted, since your cell phone is not protected by anything.

Most likely, it is for this reason that you can buy a masking device much cheaper than the simplest scrambler. The lower price threshold for this device is $ 100, but the quality of the device will be appropriate. A more reliable masking device will cost you 700-800 American “rubles”.

Modern mobile phones and smartphones provide their owners with the opportunity to “pump” their handsets by installing additional programs on them. Among the sea of ​​such software there are programs for maintaining confidentiality of information. For example, you can protect your cellphone from copying your SMS messages using the SMS Protector program, which is compatible with any device that supports the J 2 ME platform.

We considered one part of the problem, but the equally unpleasant second part is the “cloning” of SIM cards. People who own such technology can stamp an unlimited number of SIM cards by registering the same phone number on several cards simultaneously. But until recently, the whole world wore pink glasses, believing that the GSM format could not be hacked and that it would protect subscribers from any incursion.

When the cloning of a GSM-standard telephone was publicly demonstrated by experts from California

But what is cloning and what harm can it do?

The essence of the technology is that all the information available on it is extracted from one SIM card and transferred to another card. To do this, a copy of the first phone is created.

What makes such an operation possible? 

The fact is that each GSM subscriber has a personal Subscriber Identification Module (subscriber identification module), which stores all the necessary information about its owner; you can use this module on any cell phone.

Cloning of SIM-cards has long ceased to be an overseas curiosity for Russia: invitations to post extra copies for family members and friends are posted on almost every corner of our vast Motherland.

So far, you should not particularly worry about this: to create a SIM-clone, craftsmen will need direct access to your phone, and the cloning process is quite long – several hours. At the moment, technology has not yet “grown up” to remotely copy information from SIM cards, but in the future this may well become possible.

Underground “handy craftsmen” stamping clones, and subscribers who decide to perform such an operation of their own free will, do this, first of all, at their own peril and risk. After all, mobile operators are far from loyal to such users, expressly prescribing in the contract that any kind of cloning of SIM cards, for whatever purpose it was not perfect, is strictly prohibited.

And if you become a victim of an intentional copying of your SIM card without your knowledge, please contact the law enforcement agencies with a calm mind. After all, if a copy of your SIM card falls into the wrong hands, you definitely cannot avoid problems.

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