Everything You Need to Know About AIMSICD
Privacy is always an important topic, albeit a difficult one to cover. Organizations spend millions of dollars in providing the best security systems, which are then often cracked by security researchers or hackers. You may be unaware that fake cell towers (a.k.a. Subscriber Trackers, GSM Interceptors, StingRays, IMSI-Catchers) can be used to monitor and track specific user groups and even manipulate particular phones. Scary, right?
Unfortunately, there are few parts of the globe that are free of such unethical practices as evidenced by the numerous conspiracy theories, some credible, others less so, involving the use of IMSI Catchers in various contexts such as assassinations and spying/surveillance. Today, these devices are a global phenomenon that exist not only in the developed world, and are used both by law enforcement and other groups.
Android IMSI-Catcher Detector (AIMSICD)
AIMSICD is an app that is used to detect IMSI-Catchers i.e. false cell phone base stations (towers) that act between the real towers of service providers and the target cell phone(s). As such IMSI-Catchers are often considered as Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) attacks. In the U.S., IMSI-Catcher technology is usually referred to by the name ‘StingRay’.
For this app to be fully functional, one must have a rooted android phone after which AIMSICD will alert you when your cell is attempting to connect to a suspicious base tower.
Why use AIMSICD?
The IRS, FBI, and other agencies, including local law enforcement, have purchased or regularly deploy IMSI-Catchers which can be hidden in vehicles while surveilling guns shows, protests, and may be even Tea Party rallies to obtain a record of the people in attendance for future audits.
If you happen to be in such targeted areas where catchers are deployed, all of your data can be intercepted, including your text messages, phone conversations, and your cell’s unique identification so you can be easily identified and tracked later on by this metadata.
Similarly, adversaries can deploy IMSI-Catchers to not only determine their subject’s location, but also find out who is in a specific area at any given time. Identity thieves have also been known to use these freely available tools to manipulate and monitor communications from aerial platforms in residential neighborhoods or from parked cars.
At the very least, criminals can use similar devices to steal passwords or credit card data from those who make purchases on their mobile phones.
Cellular technology today is permissive and will often connect to what seems to be a legitimate base tower in order to help keep an active link so that we can transmit data and receive calls.
Until mobile phone radios and their firmware are fully open source, it will remain difficult to fully control their interactions with base towers or anything else for that matter. Fortunately, a rooted cell phone should provide you with more control over its operating system interaction with the base tower.
The main reason why IMSI-Catchers are so commonly used is that it is quite easy to get away with it as they are virtually untraceable and would go unnoticed by the average person.
This app thus makes it easier to detect IMSI-Catchers so that their continued use is likely to expose further illegal dragnet surveillance and warrantless wiretapping that law enforcement agencies are often accused of.
It also aims to make its users safer by alerting them on possible tracking and interception, and even automatically placing your cell on airplane mode in order to avoid compromise.
What AIMSICD does
AIMSICD detects IMSI-Catchers through various detection methods such as:
- Signal strength monitoring
- Checking tower information consistency
- Checking neighboring cell information
- Detecting FemtoCells
- Cell ID/LAC Consistency
- Looking for silent SMS
- Preventing silent app installations.
AIMSICD does not:
- Provide secure data transmission
- Provide secure phone calls
- Provide secure SMS
- Provide secure application sand-boxing
- Provide app permission control
- Provide full device encryption
- Provide firewalls
- Remove bloatware and provide ROOT
- Provide already installed harmful applications from spying and full access
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