What is imsi catcher and what is the use of it?
IMSI catcher is an interfering piece of technology which we can use to track and locate all mobile phones that are working and receiving signals in a certain area. An IMSI Catcher acts as a cell phone jammer, and it does this by acting like a mobile phone tower. This device then tricks your phone and makes it connects to itself like the normal network making it easy to have access to your details without your approval or your knowledge. IMSI Catchers are indiscriminate surveillance tools or trackers which could be used to trail or track who attends a public event like a cinema or a political demonstration. With the use of IMSI Catchers, somebody somewhere can be monitoring your calls and also edit your messages without you knowing that anything is happening.
Identifying an IMSI Catcher
All mobile phones have the requirement to improve reception. In a situation whereby there is more than one base available stations in an area of the subscribed network operator, a mobile phone will have to select the one that has the strongest signal. However, an IMSI Catcher will have to disguise like a base station with the strongest network and causes all mobile phones within a defined radius in the area to connect to the simulated network operator. However, the transmission will be forced to the IMSI with the help of a special identity request.
How Does an IMSI Catcher Locate My Identity?
Every mobile phone has an IMSI (which means International Mobile Subscriber Identity) number. This number is unique to every SIM card. This number is shown once your mobile phone is connected to an IMSI Catcher. The police can determine your identity easily once they have this unique number. There is no way you cannot be a victim except you are not in an area with the IMSI catcher network.
Tapping A Mobile Phone
Since the IMSI Catcher appears to mobile phones in the vicinity like a preferred base station as regards the signal strength, it thereby subjects the phones to the attack by a man-in-the-middle. However, the IMSI Catcher logs into the GSM network simultaneously as a mobile station with the help of a SIM card present in the phone. The IMSI Catcher can then induce the mobile station to make use of no encryption. It can then encode the plain text traffic to the base station from the mobile station. However, there is no direct link between the IMSI Catcher and the GSM network from the mobile station. With this, it is impossible for the incoming phone calls to patch through the network station except with the use of modern devices like RF Jamming Equipment that comes with their patch-through solutions for mobile phones to provide this functionality. We hope you have a better understanding of what is IMSI catcher.