As mobile phones become more popular in the UK, unscrupulous persons are trying to benefit from them by listening in on conversations and more importantly steal private data. So far, Sky News with the help of a German security company known as GMSK Cryptophone has discovered over 20 fake mobile phone towers operating in London alone.
With the aid of dependable software that GMSK Cryptophone produced, the team at Sky News went into action and in due time was rewarded with the find. This came as a shock to some UK citizens and many are realizing that people on the wrong end of the law are jeopardizing their privacy.
The fake mobile phone towers operators may be taking advantage of their unsuspecting victims by using International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) catchers or Stingrays to get in on mobile phone users personal data. The device is very easy to acquire and all an unscrupulous person has to do is go online and purchase one for about 1000 pounds.
Not only can criminals benefit from the use of Stingrays, but the UK police, legal private enterprises and governments as well. When the police was asked about the illegal towers in operation in London and whether they are using Stingrays to zero in on criminal sources, they did not confirm or deny anything. This action by the police leaves the public wondering if their phone data are safe.
The Stingray boxes work by tricking legal mobile towers into thinking it is one of them and opening the way for phone users that are in range to connect with them. Once this is done, the boxes will learn the IMSI number of the person and in addition will zero in on his or her location.
While the fake towers are up and running, authorities are yet to determine who the masterminds behind them are. The police in the meantime are keeping a tight lid on the entire thing.
For those persons concerned, the need to know who are doing the spying is paramount as in the past the UK police have been causing mistrust between them and citizens. In fact, since the beginning of the year, British Lawmakers reported that certain government run spy agencies operating on UK soil have been actively gathering citizens bulk private communications data for a while.
While consumers are concerned for their safety and data information, many people are wondering when the police will move in on the culprits. In addition, many persons are concerned that since the discovery of over 20 fake mobile phone towers are operating in the London area then many more might be functioning across the entire UK. If there are other fake towers present in other places of the UK, then this means the police will have their hands full when they decide to take action finally. Until then, citizens may stand a chance against the technology gangsters by trying to keep their data private and not share too many of their secrets during phone conversations.
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