Cell phone surveillance techniques

What you should know about the ‘Stingray’ surveillance device used by police

This copy is for your personal non-commercial use only. Toronto police also have not disclosed any policies related to the device, also known as an IMSI catcher, including what it plans to do with the data of thousands of innocent bystanders that will be swept up when it is used. Broadly speaking, an IMSI International Mobile Subscriber Identity catcher mimics a cellphone tower, forcing all mobile devices within range to connect to it. In the time that the device is activated — usually under 15 minutes — it quickly captures unique identifying data from each of the cellphones within its range, and then releases those phones to reconnect to cellular networks.

Police forces across Canada have declined to disclose which models they use, their operating range, or most other technical details, arguing that doing so would compromise investigative techniques. But through a few court cases that have come to light, we do know the devices have been used to identify unknown cellphones carried by criminal suspects — usually in major drugs, guns and gang cases, where targets often change their phones to frustrate investigators. It works like this. After getting a warrant to use the device, police follow a suspect from location to location and activate the IMSI catcher at each site, capturing unique identifiers on any cellphones carried by the suspect but also from the cellphones of whoever else is in range.

Then, police go through the data and gather the cellphone identifiers that appeared at all the locations. These identifiers should belong to the suspect. With another warrant, police can connect the cellphone identifiers to subscriber information, like a name and address. And with further judicial approval, police can then find out what numbers the suspect is dialing on that phone, or wiretap the phone and listen in on conversations. Less often, an IMSI catcher is used to track a single known cellphone.

This is usually, but not always, used in exigent circumstances, like kidnappings and missing persons cases. In those cases, a device is sometimes used without a warrant.

http://leondumoulin.nl/language/user/the-lady-of-the-blue.php Toronto police have said that their devices do not capture private communications like calls, texts or emails. Instead, they capture several kinds of unique identifiers that allow cellular networks to recognize a particular cellphone. Some of those are:. Why should I care if the police capture mine?

You might not care. Police strongly emphasize that they need a court-issued warrant to associate subscriber information — your name, address, and actual telephone number — to an IMSI or IMEI number, and that evidence of criminal activity is required to obtain that warrant. You might think that police capturing random serial codes associated with your cellphone is a fair price to pay for helping investigators gather evidence that will put criminals in prison.

More on that later. Thousands of bystanders caught in Toronto police sweep of cellphone data. Toronto police tight-lipped on details around acquisition of controversial surveillance tool. Opinion: Police should end needless secrecy about cellphone surveillance.

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However, while the cage or bag might block your phone from revealing its location, it doesn't really prevent it from spying audio if it is already. A number of techniques and devices have been developed to carry out However, these traditional cellphone surveillance methods are still in.

Privacy experts care about this technology for several reasons. For one, it is broadly intrusive: it hoovers up information on thousands of bystanders in addition to suspects. The Star analyzed RCMP IMSI catcher data logs from a two-month period in a investigation, and found that as officers targeted 11 suspects, they swept up cellphone data on at least 20, and as many as 25, bystanders.

Because we all carry our cellphones around constantly, these unique identifiers are a proxy for you in a particular location at a particular time. Again, police say they need a warrant to associate a name to any of this captured data. But research has shown that supposedly anonymous metadata, especially cellphone metadata, is easily linked to individuals. Lastly, privacy experts are concerned by the lack of transparency and accountability surrounding this technology, and how secretive police have been about the devices. Toronto police have said their third party data policies are still being developed and will be in place before the device is used.

The force has in the past asked RCMP to operate an IMSI catcher on its behalf; in , two years after Toronto police denied it ever used the technology, the Star learned it had in five separate investigations. While some companies mention this in their list of features, ActivTrak brags about it and mentions the possibility of invisible install on the second place on its features page, just under the fact that the solution is free. And, even worse, many solutions offer invisible installs, with Teramind being among them.

On top of being able to be installed even remotely via company servers invisibly, many employee monitoring solutions offer stealth monitoring feature, like ActivTrak and Teramind, which can be misused in certain scenarios. Just imagine you are sick and have to work from home. In order to get the work done, you need to connect to your company server in order to access your files and workstation data. And if your company uses an employee tracking and monitoring app that offers incognito installation, your PC might end up infected with tracking software, which behaves like a virus and works in the background.

And then imagine it records what you do while you use your PC for personal interests. This can be a catastrophic assault on your privacy, especially because many solutions offer keyloggers, keyword tracking, with a couple even coming with remote desktop control. Yup, in that imaginary situation you would end up being percent transparent to your employer.

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Okay, keyword tracking can be very important for some companies, especially those dealing with new technologies and solutions, and having a keyword tracker can save important company data that should stay in the company. But keyloggers, programs that record every single letter typed on a keyboard, are something else. While many solutions such as Hubstaff , Interguard, and Work Examiner offer the same feature, Teramind offers the most powerful keystroke logger capable of recording every single keystroke, capable of searching through a base of potentially malicious keystrokes, capable of creating keystroke database, and much more.

This also is a clear invasion of employee privacy and is just one step over the line. Keyloggers, on the other hand, record everything and it can truly be dangerous. In combination with live video monitoring, IM monitoring yup, most solutions offer full monitoring of instant messaging apps , audio monitoring, and performance monitoring, keystroke loggers can create a highly toxic work environment filled with paranoia.

Top 3 Questions About Cell Phone Surveillance, Spying, Hacking & Tracking

While Skype or some other app may be used as the main messaging app between employees, spying on their conversations cannot be justified by the fact that the said app is used for company-related conversations. As is the case with most other extreme ways of monitoring employees, most popular employee tracking solutions offer IM tracking.

And almost every employee monitoring app does support one of the said features. But let us be concise and show some examples. Teramind offers even more powerful IM tracking feature that includes the ability to track any conversation meaning that the program can track any IM app , along with keyword loggers, the creation of metadata bases, the ability to capture all chat content, and customized alerts.

This feature can see numerous misuses, making employees fear their bosses all an administrator has to do in order for them to know if some executive is mentioned in chats, is to enter their names as keywords instead of respecting them, which can be very bad for the general work atmosphere. And this is only one potential misuse; just imagine what an administrator, or executive with bad intentions can do with a feature this powerful.

Understanding Threats, Indices & Protection

Alerts are fine, they are here to inform idle workers, or those who like to visit social networks a bit too much, to get back to work and chill out or visit their news feed during breaks, but having the ability to head-on overtake control over a workstation is something pretty extreme. Not many employee tracking solutions offer this.

In fact, the only one that offers a full remote desktop control, at least out of the ones we researched, is Teramind. As you can see below, the platform offers a live remote desktop control that can overtake control over a workstation immediately. This is one of the most extreme ways of employee monitoring, at least when talking about classic employee tracking and monitoring solutions. The mobile app is available for iOS and Android and basically offers full access to a mobile device.

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The app can also track user activity on Tinder and Instagram! It is, plain and simple, a spying app. Unfortunately, on top of regular employee monitoring software, there are numerous spying apps that are available for mobile devices. And you should see the worst features these spy apps have to offer. When talking about spying apps most us first think about mobile ones.

And yes, today we will talk about them.

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All of our readers should know that there are numerous spying solutions for PCs, but since companies can get most spying features like live video desktop feeds, remote desktop control, IM apps monitoring, etc. This is not a secret, that they were created to able to spy on a cell phone remotely. With a spying app employees can every single thing available with classic employee monitoring solutions, and more.

Most of these spying apps are advertised as perfect solutions for worried parents who want to know what their children do while on a smartphone or tablet.

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But, some of them also present themselves as perfect solutions for employers who want to know everything about their workers, which is worrying, highly worrying. By this we mean all types of communication you can do on a smartphone. While some of them offer a classic list of features, like Mobile Spy , which provides the usual suite of spying features when it comes to communication on a smartphone such as viewing call history, getting access contacts, reading messages and email, other apps do even worse things. Spyera , for instance, offers automatic phone call recording.

Yes, they offer their users a way to listen to every phone call made on the infected device, which is extremely disturbing. Just imagine your boss having access to every phone call you made on your business phone. Since most of us use our business devices for an occasional call with friends and family, the ability to listen to every phone call made is an extreme privacy invasion. Spyera has a neat little table showing all supported apps and brags about its ability to capture photos, smilies, stickers and shared locations.

Apps To Do The Spying

Enjoyed this article? You learn a lot from your mistakes; kids need to make mistakes and do stupid things. Just5 phone really works well. View the map in full-screen mode. I have tried most of tracking, spying, monitoring software features. I mean, how hard can it be to stay faithful?

So, yeah, if your company decides to install a spying app on your business phone get ready to say goodbye to your privacy. They will be able to spy on literally any communication form supported on a smartphone. But this is just the start. Spyera thought about this and offers VOIP calls spying. So, on top of being able to track every call log, to record each and every call made on the infected device, some spy apps even offer VOIP calls recording.

Internet monitoring is another thing most spy apps offer, and it includes all the usual features like browsing history and bookmarks along with timestamps of when each site was visited and how much time a user visited certain sites. You probably expected for a keylogging capability to be on the features list, and here it is.