What is 2G, 3G, 4G?

Introduction With all the recent fuss over 4G / LTE.  Pentura thought a nice blog post highlighting the changes and developments of mobile infrastructure would be interesting for our readers.  Below is a high-level description of the 2G, 3G, 3G-Femto and finally 4G networks. 2G 2G (GSM/GPRS) is the initial backbone for all mobile infrastructure.  At the front end it comprises of a Radio Tower (BTS) , and the Base…

Global Tracking of People via Mobile Networks

Introduction A recent client was concerned that their Directors were being tracked and their location (Country) was being published and updated regularly on a stalker website.  The website contained the Company name, Directors name, and the name of the Country they currently resided in followed by the Country’s flag.  The question arose; How are they tracking us? Initial thoughts were that something quite simple or trivial was happening such as…

What is SIGTRAN? SS7? SCTP?

Introduction SIGTRAN is the name, derived from signaling transport, of the former Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) working group that produced specifications for a family of protocols that provide reliable Datagram service and user layer adaptations for Signaling System 7 (SS7) and ISDN communications. The SIGTRAN protocols are an extension of the SS7 protocol family. It supports the same application and call management paradigms as SS7 but uses an Internet Protocol (IP) transport called Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP). Indeed,…

Sim Cloning

Introduction SIM cloning is the process in which a legitimate SIM card is duplicated. When the cloning is completed, the cloned SIM card’s identifying information is transferred onto a separate, secondary SIM card. The secondary card can then be used in a different phone while having all calls and associated charges attributed to the original SIM card. The phrase SIM clone is often used to refer to the SIM card that has been successfully…

IMSI Catchers

An IMSI catcher is essentially a false mobile tower acting between the target mobile phone(s) and the service providers real towers. As such it is considered a Man-in-The-Middle (MiTM) attack. It is used as an eavesdropping device used for interception and tracking of cellular phones and usually is undetectable for the users of mobile phones. With the recent wave of femto cell technology  available to the general public; Hackers are turning these useful devices…

Telephony Hacking and Fraud | Securing Telephony Systems

Telephony Fraud Telephony Hacking and Fraud is once again on the rise.  Phone Phreaking was common between the 60’s and 90’s; it allowed Phreakers to place free calls and access Remote Dial-In computers; from there they would add voicemail boxes, snoop on phone lines, add call forwarding etc. Phreaking once again is emerging with modern technology (VOIP, SIP, IAX etc).  Just like open web-services, that allow public internet users to…