Turning WiFi into an IMSI-Catcher

In a recent presentation at BlackHat Europe, two Oxford University academics revealed significant privacy flaws in the set up of mobile networks, allowing anyone to track mobile phones using a WiFi-enabled laptop, or other WiFi device. The work of researchers Piers O’Hanlon and Ravishankar Borgaonkar shows how to use WiFi to perform the same role as an IMSI-catcher, though their technique only permits the tracking of the phone and cannot be used for the interception of voice or data.

A synopsis of the presentation is available at the website of the Oxford University CompSci Department; see here. The full slide pack can be found at the BlackHat conference website; look here.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns

Eric is a recognized expert on communications risk and assurance. He was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and others.

 

Eric was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He was a founding member of Qatar’s National Committee for Internet Safety and the first leader of the TM Forum’s Enterprise Risk Management team. Eric currently sits on the committee of the Risk & Assurance Group, and is an editorial advisor to Black Swan. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.

 

Commsrisk is edited by Eric. Look here for more about Eric’s history as editor.