Rogue cell towers discovered in Washington, D.C. | CSO Online

A simple drive with a CryptoPhone reveals fifteen new rogue sites, by Steve Ragan

Towards the end of July, ESD America, the makers of the ultra-secure CryptoPhone, said that their engineers and customers had discovered more than a dozen rogue cell towers (also known as interceptors or IMSI catchers) around the U.S.

New information shows that the discovered towers might only represent a small fraction of the whole, and what’s been discovered doesn’t account for the mobile base stations that are only active on a limited basis.

Interceptors are a huge risk if used by a malicious actor. That’s because once a device connects to them, the interceptor’s operator can perform a number of tasks, including eavesdrop on calls or text messages, or in some cases push data (spyware for example) to the device. This is why they’re only supposed to be used by law enforcement or the government.

However, that doesn’t mean that the government or law enforcement haven’t found themselves in the hot seat for abusing an interceptor’s functionality. The potential for abuse and wide availability of the technology, including home-grown versions that work just as well as their commercial counterparts, means that the existence of unknown interceptors are a major concern. Continue reading

Why Ham Radio Is Still Handy | Technology News

“Ham radio has worked in emergencies where nothing else gets through. …,” said Ham teacher Norm Goodkin. “It’s also helping build basic skills — skills that are no longer taught in school — improving not only our ability to communicate in disasters, but adding back some of the ‘lost tools’ that Americans used to be famous for — the ability to do things ourselves.”

The tragic events of Sept. 9, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 highlighted two phenomena common in disasters: Network communications tower sites were destroyed, and network traffic overwhelmed systems — two distinct issues causing failure in both public safety, and consumer-oriented communications. Continue reading

Test Of The EAS System on November 9th | The Retreat.

via The Retreat: Test Of The EAS System on November 9th..

If you had not already heard there will be a system wide test of the EAS Emergency Alert System on November 9th at 2:00 pm EST. This will mean that for the test all Radio, and Television signal will be cut off for the test all at the same time nation wide. What does this mean for us? Well it shows us that in the case of a national emergency or better yet Martial Law that our Federal Government has the ability to shut down communication’s across the nation. Granted this will only be a test and has been handed over to FEMA and the FCC to implement. I have a few questions though. First, why is this the first time they have done a system wide test? Second, It seems an odd coincidence that it follows the first ever month long multi state exercise done by FEMA in it’s history. Thirdly, It is also involving other departments of Homeland Security. Granted I am no rocket scientist but it seems odd because of the timing and the involvement of other homeland security departments. To say the least I am a bit concerned about this test. The fact that our government can at it’s will have the ability to shut down all forms of communications is a bit horrifying to me. I already knew that they had the ability to shut down internet and cell phone service anytime they saw fit but to have the ability to shut down all communications across the country is not very comforting. It begs the question what is the test supposed to prove and why now? The economy is in the toilet and the future is not looking so bright right now. Its this a harbinger of things to come or just a simple test. I hate conspiratorial crap and usually try to find some sane answer to things like this. This whole thing is not common knowledge and has not been talked about over any of the radio and television stations that I have been tuned into. You can find info about it on the Homeland Security website but who ever really go to their site unless they really need some type of information? If it was just a simple test don’t you think that most of the stations would be letting everyone know what is going on before hand? I think that there are going to be a ton of people across the nation calling into their local 911 call center wondering what the hell is going on….