You must be hearing this word rather frequently on various platforms and mostly is a negative light. In simple words, an IMSI catcher enables a person to spy on other people’s mobile phones. IMSI stands of International Mobile Subscribers Identity. It is a number unique for each individual and is located at the SIM card. IMSI allows mobile phone users to communicate with each other all across the globe. However, knowing the fine points of ISMI catchers entails more information than that. This article describes how ISMI works, it’s disadvantages and how to properly utilize it.
How does it Work?
In order to use your ISMI and make communications with other users from all over the world, you need to identify your IMSI number with a network provider. The network provider serves as the base tower from which you get your satellite signals.
However, one major pitfall in this system is that the network does not need to authenticate to the users. This creates opportunities for hackers to use an IMSI Catcher which serves as the base tower and connects to the users instead of the official network provider. The hacker acts as the man in the middle and this type of cyber attack is called man in the middle attack. Users will never become aware of the fact that they are connected to a malicious network while the hacker exploits their personal information and intercept communications.
This situation is obviously bad for the general public but it is even more dangerous for businesses and the government. The hackers can get access to confidential information and misuse it to damage the government. Moreover, the malicious third-party can intercept official emails between two business companies and take financial advantage from it. So many companies have already suffered this type of cyber attack which cost them more than millions of dollars.
Uses of IMSI Catcher
There are various uses of IMSI catchers, most of them negative. But depending on the person using this technology, its negative and dangerous uses can become positive and useful. The following are mostly the functions an IMSI catcher can perform.
- An IMSI catcher helps in locating a specific person through his or her IMSI number since it serves as a base mobile tower for all the phones within a specific area.
- Police department and intelligence services can track thieves and other dangerous people through IMSI catcher.
- It enables a person to intercept mobile communication between many people which is considered a violation of privacy laws but it helps immensely when it comes to diverting state dangers.
- You can also record live phone calls and texts messages with the help of a GSM interceptor or an IMSI catcher. Usually hackers use this function to steal huge sums of money from major business companies.
- Intelligence Services as well as police offices use IMSI catchers to gain the exact location of a criminal on the run.
- It can also play an important role when it comes to negotiating with terrorists.