Motherboard Article: Creating an IMSI Catcher with an RTL-SDR
Motherboard, an online technology magazine has recently run an article titled "With $20 of Gear from Amazon, Nearly Anyone Can Make This IMSI-Catcher in 30 Minutes". The article describes how an RTL-SDR together with the IMSI-Catcher Linux software can be used to collect IMSI numbers from cellphones connected to a nearby cell tower. The IMSI is a unique number assigned to each SIM card and collecting this data could be used to identify if someone is in the area covered by the cell tower.
The IMSI-Catcher software only works with the older 2G GSM signals which are now being phased out in some countries and are relatively unused in others. Also unlike more advanced IMSI-Catchers which create a fake cell tower signal, the RTL-SDR based IMSI-Catcher can only collect IMSI numbers when the cellphone first connects to the cell tower.
One of our older posts with a YouTube tutorial video explains the RTL-SDR IMSI Catcher in more detail.
Germany still has 2G and announced to instead phase out 3G
The author of the article on Motherboard is clueless. That is all.
Yes by far, I can’t believe every other blog is picking up this stupid story.
at least the RTL blog had the courtesy to mention that this is basically useless unless you’re targeting a 2G network that you’re not going to find most places anymore.
as much as I want to like the motherboard team it is a cesspool of ignorance just trying to peddle whatever hot topic it can to make a quick Buck on advertising.
It’s not even an IMSI catcher, it is a passive IMSI sniffer. The author exaggerated to get more media attention and publicly admitted doing so.