New Stingray 2008 Portable
A Stingray closely resembles a portable cellphone tower. Typically, law enforcement officials place the Stingray in their vehicle with a compatible computer software. The Stingray acts as a cellular tower to send out signals to get the specific device to connect to it. Cell phones are programmed to connect with the cellular tower offering the best signal. When the phone and Stingray connect, the computer system determines the strength of the signal and thus the distance to the device. Then, the vehicle moves to another location and sends out signals until it connects with the phone. When the signal strength is determined from enough locations, the computer system centralizes the phone and is able to find it.
New Stingray 2008 Portable
Cell phones are programmed to constantly search for the strongest signal emitted from cell phone towers in the area. Over the course of the day, most cell phones connect and reconnect to multiple towers in an attempt to connect to the strongest, fastest, or closest signal. Because of the way they are designed, the signals that the Stingray emits are far stronger than those coming from surrounding towers. For this reason, all cell phones in the vicinity connect to the Stingray regardless of the cell phone owner's knowledge. From there, the stingray is capable of locating the device, interfering with the device, and collecting personal data from the device.
GSM primarily encrypts communications content using the A5/1 call encryption cypher. In 2008 it was reported that a GSM phone's encryption key can be obtained using $1,000 worth of computer hardware and 30 minutes of cryptanalysis performed on signals encrypted using A5/1. However, GSM also supports an export weakened variant of A5/1 called A5/2. This weaker encryption cypher can be cracked in real-time. While A5/1 and A5/2 use different cypher strengths, they each use the same underlying encryption key stored on the SIM card. Therefore, the StingRay performs "GSM Active Key Extraction" during step three of the man-in-the-middle attack as follows: (1) instruct target device to use the weaker A5/2 encryption cypher, (2) collect A5/2 encrypted signals from target device, and (3) perform cryptanalysis of the A5/2 signals to quickly recover the underlying stored encryption key. Once the encryption key is obtained, the StingRay uses it to comply with the encryption request made to it by the service provider during the man-in-the-middle attack.
Local law enforcement and the federal government have resisted judicial requests for information about the use of stingrays, refusing to turn over information or heavily censoring it. In June 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union published information from court regarding the extensive use of these devices by local Florida police. After this publication, United States Marshals Service then seized the local police's surveillance records in a bid to keep them from coming out in court.
The other controversy with stingrays involves secrecy and lack of transparency around their use. Law enforcement agencies and the companies that make the devices have prevented the public from obtaining information about their capabilities and from learning how often the technology is deployed in investigations. Agencies sign nondisclosure agreements with the companies, which they use as a shield whenever journalists or others file public records requests to obtain information about the technology. Law enforcement agencies claim criminals could craft anti-surveillance methods to undermine the technology if they knew how it worked. The companies themselves cite trade secrets and proprietary information to prevent the public from obtaining sales literature and manuals about the technology.
The problem, however, is that Justice Department policy is not law. And although the policy includes state and local law enforcement agencies when they are working on a case with federal agents and want to use the devices, it does not cover those agencies when they are working on cases alone. To address this loophole, lawmakers would need to pass a federal law banning the use of stingrays without a warrant, but efforts to do so have so far been unsuccessful.
Q: What versions of Windows are supported by Stinger?A: Windows 2008 R2, 7, 8, 10, 2012, 2016, RS1, RS2, RS3, RS4, RS5, 19H1, 19H2, 20H1, 20H2, 21H1. In addition, Stinger requires the machine to have Internet Explorer 8 or above.
The New York Police Department has used controversial cellphone tracking technology over a thousand times since 2008 and appears to have farmed out the devices to law enforcement agencies up and down the East Coast, from Florida to Massachusetts.
Delaware State Police can track a cellphone using a portable electronic gadget that once was the domain of secret agents and the military. Advanced models allow law enforcement to view location information, text messages, numbers called, emails and even stored photos.
The News Journal has learned through Freedom of Information Act requests that $949,704 has been paid to Melbourne, Florida-based Harris Corp. for hardware and training for technology called cell-site simulators, commonly known as Stingrays, between 2008 and 2014.
The Delaware State Police is one of at least 60 law enforcement agencies nationwide equipped with Stingray, according to the ACLU, which has been studying the proliferation of the technology. Last week, the group released documents it obtained showing that the New York Police Department had used the device over 1,000 times since 2008.
In the midst of the Apple vs. FBI clash about releasing access to cellphone information, Delaware has been hit with its own phone-privacy (or lack thereof) bombshell: According to a story in The News Journal, the state police department possesses top-secret portable cell-tracking systems known as Stingrays.Chris Williams, Delaware Agenda publisher (and Technical.ly Delaware contributor) wrote in his newsletter a brief explanation of how they work:
The suitcase-sized devices are small enough to be easily packed into cars, and can even be carried by a police officer on foot. In broad data-scooping mode, they suck up info from any mobile phones in a particular area that are switched on. This data enables police to locate individual phones. However, law-enforcement agencies claim that domestic stingrays do not record the actual content of calls or texts.
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