How to make a $7 cellphone sniffer

See the original posting on The Verge

Tracking cellphone signals is much, much easier than you think. This demo from Danish IT pro Keld Normal uses a $7 USB device to snoop in on cell signals, essentially sniffing out any cellphones connected to a tower nearby.

There’s a lot of Ubuntu and Python stuff going on under the hood, but it’s not as complicated as it looks. The USB doohickey is basically an antenna, picking up signals as they pass between phones and cell towers. This won’t get everything, but it’ll get more data the closer you are to a tower (here’s a good database), and the programs mentioned in the video are pretty good at sorting through the incoming data.

The end result is a database of every phone that connected in the area, along with the unique phone ID,…

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