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[liberationtech] End-user IMSI detectors

Kurtis Heimerl kheimerl at
Thu Apr 6 16:44:23 PDT 2017

We're starting a project here at UW to explore how good these IMSI catcher
catchers are in the real world. We've got a GSM spectrum license and will
be running a small GSM cell network that we can then try to intercept
traffic/catch users from. Should be fun. If people have suggestions for
things to test against a functioning network/catcher, I'd love to hear

On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 4:38 PM, Cooper Quintin <lists at> wrote:

> I've been doing a lot of work with this over the past few months at EFF.
> My current conclusion is that there is nothing that an average user or
> activist would be able to reasonably use. However I think that someone
> who is reasonably technologically literate and wants to take the time to
> learn could use them.
> Of the two I think snoopsnitch is better for now, it has the ability to
> take pcap files of suspicious traffic and it has a lower level of access
> due to it's root status and some unique features of the qualcom chipset
> (which it requires).
> AIMSICD is interesting in that it has the possibility of being an app
> which could be more generally usable, however right now it has way to
> many false positives to be usefull by most people.
> There is also some interesting work around the concept of building
> detectors using raspberry PI / SDR / GSM Modem combo which lets you get
> a much lower level of access to the data including being able to see all
> available BTSes not just the ones your phone wants to connect to. I've
> been playing a lot with SITCH [1] and it seems to be pretty advanced.
> 1.
> On 04/06/2017 10:02 AM, Moritz Bartl wrote:
> > On 06.04.2017 18:28, Bill Ulrich wrote:
> >> I've been playing with an Android App that may be what you're looking
> for:
> >>
> >>
> > There's also SnoopSnitch:
> >
> >
> >
> > Android solutions are limited in how much they can detect; there's a
> > good 2014 paper that discusses and compares various
> > IMSI-Catcher-Catchers:
> >
> publications/DabrowskiEtAl-IMSI-Catcher-Catcher-ACSAC2014.pdf
> >
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