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DHS Finds Unauthorized Use of "Stingrays" (IMSI Catchers) in Washington, D.C.

Accepted submission by takyon at 2018-04-04 08:44:20

In a letter to Senator Ron Wyden, the Department of Homeland Security has acknowledged [] that unknown users are operating IMSI catchers [] in Washington, D.C.:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is acknowledging for the first time that foreign actors or criminals are using eavesdropping devices to track cellphone activity in Washington, D.C., according to a letter obtained by The Hill.

DHS in a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) last Monday said they came across unauthorized cell-site simulators in the Washington, D.C., area last year. Such devices, also known as "stingrays," can track a user's location data through their mobile phones and can intercept cellphone calls and messages.

[...] DHS official Christopher Krebs, the top official leading the NPPD, added in a separate letter accompanying his response that such use "of IMSI catchers by malicious actors to track and monitor cellular users is unlawful and threatens the security of communications, resulting in safety, economic and privacy risks."

DHS said they have not determined the users behind such eavesdropping devices, nor the type of devices being used. The agency also did not elaborate on how many devices it unearthed, nor where authorities located them.

Also at Ars Technica [] and CNN [].

Related: Police: Stingray Device Intercepts Mobile Phones []
ACLU Reveals Greater Extent of FBI and Law Enforcement "Stingray" Use []
US IRS Bought Stingray, Stingray II, and Hailstorm IMSI-Catchers []
EFF Launches the Cell-Site Simulator Section of Street Level Surveillance []
NYPD Making Heavy Use of Stingrays []
New York Lawmakers Want Local Cops to Get Warrant Before Using Stingray []
New Jersey State Police Spent $850,000 on Harris Corp. Stingray Devices []

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