Leading IMSI Catcher Detection Solutions for 2020
Updated: May 10
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Available IMSI catcher detection solutions today can be roughly divided into two categories: consumer-level and military-grade solutions. The software solutions offered to users online are, as mentioned above, only partially effective in protecting users and their devices. While they may provide some peace of mind to the average smartphone user, it is simply not enough to protect sensitive corporate data often found on the devices of company employees. Military-Grade Catcher Detection & Prevention (B2B) 1. FirstPoint Mobile Guard
FirstPoint Mobile Guard provides a unique military-grade capability to detect IMSI Catchers and prevent Man in the Middle Attacks at the network level. Designed for cutting-edge protection on the SIM-card level and mass-deployment in large organizations, the main strength of this solution is its ease of use.
Just insert the FirstPoint SIM card into the smartphone or IoT device you wish to protect and FirstPoint does the rest. This solution is extremely suitable for organizations and governments who want maximal security at minimal configuration. This cyber security-as-a-service provides continuous network-based protection with little to no maintenance required once it is installed in the employee devices.
Consumer-Grade IMSI Catcher Detection Apps (B2C)
There are several consumer-grade IMSI Catcher Detection solutions available on the market for free or for a small sum. However, we do not recommend using any of them as attackers can easily bypass them. If you subscribe to the “something is better than nothing” school of thought then the below could be what you’re looking for.
2. Android IMSI Catcher Detector (AIMSICD)
As the name suggests, AIMSICD is an open-source-based Android app to detect and avoid IMSI Catchers or other base-stations (mobile antennas) with poor or no encryption. This solution also warns users if the connection ciphering is turned off, and when their phones are being subject to hidden tracking via Silent/Stealth (Type-0) SMS. AIMSICD also enables several other protection-mechanisms to safeguard you from IMSI and other types of mobile network attacks.
AIMSICD also includes a real-time network security status indicator and a map-based security overview of the mobile network area.
The SecurCube solution detects malicious IMSI Catcher activity on LTE networks. It works by scanning the network environment to collect information about all the cell towers in the area. The next step involves analyzing of LTE, GMS, and UMTS bandwidths to discover suspicious activity. Once detected, the user receives an alert in real-time.
SnoopSnitch (another open-source app) adopts a different approach to combat IMSI Catchers. It analyzes your phone’s firmware for installed or missing Android security patches (even on rooted devices). SnoopSnitch can also collect and analyze mobile radio data to make you aware of your mobile network security and to warn you about threats like IMSI catchers and user tracking.
SnoopSnitch is a community app. Patch analysis results and firmware build details are uploaded to its server to enable improvements and upgrades.
This (yet another) open-source application has been proven to be effective in detecting suspicious activity and can be used to assess the security capabilities of your current cell provider.
Darshak detects and alerts you when you receive a “silent SMS”, while also displaying ciphering algorithms used by your operator for GSM. It’s important to note however that this solution is not compatible with LTE frequencies.
ComSec is a service that can identify illegal IMSI catchers, cellular jamming, rogue base stations and baseband attacks. It is compatible with operator redundancy and/or visualization requirements, while also providing comprehensive air interface data analysis and georeferencing. ComSec arms users with cell details, cell comparisons, critical criteria editing, and more.
7. Cell Spy Catcher
This app has a unique “self-learning-process” which is executed upon first installation. Once complete, it provides the user with logs of suspicious events, which can also be exported as CSV files. It has support for – GSM, UMTS/WCDMA, CDMA, and LTE. Cell Spy Catcher runs in the background and restarts automatically when the device is rebooted.
5G and IMSI Catchers
There’s no such thing as airtight security. As 5G proliferates, the future of cellular connectivity is extremely bright. However, as with all bright objects, 5G can illuminate but Enterprises, Governments, and Mobile Network Operators need to be careful that its bright light does not blind them to inherent cyber vulnerabilities that 5G does not and cannot solve for.
This is especially true in regard to Man-in-the-Middle Attacks launched by IMSI Catchers. These types of attacks are extremely simple to launch yet dangerously effective. A network-level solution is not only necessary it should be compulsory to finally curtail the expanding numbers of cellular cyber attacks.