TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: They've Got Your Number

They've Got Your Number

Monty Solomon (
Sat, 11 Dec 2004 10:05:27 -0500

Issue 12.12 - December 2004

Your text messages and address book, and a way to bug your calls.
Why spam, scams, and viruses are coming soon to a phone near you.

By Annalee Newitz

It's a beautiful afternoon in Shepherd's Bush, a bustling neighborhood
on the outskirts of London, and Adam Laurie is feeling
peckish. Heading out of the office, he's about to pick up more than a
sandwich. As he walks, he'll be probing every cell phone that comes
within range of a hidden antenna he has connected to the laptop in his
bag. We stroll past a park near the Tube station, then wander into a
supermarket. Laurie contemplates which sort of crisps to buy while his
laptop quietly scans the 2.4-GHz frequency range used by Bluetooth
devices, probing the cell phones nestled in other shoppers' pockets
and purses.

Laurie, 42, the CSO of boutique security firm the Bunker, isn't going
to mess with anyone's phone, although he could: With just a few tweaks
to the scanning program his computer is running, Laurie could be
crashing cell phones all around him, cutting a little swath of
telecommunications destruction down the deli aisle. But today Laurie
is just gathering data. We are counting how many phones he can hack
using Bluetooth, a wireless protocol for syncing cell phones with
headsets, computers, and other devices.

The Great Cell Phone Robbery

How security flaws in today's mobile phones could add up to tomorrow's
perfect crime.

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