[pp.int.general] Use Cell Phones in protests

Steve Revilak steve at srevilak.net
Wed Jan 22 16:07:35 CET 2014

>    As mass riots continued on the streets of Kiev, protesters, as 
>well as other people in the area, received a mysterious text message 
>on Monday evening.
>    “Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass 
>disturbance,” the message read, as first reported by The New York 
>The text came from a number only identified as 111, but the Times 
>suggests Ukrainian authorities were behind it. The country’s 
>Interior Ministry, however, denied sending the messages, as later 
>reported by The Guardian. But regardless of who was responsible for 
>the SMS messages, how did they do it? How did they pinpoint only 
>certain cellphones in a specific area?

I believe that a Stingray (or similar device) could gather this sort
of information.

A stingray is like a faux cell phone tower.  The police bring one to
the site of a protest, turn it on, and the Stingray says "hi, I'm a
cellular antenna".  Cell phones see this as the nearest cellular
antenna and say "Hi, I'm a cell phone".  Now, the police know which
cell phones were in that area.

I know three ways to prevent your cell phone from being "discovered"
by this tactic: leave it home, take the battery out, or carry it in a
Faraday bag.


More information about the pp.international.general mailing list