NSA Tracks Turned-Off Phones ó But Phone Makers Donít Know How
2013-11-14 0:00

Red Ice Creations



NSA says they can track cellphones even when turned off, while the cellphone manufacturers insist thatís not possible - sort of.

The denials coming from companies such as Samsung, Google, and Nokia are nuanced and evasive, and suggest that tracking their phones while íoffí might be doable with the right spyware. Not a problem for the infamous NSA!

In the end, itís recommended that if you donít want your phone tracked while íoffí, either remove the battery, or wrap the phone in tinfoil to act as a Faraday cage. This is something German businessmen have been savvy to since 2011. Too bad Angela Merkel didnít get the memo...

More on this from Tomís Guide:

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NSA Tracks Turned-Off Phones ó But Phone Makers Donít Know How
By Jill Scharr | TomísGuide

Tracking a cellphone is easy, especially for the National Security Agency. But can you track a cellphone thatís been turned off?

It sounds impossible, but the NSA apparently has been able to track powered-down mobile phones since 2004, as reported by The Washington Post in July 2013.

The Postís mention of this ability was brief. It was buried within a longer narrative regarding the NSAís partnership with the U.S. militaryís Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) to track and kill high-profile al-Qaida targets in Iraq:

"By September 2004, a new NSA technique enabled the agency to find cellphones even when they were turned off. JSOC troops called this íThe Find,í and it gave them thousands of new targets," the Post reported.

MORE: NSA Leaks 2013 Ė A Timeline of NSA Revelations

Hoping for more information, British watchdog group Privacy International in August wrote directly to eight major mobile-phone manufacturers and operating-system providers asking how that could be possible.

So far, Ericsson, Google, Nokia and Samsung have responded ó and, as far as they know or can say, it shouldnít be possible to track powered-down cellphones.

All four companies claimed to be unaware of any exploit or vulnerability that would make tracking a powered-down phone possible, since pressing the "off" button on a phone entirely deactivates its network connectivity.

"When a mobile device running the Android Operating System is powered off, there is no part of the Operating System that remains on or emits a signal," Google told Privacy International.

Similarly, Samsung Vice President Hyunjoon Kim wrote: "Without the [mobile phoneís] power source, it is not possible to transmit any signal, due to the components being inactive. Thus the powered-off devices are not able to be tracked or monitored by any 3rd party." (You can read Samsungís letter on Privacy Internationalís website.)

[...]

Read the full article at: tomsguide.com



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