Is it safe to assume someone with $1,000-$3,000 U.S. to throw around can purchase the expertise or equipment to tap someone's modern cordless phone via a vulnerability, or otherwise? I mean someone with targeted intent, not someone looking to eavesdrop on random people.

We hear a lot about WiFi encryption but not too much about Cordless home phones and headsets. How much more secure is DECT vs 5.8 Digital, and is either of them secure "enough" for a motivated person barring "very" specialized hackers?

  • DECT is broken, and I've never heart of "5.8 digital" but I assume it's as bad. My question is : we already have a great, secure and battle-tested wireless communications protocol called Wi-Fi. Why not use it? Nov 30, 2015 at 20:54
  • I'm sure there's good reasons why we're not using WiFi for cordless phones. For one thing, cordless phones have much better range, working several houses away with no latency problems (I suppose 1.9Ghz has something to with that). My feeling is that DECT is optimized for realtime voice, and WiFi is probably not.
    – cloneman
    Dec 1, 2015 at 15:06

1 Answer 1


To answer your question directly: It might work. But the success relies on the hardware of the victim.

The security of DECT Phones relies on the implementation. There are DECT Phones that don't do encryption so the calls can be captured. To test this you need some (old) hardware that is compatible with a tool called dedected. You can find further information here and here.

I tried it back in the days but I think today the hardest task is finding a laptop that still has a PCMCIA slot. The card is still available on amazon.

  • I believe there's some further vulnerabilities in DECT that allow you to turn off the encryption. That's even referenced in the article you linked to in the section where you turn on a repeater. This is essentially a MiTM attack. Nov 30, 2015 at 15:39
  • this answers the question well for DECT, but I still can't find any information about 5.8Ghz Digital
    – cloneman
    Dec 17, 2015 at 23:06

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