Are there any methods for a non-jail broken Apple iPhone to detect rogue cellular towers? Such as the "Stingray" device that mimics cellular towers.

From the Apple iPhone user's endpoint side, is there any way to detect you are being routed through a rogue cellular tower?

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    Your best bet is to use IP for your calls, that way it wouldn't matter whether a stingray is here or not as your calls will still be protected with TLS+ZRTP. – André Borie Dec 28 '16 at 17:02
  • That is a good recommendation but more thinking about security for society beyond information security professionals. – Kamic Dec 28 '16 at 17:16
  • i don't think "routed" is the right word; maybe "noticed" is more apropos? – dandavis Jan 5 '17 at 16:07

Can't see anything for iOS but there is an app for Android that claims to be able to do this. However, it only works with a specific chipset and only on a rooted phone. So it is very unlikely that you could do this on an Apple phone. Another app is in early development.

There are also dedicated systems for trying to track stingray use. A "homemade" example is here.

In theory, you might be able to track use at a static location by knowing the ID's of the local stations so that you can spot when a new station ID appears.

  • The dedicated system is interesting, wonder what the cost is on that!! =) – Kamic Dec 28 '16 at 18:39

I'm not positive, but last i heard, if you shut off 2G in your phone, as a developer, the stingray should not be able to pick it up however, that may very well be outdated at this point.

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    This is probably not a good answer. Different protocols have different ways of being tracked, and even if a protocol is technically difficult to intercept (such as LTE), it's still possible for the cell site simulator to force the phone to negotiate down to an unprotected protocol. And there's always the possibility of the simulator operator colluding with the cellular provider to get around any such restriction. – John Deters Dec 28 '16 at 21:18
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    @JohnDeters if the simulator operator can collude with the cellular provider, then they don't need a simulator, they can do everything they want through the real towers in an undetectable (to you) and unpreventable manner. – Peteris Dec 29 '16 at 0:44

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