A friend of mine used an app that detects suspicious cell towers and has been getting warnings today. He is worried about the possibility that someone may be specifically targeting him, which leads me to wonder how exactly these fake towers can be expected to work.

Will they actually target a specific number and intercept all calls made to/from that number discarding all non-targets? Or will they indiscriminately intercept all calls in a certain range?

And besides bugging cellphones and tracking their user's locations, what can these fake cell towers be used for? Are there any common schemes they are used in?

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    Did you do any research prior to posting this question? Here's a good summary on wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stingray_phone_tracker
    – Allison
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 23:13
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    Some interesting discussions of possible capabilities of fake cell towers here: security.stackexchange.com/q/11550/113999
    – nbering
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 23:16
  • @Sirens I did some but my search terms usually just ended up with news articles lol. Thanks for the link. This refers to a specific device though, there could be new models that operate differently for all I know.
    – Cestarian
    Commented Apr 8, 2018 at 0:21
  • I think that the term "stingray" is not a specific device, but refers to the class of devices. Commented Apr 8, 2018 at 0:41
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    Nowadays cruise ships use them. So all the passengers can use their mobile phones to talk to each other (no outside connection, so it's free even when you're hundreds of miles away from any land).
    – gnasher729
    Commented Apr 8, 2018 at 14:48


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