Will be possible to perform a MITM attack using a smartphone? If yes, that is very dangerous. Is it really a danger attack? Shorted : Is possible to perform a useful MITM attack to a victim using a smartphone?

  • 2
    Do you mean for a smart phone to act as a man in the middle? Or you you mean for a smart phone to be the victim of a man in the middle?
    – thexacre
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 8:16
  • 2
    A smartphone is just a computer, so everything possible with a computer is also possible with a smartphone.
    – user42178
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 14:02
  • Are you asking about WiFi or cellular MITM?
    – schroeder
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 18:07
  • @André, If it's rooted.
    – Pacerier
    Commented May 22, 2015 at 5:05
  • github.com/offensive-security/kali-nethunter/wiki/…
    – atdre
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 22:18

5 Answers 5


Technically yes, but only in the sense that it's technically possible to shoot down Air Force One with a hand-built trebuchet.

While it's in flight.

Over the Pacific Ocean.

THE DETAILS: The operative word in the phrase "Man in the Middle attack" is middle.

The way the internet - and most modern communications networks - operates is that a message sent from Alice to Bob goes from Alice to Alice's computer to Alice's modem to Alice's ISP to the interconnection between Alice's ISP and Bob's ISP to Bob's ISP to Bob's modem to Bob's computer to Bob.

I'm oversimplifying here; the point I'm trying to make is that said message gets passed through a lot of different systems along the way.

A "Man in the middle" attack happens when at least one of the systems in that path is compromised by an attacker, who can then attempt to read the message, or even redirect or modify it at will.

In theory, it doesn't matter what kind of device you're controlling, as long as it's at some point in the communications chain between Alice and Bob -- hence, "Middle". The trick with MitM attacks has always been to get into said middle in order to do your evil stuff.

So in order for this hypothetical situation to work, your smartphone would have to be legitimately accepted as a link in the communications chain. There are probably ways to do this, but the most obvious way would involve putting out a stronger signal than the nearest three cellular towers so that nearby phones will try to call through yours first... Oh, and you'd have to emulate a cellular tower's communications protocols as well while you're at it...

(Update: A friend of mine points out that windows has pretty horrible default settings in regards as to how it handles USB connections, so if you preload your smartphone with the right malware and then plug it into Alice's computer, you might get somewhere.)

  • ...arp spoofing...
    – KristoferA
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 13:59

Yes, but as Shadur says, the key is being in the middle. You could, for instance, setup a free WiFi hotspot on a smartphone and employ MITM attacks against anyone that connects to it, but that requires the victim to actively connect to your hotspot.

Conversely, a smartphone can easily be a victim of MITM attacks over the network because of devices like the Stingray.

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    Moxie Marlinspike demonstrated something similar with his notebook, and people did connect to his hotspot, see the SSL-strip demo. Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 12:41

Theoretically it is possible, a smartphone is a computer.

However the main difficulty with MitM attack is not having the material to perform the attack, but having access to the right part of the network: that is to say being able to manipulate a node (router) to get traffic that is not intended for you.

You won't be performing MitM attack just by standing in the vicinity of the victim.


Short answer, yes but only on 802.11 networks one owns or authorized to pentest and with a USB/otg hub plus dongle.

TL;dr answer, arpspoof, tcpdump and sslstrip have ports for armhf/armel under Debian and kali. Root your phone, install apt, and packages from distro of choice then have fun cracking.

FYI, cracking from a phone is highly illegal and opens one up to federal and international indictments covered under the laws for cell phone privacy, encryption and other areas. Utms operators monitor and can trace packets back to your phone.

Only hack networks you personally have authorization and turn off your 2g/3g/4g interface.


MITM (usually) depends on being on the same network as the victim. If you can satisfy this condition, then that's one problem solved. The next problem is being able to send spoofed ARP responses. This will require your phone to be rooted. Once that's done, you can run arp spoof scripts on your Android to target the victim.

You can also perform a MITM by releasing a malicious app that requires a rooted phone and that the victim would download (I do not advocate this), and this app will setup iptables and use a netfilterqueue script to intercept packets ON THE VICTIM's phone - a sort of MITM within the victim's phone. Difficult, but possible!

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