We know that IMSI-catcher detectors such as the Android-IMSI-Catcher-Detector project exist, but has anyone done a field study across various parts of the world as to how many there are and where?

Would be curious to see a map of the world (Google-Map-style) with pins or heatmaps of where these IMSI catchers are to demonstrate how prolific the technology is.

Bonus to what a distributed pytacle operation would cost and how to build? Something like Packet Forensics?

2 Answers 2


A 2014 discvery by prominent newspaper Aftenposten in Norway's capital, Oslo revealed several fake stations. This image shows the german crypto phone in action (revealing fake stations) enter image description here

Mind you, this is a small investigation that focused on politically/business sensitive areas of Oslo such as goverment buildings, embassies, high-profile enterprises etc.

The image is from this article http://nottmagazine.com/2015/04/05/a-norwegian-watergate/

As for international statistics, your google is as good as mine.

EDIT: if you're curious about the phone, it has a built in firewall to detect suspicious behaviour http://www.cryptophone.de/


SeaGlass is a system designed by security researchers at the University of Washington to measure IMSI-catcher use across a city.

Here is an overview of the SeaGlass project -- http://www.washington.edu/news/2017/06/02/catching-the-imsi-catchers-seaglass-brings-transparency-to-cell-phone-surveillance/

Maps for Seattle and Milwaukee have been produced that detail the proliferation of IMSI catchers. The project also details the technology components used to build the sensors that can potentially locate catchers. A GitHub containing the surveying scripts used (along with hardware requirements) is available here -- https://github.com/seaglass-project/seaglass


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