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I'd like to know if calling with a wireless phone at home can be heard by neighbours and if it is safe.

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  • "Enough" security for what threat vector?
    – Philipp
    Jul 5, 2015 at 11:48
  • "heard by neighbors" Jul 5, 2015 at 11:53
  • You need to define "safe" and "wireless" and what you expect your neighbours to be able to do.
    – schroeder
    Jul 5, 2015 at 16:27
  • @TomaszKlim who are your neighbors?
    – Aron
    Jul 6, 2015 at 3:00

1 Answer 1

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It depends on what you mean by "wireless phone at home":

  • GSM phone - then yes, all transmission between your phone and GSM station is encrypted

  • DECT phone - then partially: all wireless transmission between the phone and its base station is encrypted, however neighbours can plug into your analogue, unencrypted phone cable

  • cheap no-name wireless phone - it depends on what technology have been used, but still your neighbours can plug to your analogue, unencrypted phone cable

You can avoid plugging to an analogue phone cable by using ISDN phone (where available), or VoiP.

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    GSM phone security is suffering from the problem that while the handset authenticates itself to the base station, the station does not authenticate itself to the handset. This allows IMSI catchers (fake base stations) to eavesdrop on mobile communication.
    – Philipp
    Jul 5, 2015 at 11:50
  • I know, but IMSI catcher is rather expensive toy (and hard to buy/make), so it's unlikely that question author's neighbours will have one. Jul 5, 2015 at 11:52
  • It's not actually that hard.
    – Philipp
    Jul 5, 2015 at 12:04
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    @ThomaszKlim I'm not sure if I agree with you when you say that IMSI catchers are expensive/hard to buy/make. There is a Defcon talk covering the topic Defcon. There is even a security.stackexchange answer for this kind of question. Chris Paget said 5 years ago that you could build one for 1500$. My guess is that it's much cheaper these days to create a IMSI Catcher. Now, could your neighbour do this? Probably not, but are you sure?
    – Mrtn
    Jul 5, 2015 at 12:08
  • No, I'm not sure. However I still think that in this question we are talking about just curious, average neighbours. Jul 5, 2015 at 12:10

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