Friday, March 17, 2017
By Paul Martin

Sophistication of hack indicates state-level actor

Clifford Cunningham
MARCH 17, 2017

DHS has expressed concern over suspicious cellphone activity in the Washington, D.C. area indicating that a “rogue entity” is surveying the communications of government officials and foreign diplomats, according to documents first reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.

The suspicious activity indicates a “rogue entity” may have assumed control over entire cell phone towers, allowing them to clone mobile devices, introduce malware onto mobile devices to facilitate spying and directly track the geographic location of phone used by government employees.

The information was revealed by documents and insiders from a program as ESD Overwatch, which monitors cell phone towers for anomalies on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security.

“The ESD Overwatch network security system is the world’s first system capable of distributed detection, localization, alarming and neutralization of active attacks on mobile communications via the air interface,” the program’s website said.

“ESD Overwatch enables Signal Security, and counter intelligence operators and authorities to eliminate illegal use of IMSI catchers.”

ESD America, which runs Overwatch, indicated a cell phone carrier has experienced “unlawful access to their network for the purpose of large scale subscriber tracking.”

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