This was stated by DHS in response to the request of Senator Ron Weiden
As reported by the Associated Press, the U.S. capital – Washington – detected by spyware scanners, called “stingrays” and allows you to intercept cell phone signals.
This information became known thanks to the response from the Department of homeland security at the request of Senator Ron Weiden.
The Ministry confirmed that the “Stingray” seen in Washington and that they are used “malicious actors”.
Owing to the sensitive nature of this information, the Ministry did not specify who exactly these actors are criminals, terrorists or spies, – noting, however, that such actions of foreign governments may be illegal.
The name “Stingray” these scanners are received by the company Harris, who was the first to release devices under the brand name StingRay on order of law enforcement bodies and special services of the USA.
The principle of operation of the scanner: the device impersonating the transmission tower for cellular communications.
Therefore, the cell phone owner who is interested in masters “Stingray”, is associated not with the cellular network, and the scanner, which is able to download vast amounts of information.
The human rights organization “American civil liberties Union” has calculated that in 2018, these scanners were used in 73 agencies in 25 States and the district of Columbia, i.e. Washington. Among them, the national security Agency, FBI, US Secret service, internal revenue service, the U.S. Army, local police departments and other law enforcement agencies.
Federal law the use of such devices is not prohibited, although there are a number of decisions of the courts, according to which the connection to foreign cell phones may constitute a violation of the Fourth amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the inviolability of private life.
The professional version is available only to the Federal structures of the United States or state governments, however, free access to a large number of “civilian versions” which can be purchased for a few hundred dollars.
However, phone owners also have the opportunity to defend themselves. The owners of “Androids” are numerous applications that allow you to track the appearance of nearby “stingrays”.
In addition, on the market are numerous and quite expensive “CryptoPhone”, “stingrays” invulnerable.