_Paranoid_ (IT-SECURITY) There are a lot of myths and speculations how exactly an anonymous cell phone number can be found. But we know the truth and we’re about to share it.
In reality, the investigator’s main tools are: statistics, the phone and the head.
There are three widespread versions: pinging, i.e. determining the source of the radio signal, calculating with special equipment at cellular network base stations and calculating through various hidden features allegedly specially available in every phone. We participated in the real investigation of the real case, where the perpetrator was calculated by his mobile phone. And let’s say this: the first version contains a little bit of truth, but the main method of capture has nothing to do with all three. Generally speaking, an investigation and criminalists use cool special means and expensive equipment only in movies. In reality, the main tool of an investigator is his head and his papers. And the main method is deduction, let’s call it a search for patterns or statistics. And then there is such a thing as Time. Time is always against anonymity: we do something too timely, and something completely out of time. And if there are logs of our deeds with time stamps, we cannot hide. In mobile telephony, logs are kept for each byte. Read more. How do they find out who’s working with the left SIM card?
We’ve looked at how easy it is for law enforcement to run a suspect’s real number through their anonymous number. But what does the real phone number do? Everything. In addition to information on who the number is registered to, the investigators will see who you called. There’s bound to be a lot of people who know you personally. They’ll see who and how you funded your account. Most likely, there are payments from a real ATM card or from a real Webmoney wallet, etc. So, in fact, you have sailed. How is a mobile phone tracked?
A task force with a handheld direction finder is deployed to the area of the cell where the suspect’s phone is located. It is not a screen with a dot, as shown in the movies, but a simple radio receiver with an arrow that indicates the signal strength and an antenna in the form of letter H, letter G, a cunning tube or a hyperbolic / parabolic dish (often it comes with several antennas for different operating conditions). The base station has information on the exact frequency at which the device in question is currently operating. The operator tunes the receiver to this frequency, turns the antenna around and looks at the arrow. Where the signal is strongest, that’s where it goes. Goes to the entrance, climbs the stairs and measures the signal. He finds the required floor, then the flat and that’s it, the anonymity is over. In the case we observed, the time from the entry of a police truck to the white-handed approach was 25 minutes. Taking into account how much of it was spent on the recommendations open for open in any case, the collection and withdrawal of the suspect can be estimated, for how many among the dozens of houses, hundreds of entrances and thousands of apartments found the right one. So what to do? Anonymity is a myth?
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