Text Message Hijacking

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by mchoffa, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. mchoffa
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    mchoffa Member

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    This isn't strictly Droid related, but we do both use one. I believe I just had a man in the middle attack between my wife and I. I sent her a text from my droid, and when she got it, the last sentence was completely changed, but still related to what we were talking about. So obviously, someone was watching our conversation, then intercepted a text and added their own thoughts to it, which almost caused a big argument. I forwarded her the text i sent, then she forwarded the one she received... different last sentence...

    Anyone here heard of this or have it happen to them?
  2. hart.jordan
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    hart.jordan Member

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    Sounds like you need to give Jack Bauer a call...
  3. entcee
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    entcee Member

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    What was the sentence changed from/to?
  4. JhankG
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    JhankG Silver Member

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    Never heard of anything like this for text messaging. Give Verizon a call.
  5. TimChgo9
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    TimChgo9 Member

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    That's odd.

    How would someone be able to intercept, and change a text message, and then resend as if it's from the original sender? Not criticizing, just wondering. I suppose it could happen, but seems there would be quite a delay...the person who did the intercepting would have had to clone your phone, or rather, her phone, or both, in order to do this. Now, I know "phone cloning" was a big thing a couple of years ago, but I thought changes in the way phones transmit made cloning more difficult, and therefore less likely.

    I just wonder if the message got scrambled on the way to the tower by some atmospheric problem? How likely is it that someone is able to do that?
  6. mchoffa
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    mchoffa Member

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    I don't know HOW it's possible, but after searching google for a while, I know I'm not the first person it's happened to. I just know that it's real...

    I'd post the messages, but they're sorta personal, which is why it was kinda scary that someone intercepted them. Basically I said something nice at the end of a message, and what she received had something not very nice at all in place of the last sentence, but it was relevant to the conversation still so I know whoever it was saw our whole conversation...

    we probably would have just had a big argument except that she said "why did you just say ____?" and i had no idea what she was talking about so she forwarded the message back to me.

    2 similar sounding examples i found:

    My text message changed when i sent it...im really confused? - Yahoo! Answers

    Intercepting text messages -- is this for real?! - Verizon Talk - Mobiledia
  7. reitman1
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    reitman1 Member

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    Not that I want to start any rumors because I have no idea if its even possible, but could a rogue Verizon tech/rep do this? Anyone working at Verizon care to let us know if this is possible?
  8. TimChgo9
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    TimChgo9 Member

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    I am not doubting it's possible, I am merely, off the top of my head, trying to figure how it would work...

    A sends B a text message

    C, for some nefarious reason, wishes to intercept text conversations between A and B.

    C needs information from A's and B's cellphones in order to intercept (Now, I am not sure what it would be beyond the phone number, so, lets just assume there is more, perhaps someone versed in how it works can clue us in) C, I would imagine, also might need at least two phones, or failing that a method of intercepting the messages using his computer. I have seen it done with pager data transmissions, so I am assuming that it can be done, in some way, with cell phone data transmissions. In addition he needs to intercept that transmission, prevent it from going to the recipient so he can edit it, and resend it. That, I would imagine, would take someone with more than just rudimentary knowledge of cell phone data transmissions. Once C has all of this in place, he is now able to intercept, and edit messages sent between A and B.

    Again, not doubting that in can be done... I am sure it can. Like I said, I have seen it done with text pager transmissions (the interception part, anyway) it just looks labor intensive, that's all. Also, now that I am thinking about it, if someone wants to block a transmission, I am sure they have to know what tower the A and B's phones are using (assuming there is only one, there could be more than one) and then be able to hack into the "control terminal"(for lack of a better term) that controls the message queue for that tower (if there even is such a thing) . I am fairly certain that there is a computer of some sort that controls the tower's transmission activity and it orders the messages that it receives and transmits them to the appropriate phone users.

    Now, I could be way off here, but I like being analytical. I do know that any radio signal be it voice, or data can be interecepted with the right equipment, question is, what is the right equipment. Is it something involved, requiring a serious monetary investment, or is it something that can be cobbled together by a knowledgeable person?

    It just seems that a person that wants to intercept this kind of information would need to know, at the very least, the phone numbers of the phones he wishes to intercept from, and the other, necessary ID information from each phone. And then, has to have the necessary interception equipment... That I know can be done, the problem is, how does one intercept, stop, and then retransmit an edited message? Someone who wishes to do that, must have personal reasons for wanting to disrupt messages in that manner, in order to cause a problem. Of course, I know there are people out there who would mess with others just to get their jollies, so, I guess either scenario is possible.

    What does everyone else think? Specifically, what kind of equipment would be involved??? Also, how far off am I on my assumptions? Feel free to clarify, or correct anything in my above statements..

    Edited to add: I googled "text message interception" and I came up with a bunch of articles, and to be quite honest, it doesn't look that difficult, or expensive. However, I found nothing (so far) about intercepting, stopping, and editing, and resending a message. ......
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  9. lschicky
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    lschicky Member

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    you aren't sending them through anything like google voice? One of the links you posted earlier sounded like there was a compromised account they were using on something.

    out of the blue shot have you tried to reset your Preferred Roaming List, might kick it to a different cell tower & satellite, encase that is compromised.

    And or start texting your wife about turning your texts over to the FBI & the FCC and make up some crazy story. Might spook whoever is doing it.
  10. nikkix
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    nikkix Member

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    I dont velieve its possible.

    Are you aware that there are apps and programs to spoof telephone numbers/text messages to make it appear that someone sent a message they didnt?

    But who knows, weird things have happened to me too
  11. LtKen
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    LtKen Silver Member

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    Any chance you have a virus on your phone? Unlikely, but they do exist.
  12. Snowbomb7
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    Snowbomb7 Member

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  13. Talon8Ya
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    Talon8Ya Member

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    A simple way to check this.
    Check on your Droid the outgoing text and show your wife so she knows you sent what you said she did instead of what she got.
    Then call the police. They may refer you to the FBI as this violates several FCC laws for someone to hack your cell phone like this.
  14. noorigin
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    noorigin New Member

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    as far as "spoofing" a sent from number for sms is no prob. you dont even need a phone. hell, even verizon has a page that will let you send sms and u get to fill in the sent from data with any number u want.

    the part about intercepting a sms is way more tricky. as far as i know, you basically would have to be on the inside of verizons network to do it. joe hackpack cant sit outside your house and MiM your cellphone.

    my guess..., a really bored admin, maybe even already gave his 2 weeks notice or just plain ol dont give a ----, having some fun
  15. ctsv510
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    ctsv510 New Member

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    On the bright side you can send whatever texts you want to your wife (like what's really on your mind), and just blame the profanity and inappropriate remarks on a hijacker.
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