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Cell phone signal question.


badbass
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At work we have a very weak signal which causes the battery in our phones to die quickly. This is a big financial company. With employees from all over the world including latin america and Europe. Can this company get around the law about jamming cell signals. Also could they be doing this to protect sensitive data. To keep people from using there phones to transfer data take pictures of screens and more.

Can companies do this to protect sensitive data. Say Health care and financial businesses.

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Is this really something they're deliberately targeting? If so, they're doing a massively shit job.

You're allowed to bring in your smart phone which is a recording device. Not being able to transmit from there is quickly solved by taking your phone out of the building and nearer to a cell phone tower. If they're worried about the things you can access from your phone directly from the wireless network, they should put up a separate wireless network for any smart devices you bring. This network will be limited wrt what it can reach and is basically a lot stricter about everything. For the machines that actually need to do something there's the wired network and/or a private wireless network which has something a little more challenging than WPS-PSK and the IT department would include a bit of MAC filtering and other tricks just to make it harder on any outside attackers.

If all they're doing is putting up a signal jammer, they're either incompetent or management doesn't want to change the status quo which means your Chief Security Officer doesn't have the support from upper management, which either means that the company doesn't have security as a particularly high priority, or the CSO is on his way out.

Mind you, some buildings are built with a special coating on the windows to keep the heat out which has the added benefit of blocking radio signals. One result of that is that you can't pluck, say, an FM radio signal out of the ether while inside the building. Blocking the cell phone signal is simply an unintended side-effect. The building I work in has this and they fixed it by getting the phone company to install a cell tower right on the roof of the building.

Edited by cooper
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im not sure if this is inside the US, but if it is i'd also like to put out there that using an rf jammer is probably highly illegal. a big company could get sued if that got caught doing that, or fined by the FCC. I doubt they would risk losing money to jam cell phones.

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Blocking the signal of a cell phone does not necessarily protect the company. Most phones have a Micro SD slot on them. This plus a little bit of Crypto and a 64 GB card would easily be able to exfiltrate data. I am also sure that some phones would have some way of communicating with the network, via a Micro USB adapter, and some form of other network adapter/bluetooth network connection. In this type of scenareo the phone would have metasploit or something installed, and then exfiltration could literally take place over the company's network if the infiltrator didn't care about network alarms. (correct me if I am wrong about adapters to micro usb, I am more a programmer than a pen tester, hacking is really more of a hobby at this point).

There are actually some ferric paints, for blocking wifi signals, I see no reason it couldn't also block other signals with enough coats of the stuff. Is like a black primer or something.

Edited by overwraith
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It wouldn't make sense for the company to add a jammer that only makes a weak signal, also as cooper said

You're allowed to bring in your smart phone which is a recording device. Not being able to transmit from there is quickly solved by taking your phone out of the building and nearer to a cell phone tower. If they're worried about the things you can access from your phone directly from the wireless network, they should put up a separate wireless network for any smart devices you bring.

It just wouldn't make any sense for them to try and protect sensitive information by only jamming a signal when you would be able to take pictures, record audio and still use a weak GSM network in the building. In my opinion the building is probably made of a material the tends to be resistant to GSM signals, whether thats a paint, window coating or structural material.

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I highly doubt anyone is jamming the signal, which if they were, you would probably get no signal at all. That said, I worked in a data center, and we had 0 signal inside. This was mainly due to the type of materials in the building and not because they wanted to block us from using cell phones, but just where we were with respect to cell towers. Outside, we had signal just fine and around the edges of the building near windows towards the front street was decent. Anywhere towards the back and in the data center, was pretty much nothing if any signal at all. With all the server towers, phone rooms, and walls around us, it;s like wifi. After too many objects the signal is going to stop. Same for cell phones. If you're not close to a tower to begin with, that hurts you even more. Where we used to live, I had no cell coverage, and had to use wifi and skype to make phone calls from our cell phones, so there could be a lot of factors at work, from the construction of the building to correlation to the nearest cell towers.

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