Apple patents “Stingray” evasion technique

Apple is working on a new privacy measure that will make it more difficult to monitor a mobile phone via a so-called ‘Stingray’ antenna. The method is explained in a patent originally discovered by The Telegraph.

Stingray devices, also called IMSI catchers, act as a telephone antenna. Mobile phones automatically seek a connection to the Stingray, after which the Stingray user can see identifying information about the phone, where that phone is located, and to whom it sends messages.

By ‘catching’ all telephones in a certain area, a Stingray can retrieve large amounts of data. The technology is used worldwide by both hackers and the police.

The Apple patent outlines a way to encrypt the connection between the phone and the mast. The identity of the telephone can only be seen when the signal reaches another telephone. That would make it harder to use Stingrays.

This is a patent that was applied for in 2017. It is not yet known whether Apple actually intends to use it.

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