For months there has been speculation about a set of cell towers placed in various points of Washington, DC Now, digital forensics specialists say they are sophisticated spying devices, presumably placed by the Israeli government.
A statement from three senior U.S. officials who have requested to remain anonymous confirms that, after various reports on unusual cellular activity in specific areas were filed, the FBI began an investigation, concluding that the Israeli government could be behind this activity, which involves placing false phone towers. These fake cell towers work by sending the received information to real towers while recording the phone information that passes through them.
However, President Donald Trump and his administration do not seem very alarmed about this incident. The aforementioned FBI report, pressure from the US Congress, or exposure to espionage suffered by people in that area mattered little to US authorities. President Trump himself is exposed to this activity, digital forensics experts say, as he has refused to use an encrypted device to communicate with people outside the White House.
Fake cell towers are often used by intelligence and law enforcement agencies, however, legislation around the use of this technology is too ambiguous, so on multiple occasions the law has preferred to suspend proceedings offences containing evidence obtained by this means. US agencies refuse to acknowledge the existence of such devices, although this is precisely one of the reasons why they are used in practice.
A few months ago, a group of congressmen sent Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a letter requesting immediate action against any hostile and intrusive activity related to the use of this technology and devices similar, as the popular IMSI catchers known as Stingray.
Although the FCC did not respond to Congressional call, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agreed to a series of meetings with congressmen to determine possible courses of action.
International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) digital forensics specialists mention that anyone transiting near the White House could expose their communications to these devices, so skip using the mobile phone on that area is recommended.