Feeds

DIY GSM network is go

A Blue Peter badge for Hackers At Random

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Delegates attending the Hacking At Random conference managed to string together their own GSM network, demonstrating just how ubiquitous, and modular, mobile telephony has become.

The network runs from antennae slung from a tree and connected to a PC running OpenBSC, a GPL-licensed free network infrastructure stack incorporating an HLR as well as base station software. With such thrown-together hardware the hackers have, for the last few days, been running a 2G GSM network at 900MHz, under a test licence from the Dutch regulator.

Base stations in trees

An easier version of Spot the Base Station

Without interconnectivity to the rest of the world the network is obviously of limited value for placing calls, but provided a base for those interested in playing around with radio networks as well as demonstrating just how quickly and cheaply a GSM network can be built these days.

Last year's Burning Man festival also managed to host a GSM network - available to a limited selection of subscribers. That project estimated the cost of radio equipment, at around $4,500 including converting calls to VoIP for routing over Wi-Fi. The Hacking At Random crowd didn't convert to VoIP, but they spent a lot less money too.

Projects like this demonstrate just how rapidly GSM could be deployed into a disaster area to provide coverage, even if the network operators weren't around to help. Of course, deploying such a thing without a licence would be illegal, and hard to conceal, but it's equally obvious that such things will inevitably happen. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
EE & Vodafone will let you BONK on the TUBE – with Boris' blessing
Transport for London: You can pay, but don't touch
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.