Information Security and Computer Fraud
ISSN (Print): 2376-9602 ISSN (Online): 2376-9629 Website: Editor-in-chief: Sergii Kavun
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Information Security and Computer Fraud. 2017, 5(1), 1-8
DOI: 10.12691/iscf-5-1-1
Open AccessArticle

Detecting and Tracking Pseudo Base Stations in GSM Signal Hijacking and Frauds: a Visualized Approach

Yongxing Li1, Yang Heng1, Ankang Hao1, Tianxing Wang1, Xiaojie Liu2 and Lan Huang1,

1College of Computer Science, Yangtze University, Jingzhou, Hubei, China

2Beijing Gehua CATV Network Co. Ltd., Beijing, China

Pub. Date: September 18, 2017

Cite this paper:
Yongxing Li, Yang Heng, Ankang Hao, Tianxing Wang, Xiaojie Liu and Lan Huang. Detecting and Tracking Pseudo Base Stations in GSM Signal Hijacking and Frauds: a Visualized Approach. Information Security and Computer Fraud. 2017; 5(1):1-8. doi: 10.12691/iscf-5-1-1


Pseudo base station (PBS), sometimes called fake base station, refers to cellular base stations that are employed for malicious and usually illegal purposes. Through the pitfalls of the GSM protocol, PSBs can hijack GSM signals of cellphones close by. Most PBSes are portable, for example hidden in vans or even carried in backpacks, and are deployed in densely populated regions. Then they can steal personal information from neighboring smartphones, or send intriguing messages to them that would ultimately lead to telecom frauds. In recent years, there has been a terrifying increase in the number of telecom frauds and the smartphones infected by viruses sent from PBSes. This urgently calls for methods and systems that can effectively identify and track PBSes. In this study, we designed and implemented a PBS detecting and tracking system, by conducting topic analysis of messages received by cellphones and analyzing their temporal and spatial distribution patterns. Using the system, we could perform a variety of exploratory analysis, including categorizing PBSes into either stationary or moving PBSes, discovering and visualizing their behavior patterns, and identifying districts that tend to suffer from a particular type of fraud messages.

pseudo base station telecom fraud topic modeling trajectory clustering visualization

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