Burner Phone 101

burner

Good stuff.

Just know that the device itself should be re-used only after thoughtful consideration.

12 responses to “Burner Phone 101

  1. I remember buying a cellphone and a scratch card for air time with cash during deployment. No one wrote down my name. The network was owned by an Egyptian company and their stock was traded in Cairo and London. The insurgents also bought cellphones, but wired theirs to IEDs.

    Now we have a whole bunch of unvetted refugees brought into the USA. How long before burner phones are used to make things go 522666 here? Who will get blamed?

  2. FYI:

    https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/10/fingerprinting_5.html

    At the very least, I would avoid having the battery in the burner any time I’m near

    a. my own regular phone
    b. places I’m known to frequent
    c. my associates.

  3. Alfred E. Neuman

    Reblogged this on The Lynler Report.

  4. ghostsniper

    I’ve had a TracFone burner for several years, just remember that unless you purchase otherwise the “time” factor runs out in 90 days – the phone won’t work. If you get the 1 year card you’ll bypass that. Also, your apps upgrading themselves will blow your minutes-data-text space in no time at all. I never put mine on wi-fi or bluetooth and most of the time it is turned off unless I’m expecting a call. Mine is an LG Galaxy Centura. Not the best but it gets done what I need when I need it and only cost $80 at walmart. Prior to that I had a $15 clamshell from walmart and it worked fine for 3 years.

  5. ghostsniper

    Fingerprinting Burner Phones
    In one of the documents recently released by the NSA as a result of an EFF lawsuit, there’s discussion of a specific capability of a call records database to identify disposable “burner” phones.

    Let’s consider, then, the very specific data this query tool was designed to return: The times and dates of the first and last call events, but apparently not the times and dates of calls between those endpoints. In other words, this tool is supporting analytic software that only cares when a phone went online, and when it stopped being used. It also gets the total number of calls, and the ratio of unique contacts to calls, but not the specific numbers contacted. Why, exactly, would this limited set of information be useful? And why, in particular, might you want to compare that information across a large number of phones there’s not yet any particular reason to suspect?

    One possibility that jumps out at me — and perhaps anyone else who’s a fan of The Wire — is that this is the kind of information you would want if you were trying to identify disposable prepaid “burner” phones being used by a target who routinely cycles through cell phones as a countersurveillance tactic. The number of unique contacts and call/contact ratio would act as a kind of rough fingerprint — you’d assume a phone being used for dedicated clandestine purposes to be fairly consistent on that score — while the first/last call dates help build a timeline: You’re looking for a series of phones that are used for a standard amount of time, and then go dead just as the next phone goes online.

    Consider this another illustration of the value of metadata.

    https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/10/fingerprinting_5.html

  6. This was in the comments section, pertinent info. Thanks for this article though. If you go to purchase one do so with cash and go by foot, bike or public transport. Don’t take your wallet with you (you know the one with all your rfid tags in it?) .

    https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/10/fingerprinting_5.html

    At the very least, I would avoid having the battery in the burner any time I’m near

    a. my own regular phone
    b. places I’m known to frequent
    c. my associates.

  7. Apologies to 937 didn’t see that was already posted. And thanks for the info.

  8. $5.99. Charge it, don’t activate it, pull the battery and put it in your Oh $#!+ Bag.

    http://www.tracfone-orders.com/bpdirect/tracfone/PlanList.do?action=view&phoneFilterOptionExtensionId=24784476&productVariantExtensionId=24794516

    Or, charge it, activate it, add the $100 one year card, pull the battery etc.

    Got a couple for Mrs and me so the spendyphones don’t have to travel, easily found and thrown in the Oh $#!+ Bag as needed.

    • ghostsniper

      Careful there hoss. I bought a card at CVS one time, took it home and entered it in the phone and it didn’t work. Went back to CVS and found out the ditz at the counter forgot to run it over the activator in the counter. Human beings being human.

  9. only cell phone I’ve ever had is a tracphone. From time to time in the cab, a fare would ask to use it make a call. Mostly they took one look at it and said, “What? Is this thing broken!?” What a great phone it is