Off-Air Intelligence will go Hybrid


Author: Sander de Jong, Global Account Director at Group 2000


It is a fact that the “future” 5G networks are designed to enhance subscribers privacy. This causes technological concerns for intelligence services to gain the right data from the network in the new Era of mobile communications for the purpose of tactical operations. Traditional tactical IMSI operations are designed and aimed to identify, locate or provide the need to be inline, the consequence of 5G this shall no longer be feasible with the existing and current IMSI Catcher solutions.

As Group 2000 we understand the importance and need of such tactical operations. We therefore invested and aligned R&D to find an answer to this quest. We assigned the best architects and leveraged from our wide and deep Telco network knowledge, experience gained over the past 20 years from deploying hundreds of projects around the globe. The result should enable your organisation to continue to bring the tactical mission to a success, either with your current operational equipment or a new advanced solution.

We explored different avenues with the aim to provide a rich and divers variety of possible solutions. Our LIMA 5G CellPro product is a strategic solution, based on our proven Network Protect and Cell Monitor products. It facilitates the ability to downgrade Telco Networks on cell level and service. The hybrid concept in this case derives from the Cell Monitor, which creates an accurate image of the cell coverage by collecting all serving and neighbouring cells in a specific area. The actual coverage information is sent to the Network Protect module, which is installed in the provider(s) network. This enables you to downgrade the network in a specific area, cell based, to the required technology that best supports the mission (2G/3G/4G). The prerequisite that resides is that the desired technology is supported by the Telco from topology network perspective. This approach will also enable tactical inline missions to be continued.

As indicated, IMSI Catcher operations are utilized for different purposes. If the solution only needs to be used to identify a subscriber, we envision a network-based implementation feasible. The operation could be conducted as done today. Meaning, the operation will be managed and controlled by the field agent. The Cell Monitor will then be used by the field agent at location A to understand the actual cell coverage. The actual cell coverage information will be sent to the Network Protect module, implemented within the provider(s) network, to initiate an iteration from which the subscriber will be identified. The procedure will be conducted at Location B from where the aggregated information will be processed and the correlated subscriber identifier, known at both locations, presented to the field agent.

Another envisioned implementation is one that it is conducted completely remotely.
By drawing an area of interest within the graphical user interface on a map, the coverage map will be built from the theoretical cell coverage model presented and maintained by the providers. By conducting the operation remotely for location A and B, the aggregated information will be processed and the correlated subscriber identifier will be presented to the system-operator. To ease the execution of inline mission we consider an approach to divert traffic in a sophisticated way within the Telco network, so that a strategic inline implementation can be used in an even more covert way.

Why Group 2000 as your partner for intelligence gathering?
We have a large install base within the Telco domain and are considered a reliable, responsible and trusted partner. Some of the network suppliers provide partial solutions, but we are network agnostic. Providing a holistic solution to cover all operators in a country requires orchestration and coordination, which is in the DNA of Group 2000. By serving National Security and Law Enforcement Agencies with the above described Network Protect solution, the operator itself can benefit from additional features to enhance network resilience, manage capacity and save on energy costs, which are part of the Network Protect product. Furthermore we put and prove our promises into real actions and proven platforms.

If this blog raised your interest and you would like to understand exactly what we as Group 2000 can do for your organisation, do not hesitate to approach us. It will be our pleasure to serve you.