In recent years, we have seen several Free Software projects implementing the network side of the GSM protocol. In 2010, OsmocomBB was started to create a free software implementation of the telephone-side. The OsmocomBB project is a Free Software implementation of the GSM protocol stack running on a mobile phone. For decades, the cellular industry comprised by cellphone chipset makers and network operators keep their hardware and system-level software as well as GSM protocol stack implementations closed. As a result, it was never possible to send arbitrary data at the lower levels of the GSM protocol stack. Existing phones only allow application-level data to be specified, such as SMS messages, IP over GPRS or circuit-switched data (CSD). Using OsmocomBB, the security researcher finally has a tool equivalent to an Ethernet card in the TCP/IP protocol world: A simple transceiver that will send arbitrary protocol messages to a GSM network.
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