Suspected phone tap

I have never been a conspiracy theorist but I suspect that a particular group of people may try to tap my landline.
I am in the UK and access to my phone wires is quite easy because I live
in a block of flats. There are various oblong concrete covers for the BT and VirginMedia lines to the flats.
Currently I use VirginMedia for phone service.
I wonder if a tap which juts picks up the signal modulation on a line but does not interrupt it can be detected at all.
Can I perform any checks? Can I ask VM to do any checks?
As I am dealing with some odd folks, I would like to have the line checked regularly but would VirginMedia be prepared to do this?
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Just ring a mate and tell him that you will swap the plutonium for the drugs at Waterloo Station...

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"R. Mark Clayton" wrote:

Be sure to throw in "Allah Akbar" a few times.
;-)
--
Paul Hovnanian snipped-for-privacy@hovnanian.com
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I had a guy quite seriously ask me (5-6) years ago if it was possible that his phone line was being tapped. He'd heard strange sounds... I laughed and told him if it was, he'd never know it.
Of course then we got into a discussion of what would cause his line to be tapped... His son was married to a Chinese lady who happened at the moment to be in Indonesia. He was a 747 pilot flying into Afganistan and Iraq, with a long history of employment by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
I assured him he cannot make an international call without it being listened to by someone!
--
Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) snipped-for-privacy@apaflo.com
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"Floyd L. Davidson" wrote:

When I was a kid, my dad was involved with some pretty serious DoD work. I suspect that anyone with his clearance had their phone tapped (and other things as well). They aren't so much worried about his conducting illicit business over the phone as they are about the possibility of blackmail by foreign intelligence forces.
That never happened, but we did have a guy in the neighborhood who had a screw loose. He wasn't above making strange phone calls to various people, but when we got one, I think it ws his last. The FBI looked into it and suddenly the nut-case mellowed out considerably. ;-)
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Paul Hovnanian snipped-for-privacy@hovnanian.com
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Foxtrot wrote:

It is illegal to gain access to another person's telephone under Section 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA). If you have good reason to suspect that your calls are being intercepted, then contact the police.
There are no meaningful checks that you can do, or VM would do. Other than visually inspect whatever bits of your telephone line might be accessible to you.
If you are worried, but don't think that you have enough evidence to go to the police, then use a mobile phone or internet phone. Those are rather more difficult for an unspecified group of people to intercept.
--
Sue

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They are even easier. Don't do it.
--
Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) snipped-for-privacy@apaflo.com
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Floyd L. Davidson wrote:

They aren't easier for "unspecified groups of people" to do. Government agencies and others authorised to intercept communications are very well "specified".
--
Sue


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It actually is easier, even for "unspecified groups".
Funniest damned thing I ever saw was a story printed on the front page of a newspaper giving a verbatim transcript of a cell phone call where a guy admited to committing murder. The newspaper had what amounted to an illegal wiretap. They were never so much as investigated, if for no other reason that the police *also* had an illegal wiretap on the same call!
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Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) snipped-for-privacy@apaflo.com
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Floyd L. Davidson wrote:

That would have been an analogue cell phone. The OP is in the UK, where these were phased out some time ago. IIUC, they will soon all be gone from the USA, too.
It is possible to intercept digital cellphone traffic, but decrypting it, without cloning the phone's key (which needs physical access to the phone) is rather more difficult than tapping a landline.
--
Sue


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[snip]
: : It is possible to intercept digital cellphone traffic, : : but decrypting it, without cloning the phone's key : : (which needs physical access to the phone) is rather : : more difficult than tapping a landline.
Read this article, posted elsewhere in this thread, to see how someone recently did exactly that:
http://spectrum.ieee.org/jul07/5280
Ivor
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Ivor Jones wrote:

The article rather proves my point."Major network penetrations of any kind are exceedingly uncommon. They are hard to pull off, and equally hard to investigate."
--
Sue

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The simplest attack on GSM is sniffing it over-the-air.
It's not easy, but the A5 cipher used by GSM (2G) has various vulnerabilities and there are some people working on a useful GSM cracker: http://events.ccc.de/camp/2007/Fahrplan/events/2015.en.html Barkan, Biham and Keller have presented a realtime practical attack on GSM based on breaking A5: http://cryptome.org/gsm-crack-bbk.pdf
KASUMI in UMTS (3G) as yet doesn't have any practical attacks.
Theo
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Theo Markettos wrote:

The challenge was to my words, ".. use a mobile phone or internet phone. Those are rather more difficult* for an unspecified group of people to intercept." *Than a land line.
I would suggest that those words are correct. Specified groups, such as Government Agencies, are a different matter.

Thank you. I would suggest, "not as easy as tapping a land line" as alternative wording.

The "unspecified group" isn't likely to contain experts on crypto.
The scope of this thread was the suspected tapping of a landline phone going to a flat. Generally extremely easy to do, needing little expertise or expensive equipment. The suggestion was to use a mobile phone - which, as the OP is in the uk, means a phone with an encrypted digital data stream. Intercepting that would need a great deal of expertise - it would be far easier to resort to other methods, eg eavesdrop on the sound signals in the room(s).
--
Sue






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What you post makes a lot of sense but incoming callers may be disuaded from ringing a mobile on account of the costs.
Similarly, long outgoing calls will be probitively expensive for me from a mobile.
I'm not familiar with VOIP but could I use VOIP and set up an encrypted link between me and the VOIP provider? Access to a VOIP server seems to me much harder than access to a manhole cover in the street.
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Ivor Jones wrote:

I really enjoyed that article when it published in Spectrum. What they did was amazing, although it went far beyond a simple tap on a phone! It is not likely too many people could have pulled that off.
--
Benjamin D Miller, PE
www.bmillerengineering.com
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message
[snip]
: : Or wait for one to turn up at a government auction. : : I picked up a complete 911 phone logging system and all : : the 10.5" reels of tape for next to nothing. I sold : : the recorders to a company that owned thousands of pay : : phones to use when there was a court ordered tap on one : : of their phones.
Is that likely in the UK..?
Ivor
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No.
I have often wandered around "Government surplus" depots and there is usually electronic test gear - old scopes, multimeters that kind of stuff, spare parts for landrovers and small trucks, usually lots of clothing. Tools, picks, shovels, empty ammunition boxes....but nothing quite like that.
See http://www.anchorsupplies.com /
For a selection.
--
Stuart Winsor

From is valid but subject to change without notice if it gets spammed.
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Stuart wrote:

Possibly because they have already been sold. Try auctions, instead. I have been totally shocked by the stuff that is sold at Government Surplus Auctions. Not to mention what I have found in auctioned-off filing cabinets, that clearly have not been emptied, or checked, prior to disposal.
No, I am not even going to mention what kinds of stuff are disposed of. Use your imagination, or better, go to a few. -- Sue
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Ivor Jones wrote:

Doesn't your government waste money by junking repairable equipment?
--
Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
prove it.
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