Other States

J&K militants use app to evade Army snooping

A new app, “Calculator”, found on the smartphones of terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, helps them remain in touch with their handlers in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) without being detected by the Army’s technical surveillance.

With the number of militants infiltrating from PoK showing a steep rise this year, the Army found that terrorists carried smartphones with no messages stored in the device.

The Army’s signal unit, which relies mainly on technical intercepts like usage of wireless and mobile phones by infiltrating terror groups to track them, is trying hard, along with National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) and other agencies, to crack this mechanism used by the terrorists.

The technology was first used by a U.S.-based company during Hurricane Katrina so that the affected residents could remain in touch with each other.

During interrogation of some of the terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the agencies came to know that the terror outfit had modified it and created the application “Calculator”, which can be downloaded on smartphones attached to the off-air network created specifically for them.

The technology is based on the concept of ‘cognitive digital radio’ that enables users to turn their smartphones into peer-to-peer, off-grid communication tools.

The network generates its own signal through proprietary ad hoc networking protocols and automatically coordinates with other units within range which enables users to send and get text messages, share their GPS locations on offline maps regardless of access to WiFi or cellular service.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 8:21:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/JampK-militants-use-app-to-evade-Army-snooping/article14386369.ece

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