Federal agent makes anti-tracking tool powered by Raspberry Pi

A federal agent and digital forensics expert at the US Department of Homeland Security has built a mobile anti-tracking tool powered by a Raspberry Pi computer, Wired reports.

Matt Edmondson decided to develop the system after a friend working in another part of the government became concerned that they were being tailed on their way to a meeting with an informant who had links to a terrorist group.

Although there are several practical steps one could take in such a situation — such as cornering multiple times to drive around a block — Edmondson wanted to determine whether an electronic system could be of help.

He devised a homemade system consisting of several parts — a Raspberry Pi 3, Wi-Fi card, touchscreen, portable case, and portable power bank — costing roughly $200 (R3,243).

The homemade anti-tracking tool. Credit: Matt Edmondson

The system scans for mobile devices searching for Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections — like smartphones — using wireless network detecting software Kismet.

It then generates a list of devices detected within range in the past five to 10 minutes, 10 to 15 minutes, and 15 to 20 minutes.

The system can show a device’s MAC address and record the names of Wi-Fi networks to which devices within its range are trying to connect.

The user can also exclude specific devices from the list, such as their own phone, by tapping ignore next to its entry on the list.

Edmondson is set to present his project at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas this week.

He plans to add a function that will send text alerts to the user instead of showing them on the touchscreen.

He is also investigating whether he could add the capability to detect tyre-pressure monitoring systems fitted on modern vehicles to alert the user if one of these cars shows up recurringly.


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Federal agent makes anti-tracking tool powered by Raspberry Pi