How To Set-Up Kali Linux For Sniffing GSM Traffic

This document shows how to set up HackRF in Kali Linux. You can follow this guide to set up and install HackRF drivers in Kali Linux.

GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications, originally Groupe Sp├ęcialMobile) is a standard developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to describe the protocols for second-generation (2G) digital cellular networks used by mobile phones. The detail information you can learn from Wikipedia.

GSM is a kind of signal, people can use device to receive it, such as cell phone and signal receiver. This article is going to show you how to set up HackRF, which is one of popular device, on Kali Linux.

For setting up HackRF, the first thing is to install some packages and application.

Open a terminal window and execute the following commands to install gnuradio. GNU Radio (gnuradio) is a free software development toolkit that provides signal processing blocks to implement software-defined radios and signal-processing systems.

1
2
3
4
5
6
sudo apt-get install gnuradio \
gnuradio-dev \
gr-osmosdr \
gr-osmosdr \
gqrx-sdr \
wireshark

Before installing gr-gsm, we have to first install some dependency packages.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
sudo apt-get install gnuradio-dev \
gr-osmosdr \
gr-osmosdr \
gqrx-sdr \
wireshark \
pkg-config \
libosmocore \
libosmocore-dev \
automake

After installed the above packages, we then are able to install gr-gsm. The following command will clone gr-gsm repository and install it.

 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
git clone https://github.com/ptrkrysik/gr-gsm.git
cd gr-gsm
mkdir build
cd build

cmake ..
make

sudo make install
sudo ldconfig
Install gr-gsm software for sniffing GSM traffic on Kali Linux
Compile and Install gr-gsm

Next, we need to create a config file ~/.gnuradio/config.conf and insert the following contents into the config file:

1
2
[grc]
local_blocks_path=/usr/local/share/gnuradio/grc/blocks

We are now going to clone the package from GitHub, then compile it.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
git clone https://github.com/scateu/kalibrate-hackrf.git

cd kalibrate-hackrf
./bootstrap
./configure

make
sudo make install
Install gr-gsm software for sniffing GSM traffic on Kali Linux
Compile and Install kalibrate-hackrf

All preparation works done! Now, let’s install HarkRF software.

Execute the following command to install HackRF.

1
sudo apt-get install hackrf libhackrf-dev libhackrf0
Install packages for set-up HackRF on kali Linux
Compile and Install kHackRF

Execute the following command to verify if the application/software works well. If it works, your HackRF device’s info will be displayed on the terminal window as shown in the screenshot below.

1
hackrf_info
Install packages for set-up HackRF on kali Linux
Test Connction