Commonly known as "StingRays," the devices are designed to mimic cell phone towers. Essentially, when a StingRay is activated, it forces nearby cellular traffic to go through it rather than through official towers. This allows the operator of the StingRay to know the exact location of a specific cellphone. With more advanced models, the device can force a phone to use older, unencrypted 2G wireless signals allowing a third party to eavesdrop on calls and messages. Some can even attempt to install malicious software on a phone. StingRays are typically the size of a briefcase but can be as small as a cellphone.
Now, according to an exclusive report by Politico, three former senior US officials claim that Israel was most likely responsible for placing the surveillance equipment near the White House and other sensitive locations in Washington. One of the former officials claimed that the StingRays were probably intended to eavesdrop on President Donald Trump and his top associates.