Best daily deals

Links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

Are mysterious cell towers intercepting your calls?

Cell towers have been discovered that intercept phone traffic.
September 4, 2014

Popular Science wrote an article recently about the discovery of cell towers that ‘seem’ to be intercepting cell phone traffic. I say ‘seem’ because we are still not absolutely sure what who is running the towers.

A company called ESD America offers a product called GSMK Cryptophone 500 (a Galaxy S III running modified hardware of Android) which has discovered 17 different phony cell tower interceptors during the month of July alone.

In fact, those who pass by these towers are having significant data taken from them and those who connect to the tower are being eavesdropped on and/or having spyware pushed to their device.

Though the standard Apple and Android phones showed nothing wrong, the baseband firewall on the Cryptophone set off alerts showing that the phone’s encryption had been turned off, and that the cell tower had no name – a telltale sign of a rogue base station. Standard towers, run by say, Verizon or T-Mobile, will have a name, whereas interceptors often do not. Some devices can not only capture calls and texts, but even actively control the phone and send spoof texts. – Popular Science

Worse, we haven’t the slightest clue who are running these towers nor do iPhone/Android owners know that their phones are being intercepted at the time.

“What we find suspicious is that a lot of these interceptors are right on top of U.S. military bases. So we begin to wonder – are some of them U.S. government interceptors? Or are some of them Chinese interceptors?” says Goldsmith. “Whose interceptor is it? Who are they, that’s listening to calls around military bases? Is it just the U.S. military, or are they foreign governments doing it? The point is: we don’t really know whose they are.” – Popular Science