Many Americans are not aware of the fact that there are at least seventeen fake cell phone towers operating in the United States that are intercepting their calls and text messages, violating their privacy without their knowledge or consent. Popular Science recently reported the fact that Les Goldsmith, the CEO of leading American defense and law enforcement technology provider ESD, uncovered the fake cell phone towers existence using the company’s CryptoPhone 500. The average smartphone most Americans use is unable to detect fake cell phone tower, but the CryptoPhone 500 uses advanced encryption technology to detect and circumvent the fake towers.
Goldsmith states, “Interceptor use in the U.S. is much higher than people had anticipated. One of our customers took a road trip from Florida to North Carolina and he found eight different interceptors on that trip. We even found one at South Point Casino in Las Vegas.” In addition, Goldsmith points out that although it is not clear who is responsible for the fake cell phone towers, several of them are near military bases. This proximity to military bases makes Goldsmith speculate that the towers could belong to the U.S. military or possibly foreign governments trying to intercept government and trade secrets. He underscores the fact that although it is alarming that the fake cell phone towers exist in such high numbers, what is even more alarming is the fact that it is unclear who they belong to.
The fake cell phone towers are also very similar to the “Stingray” and “Hailstorm” towers used by police departments across the country to jam mobile phone signals in a way that forces them to operate on lower network bands that are less secure. Goldsmith calls attention to the fact that interceptor technology is capable of controlling a phone in a way that sends out spoof text messages and also shuts the phone down while leaving the microphone on, essentially turning the phone into a bug. Only time will tell who is responsible for this invasion of privacy of average, law abiding Americans.