If you’ve ever worried that you might not actually be on a carrier-operated cell equipment and someone might be spying on you, you’ve got some valid reasons to be concerned. If you really want to know if you’re on a fake base stations (IMSI catcher) or a user tracking cell location, SnoopSnitch for root may be able to help you out.
If you’re wondering if this is a problem, the answer is that the government has been doing it for years to track people, and if you might be planning on attending CES 2015 (or 20 other locations) you could be spied upon.
SnoopSnitch works on Qualcomm chipsets only to compare the cell signal you’re connected to to a public cell security map, as well as some active tests that check whether you’re coming off of a third party cell network.
The app requires a close-to-stock. rooted ROM, as it requires read access to some otherwise protected diagnostic data. I do find it strange that information is hidden from a non-rooted phone, but I’ll buy it.
In active testing mode the app will make calls to an always-busy number and send texts to an invalid recipient. My guess on the second function here is to see how the text message is handled, and whether it comes back with correct path, but I have no idea what the calling aspect is there for.
As the app says upfront that it’s placing calls and sending out texts, this immediately goes into my “let other people try this for a month or so,” pile as I already have enough problems at the moment without my phone making calls and sending texts to strange numbers, even if I have to agree to it. Well, that and the ROM I’m on isn’t close enough to stock for it to work.
It’s an interesting premise, and something that evidently is going to need to be in place if the cell providers can’t do anything to shut down some of these rogue base stations out there masquerading as towers.
In the mean time, I’ll hopefully squeak by keeping two-factor authentication on as many sites as possible, not trusting anything claiming to be a nationwide WiFi access points like AT&T, Comcast, Charter, or Xfinity, and keeping a bank balance so close to zero that hackers should be more inclined to get a low wage job.
You can see the WiKi on SnoopSnitch and download the APK here, which you might want to peruse or install in case Google Play claims you’re not a supported device.
Download: Google Play