17 Fake Cell Phone Towers Discovered — Who Could Be Listening in on Your Calls?

A project that started as a demand for more secure phones ended in the shocking discovery of a possible cell phone privacy breach. So who is listening in your private phone calls?

The CEO of ESD America, Les Goldsmith, revealed to Popular Science that a phone—CryptoPhone 500— created by his team was able to detect 17 fake cell towers around the United States. These fake towers act as interceptors that, once a phone connects, can eavesdrop in on calls, access texts, and place spyware. The interceptors leave phones vulnerable to all sorts of attacks on data.

The phone that discovered these breaches is the CryptoPhone 500 by ESD America. It is a super-secure phone that uses encryptions that surpass the data protection offered by typical commercial phones.

Regular phones recognize and interact with the fake towers as they would legitimate cell towers,  but due to the enhanced security measures and encryption of the CryptoPhone 500, it can identify the imposters.

The 17 fake towers were all discovered by the high-tech phone in July alone. Goldsmith and ESD America provided a map from August of the located interceptor cell towers.

The unsettling matter in all of this is that nobody seems to know where these interceptor towers came from, or who had them placed. And because regular phones aren’t able to detect surveillance, thousands of people’s private information is vulnerable and they would never even know.

Also suspicious are the locations of many of these towers, which Goldsmith reports are near U.S. military bases.