The CryptoPhone 500 looks like a regular Samsung Galaxy S3. In reality, the CryptoPhone is a heavy-duty security phone that will cost you about $3,500. What you're paying for when you buy the CryptoPhone, however, might surprise you.
ESD America, the company who markets the CryptoPhone to the U.S., has discovered that the base operating system installed on every Galaxy S3 leaks data "to parts unknown" 80-90 times an hour.
Les Goldsmith, CEO of ESD America, doesn't believe that this means your cellphone has been "hacked," but that these signals are coming from "interceptor" cell towers.
An "interceptor" cell tower is basically any computer equipped with the radio equipment (available for under $3,000) necessary to crack the archaic technology behind cell towers. These towers trick your phone into thinking that they're a cell tower, and can listen in on any of your calls.
Goldsmith's main question is who is running these rogue towers, at least according to an interview with Popular Science.
“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.”
While the discovery of "rogue" towers is very convenient for a company like ESD America, the price of starting your own "rogue" tower is pretty justifiable. We trust our phones enough to give out our banking information, Social Security numbers, and a massive amount of information.
Finding a way to crack into these systems could be very profitable for spies or even hackers.