You're smartphone isn't completely safe. Even if you're running the great security software I recommend to keep out malware and viruses, there's still a chance that someone could be listening in on your calls or tracking your every movement. Edward Snowden warned us about the NSA snooping on our gadgets, but they're not the only ones. Other government agencies, police departments and high-tech criminals could also be listening or tracking you without your knowledge. Earlier this year, it was discovered that police in Florida were monitoring cellphone calls without a judge's permission using "StingRays."
Recently, an executive from tech security firm Integricell drove around Washington, D.C., with a tool designed to detect IMSI catchers like StingRays. Those are high-tech gadgets used by the government, police and criminals to track and listen in on calls. It's illegal to use them without a warrant, but that wouldn't stop a criminal who wants to steal your private information. StingRays are quite expensive, but a skilled criminal could build their own IMSI catcher for less than $2,000!
Known as IMSI catchers, for the unique identifying phone code called an IMSI, the surveillance devices trick mobile phones into thinking they have logged onto legitimate cell networks, such as Verizon or AT&T, when in fact the signals have been hijacked.
You won't believe what he found. After driving around Washington D.C. for only a day and a half, the tool found signs of up to 18 IMSI catchers! Most of them surrounded government facilities and government contractors.