Mysterious “interceptor” cell towers in the USA are grabbing phone calls — but they’re not part of the phone networks. And, two experts told VentureBeat today, the towers don’t appear to be projects of the National Security Agency (NSA).
The towers were revealed by Les Goldsmith to Popular Science last week. He’s CEO of ESD America, which builds the super-secure Cryptophone 500 for clients that need the military-grade security and can handle the phone’s estimated $3,500 price tag.
In the course of testing the phone, Goldsmith’s team discovered the existence of phone cell towers that intercept a call and hand it off to the real network — allowing the tower to listen in or load spyware to the mobile device.
In July, ESD America identified 17 of the towers, but now it has increased that outed inventory to 19. On its Facebook page, ESD America points out that an interceptor “doesn’t necessarily need to be a[n] actual cell tower,” but could simply be the listening/call handling technology sitting somewhere.