Rogue towers posing threat to cell security

Experts warn, our smartphones, are one of the most vulnerable things we own.

The 7 Action News Investigators have learned of a scary new threat to cell phone security.

Rogue cell towers, that intercept smartphone signals, and can steal one's personal information.

They are popping up all over the US, likely including Metro Detroit, say experts.

Catcher devices---casually known as the rogue towers, are phony mobile "towers" (that actually look like computers, not actual towers), that gets between a cell phone and a service provider's real towers.

The catchers give out a stronger signal than the real towers--essentially catching a device midway.  

Behind the digital curtain---professional hackers---trying to steal ID's and passwords.

For conspiracy theorists who think the government is behind this, law enforcement experts caution, a warrant is required for authorities to intercept conversations or data and cell provides are aware when that is done.

ESD America sells secure cell phones with a firewall that alerts consumers when the phone is being accessed by one of those rogue towers.

"Its scary," says Buzz Bruner, an associate with ESD America.  

He says cell systems were not made to fight this type of attack.

The catchers have a reach of about a mile, which means potentially thousands of callers in any given area can unknowingly be targeted.

If you want to buy one of those hack-proof phones--they will run you more than $3,000.

Meanwhile, this has gotten the attention of the FCC, which is investigating.
 

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